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Financial goals are just like any other goal. However, they are often avoided because people are under the impression that they’re too difficult to achieve.
Below are a few tips to help you achieve your financial goals and stay on track:
Don’t set too many at once
You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.-David Allen
When it comes to finances, there are so many goals you could set.
- Build a 6 month emergency fund
- Save for a down payment on a house
- Pay off credit card debt
- Pay off student loans
- Save for a vacation
- Save for the wedding
Unless you’re racking in multiple-6-figures a year, doing everything at once usually isn’t possible.
Write down ALL of your finance goals and then determine which of those are priorities.
For example, I would love to save for a home and invest aggressively, but I first want to pay off all my debt and save a larger emergency fund.
If I tried to do them all at once, I would only make a little bit of progress in each area rather than actually achieving any of them.
Create a plan
Financial goals are very easy to breakdown and I suggest starting there.
If you want to max out your Roth IRA, you need to contribute $500 a month.
If you want to pay off $50,000 of debt in 2 years, you’ll need to put $2,083+ to your debt each month.
That is just one part of the planning process though.
When creating a financial plan it’s important to consider:
- which debt payment method you prefer to use
- how much you expect to spend in each area throughout the year
- any extra income coming in
- any large expenses going out
- how you can reduce your expenses
- how you can increase your income
- and so on
You can see how I did this in the video below:
Don’t underestimate consistent small things
Consistently doing small things can work for you or against you.
If you’re spending $15 on dining out every day, you’ll end up spending over $5,000 for the year.
If you save $20 a week for the year, you’ll save over $1,000. Increase that to $50 per week and you’ll end up with $2,600.
I think many people see these small things as no big deal, but they really can add up.
The important part of working toward your financial goals is consistency. Getting into the habit of saving/paying off debt/investing regularly will help you to gain momentum.
Even if you can only afford to save $1 this month, do it!! Put it into a high yield savings account and aim to keep building it up.
Surround yourself with finances and talk about them often
The idea here is to focus on the right things.
From the beginning of my journey to now, I have listened to hundreds of hours of financial content on a regular basis.
Initially, I listened to Dave Ramsey and all the calls he received. I learned so much and kept myself motivated to pay down debt.
Now, I listen to podcasts such as ChooseFI and Bigger Pockets Money that talk about financial independence. This keeps me pushing through because that is my ultimate goal.
I also talk about money A LOT. Obviously, I have my personal finance YouTube channel where I document my journey and create educational videos. But I also talk to my boyfriend and friends/family quite frequently.
Money is important and so are your financial goals. You can learn SO much from podcasts and YouTube these days, it’s incredible.
Revisit your goals regularly
I re-write my goals every week off the top of my head.
I don’t refer back to what I wrote in the weeks previous, but instead make myself think of my goals in the moment and write them down.
There have been multiple studies on the benefits of writing down your goals and how you’re more likely to achieve them if you do.
I find this to be true.
Each time you write them down and re-visit them, you’re reminding yourself of why they’re important to you and why you want to achieve them.
Make it easier to achieve them
Paying off debt and saving are already difficult enough.
Make it easier on yourself by automating your finances and removing any temptations.
You can start by having a portion of your paycheck automatically saved into a separate account and/or set up retirement contributions.
You could also do this on your own. For example, on the 1st of every month I have my sinking funds save a specific amount from my checking account. I don’t even have to think about it.
Set up auto pay for your bills so you don’t miss any of them.
And finally, unsubscribe from emails that tempt you to spend money OR unfollow social media accounts that do the same.
Find what keeps you motivated
I have a blog post on How To Stay Motivated On Your Debt Free Journey, but really that information can be applied to saving and investing as well.
I find my debt trackers and listening to financial podcasts/videos very motivating.
However, maybe you prefer to reward yourself after achieving certain milestones.
Determine what keeps you going and stick with that.
The longer you work toward financial goals, you’ll see it gets easier.
Achieving one goal builds momentum for the next and a snowball effect will occur. You’ll find yourself in a stronger financial situation overall with better habits and more money.