How to Set Financial Goals for Yourself
When you first start living and working on your own, the thrill is real. It seems that anything is possible. Of course, once the reality sets in things can get infinitely more complicated. Lucky for you there are several smart, practical means for setting and achieving your short and long-term financial goals. Here are some tips for how to set financial goals for yourself.
Define: One of the biggest fallacies about reaching any kind of goal is that you can get there even if you’re not sure what you’re trying to do. “Buy a house” is too vague, “save for a vacation somewhere” will take you nowhere, and one of the most maddening is “save money.” What does that mean? We all want to “save money” but what are you saving your money for? How will you know when you have saved what you’re hoping to? One of the biggest walls for people hoping to set financial goals is that their goals are too undefined. So before you do anything you need to decide what the goal is that you’re after.
Where: Another misconception for setting financial goals is that there is no place to save this money. Maybe you stick some of your extra money under your mattress or maybe you put away $100 once a month into an accessible savings account. Both of these are really poor methods when it comes to your financial goals. Not because the intent is wrong; but because the destination is too accessible. That is, you could always reach underneath your mattress to pay for a night out or you could just transfer money from your “savings” account into your “spending” or just simply withdraw it at will. If you are thinking about how to set financial goals, then it should take effort to get at this money. It should be a conscious decision to set aside the money whenever you do it and it should not be easily accessible.
Commit: Once you have defined your financial goal and you have created a place for it in a separate account, then you should commit to the plan. If you are hoping to buy a jet ski, motorcycle, home, tropical vacation or something else, you should have an image that serves as a reminder of your goal. Maybe have this picture on your fridge, in your wallet, on your computer, in your car, at your desk, on your bathroom mirror; just keep the image in your sight and in your mind and you will remain committed to your financial goals.
No one ever got anywhere worth going without a journey. No one ever got anything of value without a struggle. These are all things worth remembering and reminding yourself when you have set out on the track of achieving your financial goals.