We know that saving money is important – but what is less known is how to save money, and how much of our income should be allocated to our savings account.

Most experts recommend saving at least 20 per cent of your income, but you should complement this rule of thumb with your own goals. In other words, the amount you should save depends on your personal priorities and reasons for saving.

According to financial planner Eric Roberge, there are three factors to consider: how much your goals would cost, what kind of expenses your dream lifestyle would entail, and when you would need the savings. 

Setting targets and deadlines for savings can help you prepare for the future and live an enjoyable lifestyle in the present. “If your goals are less expensive, you don’t necessarily need to save huge amounts of money,” Roberge told Business Insider.

“We want to be careful not to overfund goals and end up with money that doesn’t have a purpose; instead of over-saving, you may be able to enjoy that money a little bit more today.”

Finding your dream savings to be a little out of reach? There are four options, according to personal finance journalist Paula Pant: change your goals, reconsider your timeline, earn more (through pay rise, investments, additional jobs and more), or reduce your current spending to save more.

Apart from your personal goals, Pant also advised saving up for rainy days.

“You should establish an ‘emergency fund’ that can cover 3-9 months of your living expenses,” Pant said.

Do you have a savings plan that you recommend? 

This article originally appeared on Over60.