In my line of work, I meet people every day who are in the process of or are trying to save up for the next big purchase in their life. Moreover, since it's the beginning of the year, many people are making New Year's resolutions to work harder to save for the future or to make purchases that are investments in their family's future. That's why I thought this would be the perfect time for me to share my tips and tricks for saving some dough for your next big investment or goal—whether it's a vacation, property, or a Nicer, Newer® car.

1) Set a goal

Any great savings plan begins with setting a goal. First figure out what it is that you want and estimate how much you need to set aside for the trip. Let's say you need to save $500, and you want to get there in five months. If you receive a paycheck twice per month, on average, you'll be paid 10 times. That means that you'll need to save about $50 per paycheck. That's a lot more manageable than finding $500 under the couch!

2) Cut back on the little things

A $2.00 cup of joe on the way to work each morning may not seem like a big investment, but it sure does add up quick. If you stop hitting up Starbucks on the way to work in the morning each day, you could easily save $40 extra dollars a month or more, depending on your drink of choice. If you're thinking that forty bucks a month won't get you to your goal fast enough, consider packing your lunch each day. The average lunch out costs between $5-$10. Multiply that by the average 5-day work week, and you just found yourself another $200 per month!

3) Set Up a separate savings account just for your goal

Opening a separate savings account for your goal is a great way to track your successes. Add a little money here and there, and watch the balance grow as you close in on your goal. If you open an account with a bank that offers an opening bonus, they'll even get you start towards reaching your goal. Worried you'll be tempted to take money out once the balance starts growing? Setup your direct deposit to automatically set aside X dollars each paycheck for your special purchase—you'll get there with zero time or effort! Many online banks also offer a higher interest rate, which means your money will be earning money for you!

I've experienced firsthand how discouraging it can be to be faced with a big ticket purchase, but by breaking it down and saving on everyday expenses, you can make even a grandiose expense seem manageable. Setting up a savings plan removes the stress from these financial situations, so you can focus on how much you'll enjoy your new purchase once you've reached your goal. Once you get started, I know you'll be surprised how quickly you can achieve your goal!