10 Habits For Setting Financial Goals… You Probably Haven’t Started?
So you’ve had the talk with your self or your spouse and it’s time to get your finances under control and set up your budgeting priorities and your financial goals.
Now you don’t need to make this difficult. In this post I’m going to give you the top 10 priorities you need to take control of to help map out your financial goals and get a solid budget under control.
1. List Specific Objectives
I have no problem dreaming big, In fact one of my objectives is to be a millionaire (as I write this post I’m not… but on my way…not close…but on my way!) What I mean by this is don’t feel limited to set certain objectives and goals.
Set them and aim for them. There is no shame if you don’t make all of your goals. But all I ask is you set your goals and write out why they matter to you. Give them meaning, make sure they are not just a ‘want’.
Once you’ve listed them out, and there is no limit as to how many you write, put them into a priority of which ones are most important. Now you have a list to focus on and this alone will help you stay on track of your financial goals.
Post them up where they are visible and you can see them everyday to help remind you of your goals and what you want to achieve financially.
2. Focus On Your #1 Financial Goals
It’s a simple as it sounds so I won’t make it complicated. Pick out the goals that mean the most to you and your family and make sure you focus on them first no matter how big or small they are. If they are small, get them completed and out the way now. If they are larger, chunk them down into smaller tasks and knock them out one piece at a time.
3. Expect the Un-expected
By now you have your list of financial goals. When trying to priorities they may conflict a little bit. This is where you need to sit back and ask yourself. Which goal will benefit you and others more, and will any of the goals harm you in any way.
An example of this would be paying off the high interest credit cards compared to saving for the big summer vacation.
In this scenario I can’t answer it for you. In my case I can put up without a vacation for one year, or at least just make it a quick local city break to help reduce costs but still get the vacation in. Everyone is different…All I can say is make sure you’re priorities meet your goals…It will pay off in the long run.
4. Time Is On Your Side
When it comes to money and goals, 95% of the time, time is on your side. Because unless you win the lottery. Money goals will not happen over night. So investing money in stocks, bonds and interest earning savings accounts will always benefit you over time and allows more time for success.
In this case your age is a big factor. Or should I say the age you decide to make these goals is a big factor. Younger people may be able to take more aggressive risks but this all comes down to you as an investor and what your comfortable with. My point to this is put time on your side, this will not happen over night and you need to remember that.
5. Choose Your Financial Goals Wisely
When it comes to writing up your financial goals make sure they are detailed and make you feel fulfilled, secure and happy. I haven’t really talked much about what these things should be as this is YOUR financial goals list. But I included things like build and emergency fund, pay off credit card debt, get out of debt, start a college fund for the kids and invest a certain % per month into savings.
Again, the best thing you can do at this point is priorities your financial goals. Put the things that mean most to you first and read on.
6. Don’t Forget Those Close To You
These types of financial future decisions aren’t small, so if you have a spouse, family, kids etc. Get them involved as mush as they can be. Layout the facts and get them written down and them brainstorm the rest. They always say 2 brains are better than 1.
7. Stop Playing Around. Start NOW!
I hate to be blunt but stop playing around and ‘saying’ you’re going to get started on your financial goals and get this done now. Seriously, the longer you wait the more money you are wasting or leaving on the table, You must get started NOW. Ever heard of compounding interest. Nothing will compound if you don’t start compounding it. Make your list, prioritize it and get started making an impact on your financial goals and financial future.
8. Be Prepared To Take The Punches
By now you’ll have your goals set and you’ll start saving money…From here real life continues to take its course, so I’m sure like me, you will have unexpected costs fall in front of you or you will have times when you will want to buy something large.
At this point you need to take control. Think to yourself “is this purchase guiding me towards my financial goals?”
If the conclusion points towards not helping your goals, then try to defer the idea or at least do your best to get a great deal. This step is strictly down to self-control, and the more you have the quicker you will reach you financial goals.
9. Don’t Ignore The Small Stuff
I know I’ve discussed mostly about long-term plan and big-ticket ideas, but we can’t ignore this plan will be lived day by day with daily expenses and everyday life. I’m not here to stop that. I say live life and enjoy as much as you can, just make sure to keep your long-term plan in perspective and never forget them.
10. Things Are Going To Change
This is a long-term plan, and you know as much as me over that time plans will change as time goes on. Post up your goals where you can see them and always revisit them daily, weekly what ever it takes. But I also suggest on a 6 month and yearly basis you sit down and adjust. If you’re making more money you can make your goals more aggressive and if money gets short, then you may need to reevaluate.
Originally published at www.financialfreedomlab.com on March 18, 2015.