money management

Smart financial planning for your goals

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Good morning Loves.  What are you working towards this year?  As you know I have a variety of goals which include a money goal of saving $10k, a career goal of learning SEO and a travel goal to spend a week in South Carolina – all before December 31st.

If you have goals and want to achieve them you only need one thing to do it – you need a smart financial plan.  Some could argue you need dedication, discipline and focus.  Yes those are all important when trying to achieve something, but ultimately they will all fall in to your financial plan.

Travel goals, savings goals, career goals and all other types of goals all have one thing in common – money.  Even fitness and health goals all have an underlying need for money at some point or another.  Basically I’m saying if you have goals this year you can achieve them with a financial plan.

Start by setting realistic goals

This is the biggest hinder to any financial plan.  Smart financial planning means you set goals you want to achieve within a realistic time period.  You may want to buy a house.  If your goal is do it by your 30th birthday you’ll have to make sure your budget allows you to do so.  If that’s just not realistic you may need to push it a couple of years and change your goal to buying a house in your 30s instead of by the time you turn 30.

That’s how I did it.  I have been setting and failing at goals my entire life.  2015 is different because this year I set goals I actually want to achieve.  I have the income means to hit my savings goal, but now I just need the discipline to do so.

Keep your eye on the prize

I set up a separate savings account for my vacation goal and my savings goal.  I transfer money into them both regularly and check the account balances a few times a month.  It helps me stay motivated as well as keeps me on track towards my goals.

What really helps me stay focused is setting short term goals.  If I set my savings goal in January and never looked at the account again until December I would never know if I was on track or saving as much as I should be.  Checking in on my progress helps me make sure I am on target, if I’m not then I can adjust or make cuts to my spending as need be.

Reward yourself along the way

This has really helped me with my savings goal this year.  Setting goals, especially aggressive goals, can be a hinder on your budget and it probably means you’re cutting back on some of life’s little luxuries in order to meet your goal.  But that’s not fun, at least it’s not fun for me.

Every time you reach one of your short term goals it means you’re on the right track to achieving your bigger goal.  That’s the beauty of a financial plan.  So why not reward yourself for a job well done.

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2 Comments

  • Depending on the goal, I rewards myself. Nothing crazy and I set the limit of $20, so most of the time it is sushi, a red velvet cupcake or a sewing magazine. Giving myself a reward keeps me focused and helps me remember why I am pushing to achieve these goals.

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