When it comes to a financial goal, everyone’s situation is unique, no one has the same goals. While everyone is different, we all have things we want, such as a new car, a home, a vacation, no more student loan debt, and a plan for retirement. But the truth is, very few people make a plan to achieve what they want. No matter your dreams or your income, planning for your financial future is always a good idea.
What Is a Financial Goal
A financial goal is a target to aim for when managing your money. It can involve saving, spending, earning or even investing. Creating a list of financial goals is vital to creating a budget. When you have a clear picture of what you’re aiming for, working towards your target is easy. That means that your goals should be measurable, specific and time-oriented.
How to Make Your Financial Goals Easier
Write Down Your Financial Goals
Writing down your financial goals means you can visually see them because the goals feel tangible. When goals are written down you are more likely to intellectually engage and emotionally connect with the result of the goal you want to achieve.
Writing your goals down gives them life, and they’ll become even more significant when you see them on paper. Put your written list somewhere where you can easily see your goals, and take the time to check in regularly. Depending on your timetable for each goal, I would recommend you review your goals on a bi-weekly or monthly basis.
Create a Budget
Your first step is to take a look at your income and create a budget. Having a budget will help you decide when and how to spend your money, giving you the power to decide where your money goes. It also gives you permission to relax, since you know your priorities are accounted for.
Start by creating and following a budget now to help you manage your money without stress.
Review Your Budget on a Regular Basis
If you really want to make a positive impact on your financial life, you need to consistently update and review your budget. Take a few minutes each day to go over your budget and see whether you have stayed in line with your spending. Doing this regularly will give you a clear picture of whether or not you are meeting your spending goals for the month.
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Balance Your Accounts Each Month
It is very important to balance your account, this can keep you from overdrawing your account and paying unnecessary late fees or overdraft fees. It can also help you to catch identity theft or see if someone has stolen your account information.
Balancing your checking account is not too difficult. Begin by gathering your most recent bank statement, a calculator, and a worksheet if you need help with the calculations. Then compare your transactions to the bank’s list and spot any differences.
Be Intentional About Your Spending
You have your budget and your smart goals, now you can start being more intentional about your spending. Before making purchases big and small, reflect on how a purchase fits within your goals. Does this purchase align with your goals? Is this an impulse buy or something you’ve been reflecting on?
Live Within Your Means
Spending less than you earn and setting a realistic budget is an important factor in reaching your financial goal and it lessens the likelihood that you’ll ever go into debt. Living within your means is a major step in becoming more financially stable and secure. If you’re feeling strapped, consider adding a side hustle or two to your income.
Save Up for an Emergency Fund
Emergency funds create a financial buffer that can keep you afloat in a time of need without having to rely on credit cards or high-interest loans. It can be especially important to have an emergency fund if you have debt because it can help you avoid borrowing more.
Aim to save up to three to six months’ worth of expenses. That will cover you in the event of an emergency, such as losing your job or dealing with an unexpected loss in the family.
Track Your Progress
Part of setting and achieving your financial goal is tracking your progress. If you’ve set aside some money for your dream vacation, a down payment on a home, or your child’s college fund, take a moment to see how far you’ve come. Compare that to where you want to be. Remember to celebrate your wins and your hard work.
Keep track of how much you’ve saved toward each of your goals as a reminder of your abilities and dedication. Even if those amounts are small, they’ll start adding up.
Above are 7 steps to achieving your financial goals I hope you find the steps helpful as you embark on your financial journey. It is also important to find the right balance between working, saving, and enjoying your life. It’s even okay to treat yourself just make sure that you are saving enough of your income to be comfortable and properly plan ahead.
This is a difficult skill to develop, but essential if you want to be financially successful.