Setting financial goals is the first step to achieving your goals! These tips for setting financial goals and goal planning will help you sort out your finances and make your financial dreams come true. At the very least, they’ll get you on the right track.
Before the tips, a quip:
“When a goal matters enough to a person, that person will find a way to accomplish what at first seemed impossible.” ~ Nido Qubein.
There’s nothing less motivating than trying to achieve other people’s goals – even if those goals could make you rich! Setting financial goals (or any life goal) involves digging deep into yourself and figuring out what you want out of your life. The odds of achieving your goals are much higher if you pursue what you really want.
If you’re struggling with debt or budgets, read The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness. And, here are five tips for financial goal planning…
Setting Financial Goals – 5 Tips for Finances and Goal Planning
1. Set financial goals that matter to you. I think this is the most difficult part of goal setting: figuring out the goals that matter to you without being influenced by what other people think and want. For instance, most people want to buy their own houses or own their own land. That’s never been a big thing to me; I could care less if I’m paying rent or paying a mortgage! I understand the financial benefits of paying off a mortgage, but I’d rather be free to travel and work at a job I love (blogging!). When you’re goal planning, be honest about your financial dreams. Don’t chase society’s goals, your parents’ goals, or even your partner goals.
2. Spell it out. Maybe your financial goal is to retire early. That’s my goal for my husband (I never want to retire from writing and blogging!). But, early retirement is an unachievable goal until it becomes more specific. When you’re setting financial goals, you need to spell it out: “I want to put $500,000 in my RRSP or 401K within the next ten years.” Or, “I want to retire by age 50, which means I need to save $25,000 a year.” Or, “I want to save $100 a month from each paycheck.” Goal planning is about being as specific as possible. If you’re new to setting and achieving financial goals, learn how to set SMART goals.
3. Figure out what you need to achieve your financial goals. One of my short-term financial goals is to earn $100 a day from my “Quips and Tips” blogs within the next four months. Setting that goal is just the first step: achieving that goal is about figuring out what I actually have to do. Right now, I’m earning about $50 a day from my blogs. To double my income, I need to know which advertisements work and which don’t. I need to figure out which articles are popular and which aren’t. I need to learn more about how to make money blogging, and then apply what I learn to my blogs. Achieving financial goals is about breaking a lofty goal down into specific action steps.
4. Surround yourself with the right people. My husband is my strongest source of practical and emotional support. He doesn’t write my articles or run my blogs (but I secretly hope he’ll be my business manager one day!). Without him, I could never have created five “Quips and Tips” blogs, much less make money blogging. I didn’t even realize how much of a support he was until he started talking about my “writing career” when I first started freelancing for magazines. What about you – who can help you achieve your goals? It doesn’t have to be a spouse or best friend – and you don’t necessarily need to hire a financial planner to help you set financial goals. A coworker, supportive neighbor, or even a Meetup group can give you the motivation you need.
For tips on setting financial goals for women, read Why Are Women Bad With Money? 7 Money Mistakes Women Make.
5. Hunker down for the long haul. If you’re looking to make a quick buck or achieve your financial goals in a month or even a year, you’ll probably be disappointed. Financial prosperity – whatever that means to you – isn’t about buying a lottery ticket, reading your horoscope, and hoping for the best! Like anything worthwhile, setting and achieving goals takes time, dedication, and patience. The cool thing about working hard to achieve your goals is that it feels so great to succeed.
One final tip for setting financial goals: celebrate your successes and even the smallest victories, for that may be one of your greatest sources of motivation and inspiration!
To learn more about setting financial goals, read How to Use Your Credit Cards Rewards Program helpful.