Savings without a Goal?
How do I handle savings that I don't have a goal for? I have an emergency fund already setup, but I also save roughly 25% of my income per month but don't have any plans for it. I guess I should be investing it, but right now I'm not sure.
It can help to have one or more goals, to be motivated to save. When I paid off my student loans, I was really motivated and paid them off fast. After that, it took me a year to find a new motivation, and during this year I found that I spent way more. I had no goal. So if you have one or more goals, save for them. Personally I'm saving to become financially independent. It's a big goal. When you start, it's not a goal that can be reached in half a year (at least not by most people), but it motivated me to again spend less than I earned and set aside the rest.
If you already have an emergency fund and you're not quite sure what to do with the additional savings you're putting aside, it might help to lengthen your timeline. What would benefit five-years-from-now-you? Or twenty-years-from-now-you? How can you take care of your future self through intentions you set now?
You're mind is already considering what you should do with it, so create a category called "Investing" and put those funds in there until your ready to pick your investing platform/strategy.
If future you decides there is a more important need/goal than investing, simply rename the category at that time, or move the funds to an existing category. Viola! 🪄
Why not create a tracking account that is unlinked to any institution? You can move as much as you want to save for retirement or whatever off budget into there, and then if you need to tap it, move it back.
Slightly more work: add your brokerage and other retirement accounts as tracking accounts and reconcile their balance (just hit 'reconcile' and put the new figure in) monthly?
Easiest: just use a category and let it build up. I personally like tracking the balances each month to see how the longer-term plays are doing.
Whichever way you go, my own PoV is that on-budget categories really are for that: budgeting. Once you are no longer thinking of tapping the money over the short or medium-term, move it off-budget into tracking.
In any event, if these savings ever are needed, you can just move them out of the category or tracking account and back to on-budget.