Setting Achievable Financial Goals

  • By Jillian Taylor-Mancusi

It’s the beginning of a new year and the perfect time for setting financial goals. If you’ve had trouble in the past setting goals for your finances, or set goals only to find they’ve been difficult to keep, now is the time to change that. Read on to discover easy-to-use tips that will speed you on your way toward a happy and financially healthy new year.

What Do You Want to Accomplish?

Before you can set a goal, you need to know what you want to accomplish and whether you have the resources to succeed. Financial resolutions should be about putting your budget in order and maintaining your personal financial health.

Debt reduction (or elimination) is an excellent goal if you have any unsecured or credit card debt. Building an emergency savings account might be a great goal if you have already paid off your credit cards. Setting financial goals like saving for a major purchase has double benefits—you avoid debt and build your savings at the same time.

Once you identify your goals, prioritize them and write them down, then look for creative ways to make things better, then set priorities.  Next, figure out the cost of reaching your goal and rework your budget to make room for your new resolutions.

Are Deadlines Part of Your Planning?

By not choosing a time-frame to accomplish your financial goals, you allow wiggle room in your plans that can make success difficult. Consider procrastination an enemy and prevent failure by setting up reasonable, date-related milestones.

Record each milestone in a planner or on a calendar. Set a time each month to review and rework your plan as needed. Monitor upcoming expenses that might undermine your plans and act quickly if you see potential challenges.

How Can You Keep Track of Your Progress?

Writing down your financial goals is a good first step toward realizing your money-related resolutions. It’s equally important to monitor your progress and keep track of goals you reach along the way.  You can use a calendar to

  • set up time-related milestones
  • keep track of progress
  • record your completed goals

Make sure you post your calendar and deadlines where you can see them and refer to them often.

Making Spending Less and Enjoying More a Part of Your Plan

As you work toward achieving your financial goals, it will probably be necessary to spend less than you have previously. Along the way, you may discover that spending less is actually providing you with more—more peace of mind, more time for the things you enjoy, and more resources to accomplish your goals.  This new way of looking at how you spend your money can help you become a wise money manager and allow you to enjoy the journey toward freedom from debt.

Setting financial goals makes it possible to realize your dreams for the future. So much of what you want to accomplish depends on smart money management, so continue to set goals and work to achieve them.

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