The new year is just around the corner, and with that comes lots and lots of goal setting. However, I think one of the things that people do is overestimate their goals, which then leads them to fall short and get disappointed.
So, next year let’s set some more realistic goals, baby steps that will help us reach our big goals without getting burned out.
Here are some examples:
1. Pay Off One Credit Card
Even if your balance is just a few hundred dollars, it’s still an amazing accomplishment to pay it off! The point is that once you pay off one card, you’ll be really excited and motivated to pay off all the rest! Just take one at a time, one payment at a time. You’ll be amazed at how motivated you feel after knocking out just one!
2. Read One Investment Book
Lots of people say that they want to learn more about money and investments, but it can be overwhelming if you have a stack of books to read through. Instead, start with just one book. Make sure it’s a good one with a highly rated author so it’s interesting. Just reading that one book will get you excited to read another one, without have the overwhelming feeling of a stack of books staring at you.
3. Save A Little Bit Every Week
It’s a good idea to build an emergency fund if you don’t already have one, but when some people hear about saving 3-6 months of expenses, they get a little worried if they can accomplish the goal. So, I say start small. Just saving $10-$20 a week can create a decent start to an emergency fund by the end of the year.
4. Write Down Food Expenses
Another money goal lots of people typically make is tracking expenses. However, that can get really tedious, and I personally have gone through a variety of different phases from tracking every cent to not tracking at all. Now I use a digital system where I text in my purchases, and it works out really well. Still, if you are just starting out, my recommendation would be just to write down your food expenses. Write down grocery bills, Starbucks runs, and dinners out. I find that when it comes to managing a budget, food is one area where it can get out of hand so just tacking this one section of your budget can help you so much in the long run.
Ultimately, there are many ways to improve your financial habits and track record in 2014. The point is that if you want to be successful and really make a difference in the way you handle your money, start small. Embrace tiny changes, and celebrate when things go well. Financial independence is a long road, but baby steps can help you make it to the finish line.
What are some of the financial goals that you hope to accomplish next year?
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I should really do #2. hee! That sounded funny...ok I'm a child. :) No I really do need to start educating myself on investing. I come up with every excuse in the book not to. I've also never had a mont where I track exactly everything, especially groceries. And since this is a big area where I tend to overspend, I really should.