Feeling a little overwhelmed by your finances? As the summer winds down, you may find yourself trying to refocus and get back on track with your financial goals. Remember those big money goals you set in January? Have you set in short-term financial goals?
Can you believe there’s really only 4.5 months left in the year? If you’ve fallen on track, don’t worry too much. Reaching goals is all about habits and making progress. Plus, no one can predict what will happen during the year and you just have to adapt to those changes.
What you can do, however, is break your goals up or focus on a few short-term financial goals to go after this year. Here are some short-term financial goals to work on over the next few months to boost your motivation.
1. Catch Up on Bills and Late Payments
While it’s common to set debt pay off goals for the year, what I often realize is that some people are not even to that point yet and just need to break even. If your bills are behind, you shouldn’t really be thinking about debt or anything else.
Your main priority should be to make sure you’re current with all your bills. I’ll admit, in the past sometimes our electric bill got so high in the winter that we couldn’t afford to pay the full amount.
By the time spring and summer rolled around, I prioritized getting it caught up and it made me feel pretty accomplished to see a zero balance. Even if finances are tight, knowing your bills are paid can provide big relief.
2. Pay Off One Credit Card
Credit card debt can be the worst type of debt because it’s so easy to rack up a balance again once you pay a card off. If you have a lot of credit card debt, the best thing you can do it try to lower the interest rate and take it one step at a time.
You may want to consider doing a balance transfer or calling the credit card company to see if they’ll lower your interest rate if you continue to keep your account open with them and pay off the balance.
Commit to paying off your smallest credit card balance by the end of the year. Earlier this year, we paid off a small personal loan and it felt great. The loan payment was only $51 per month and it had $0 interest, but it was still annoying to deal with for so long.
Paying that off allows us to add that $51 back to our budget which did make a small difference.
Commit to paying off your smallest credit card balance by the end of the year. Click To Tweet
3. Stick to Your Monthly Food Budget
If you usually go over budget when grocery shopping or dining out, commit to changing that for at least 30 days. Create a realistic food budget and try to stick to it for at least a month.
One thing I like to do is use cash envelopes to help me manage my money for groceries and dining out. It makes me be more mindful about what I’m spending and be more keen on noticing deals and opportunities to save.
Try to plan out your meals in advance and search for deals at local stores before you go shopping. With dining out, look out for special discount days or utilize coupons you receive online or in the mail. Save money by bringing your lunch to work each day and prepping meals that you can make quickly so you can avoid unnecessary fast food runs.
4. Meet With a Financial Coach
Meeting with a financial coach can be extremely helpful if you don’t have really have a solid plan for your money. If you have big goals that will take time to reach, meeting with a coach can help you get personalized advice and guidance on how to set up your strategy.
A coach can provide you with tips, resources, and even a written out plan to help you. Plus, most coaches offer one-time calls so you can get your customized plan in an hour or less.
Meeting with a coach can help you stay motivated and encouraged especially if you have a somewhat challenging journey ahead.
5. Have a No Spend Weekend
Has it been a while since you’ve had a no-spend weekend? Or have you never had one? I like no spend weekends because it’s an easy way to reset your finances and save some money. You can still have fun and relax but spending money isn’t necessary to do this.
There are so many fun things you can do during a no spend weekend like ride bikes, hike at a state park, go camping (if you have all the equipment), have a movie marathon with rentals from the library, learn a new skill by watching YouTube videos, read a book, and so on.
Another thing you can do is take the money you usually spend on weekends and save it instead.
6. Check Your Insurance
It only takes a few minutes to review your insurance and make sure everything is updated. Make sure you have enough coverage for your needs. For your life insurance policy, you also want to update beneficiaries when major life changes occur like marriage or a new child.
Feel free to shop around and see if you can get different insurance quotes that might be lower than what you’re currently paying. That way, you can save money and still get the same benefits and coverage.
Don’t underestimate the importance of pursuing smaller, short-term financial goals. Doing this can still help you get ahead and may even help you get closer to reaching a bigger goal in the future.
With only a few months left in the year, jot down a few small financial goals that you can work toward and achieve in just a few days or a few weeks.