How to Set the Right Financial Goals for You
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A new year is coming and with it, dozens of posts about saving money in 2015 and creating amazing New Year’s resolutions. The thing is, people hardly keep their New Year’s resolutions (unless you’re awesome like John, who rocked his resolutions this year!)
However, I want to change that. I want everyone to keep their resolutions next year, especially their financial goals. It can be hard, I know, because life intervenes and the unexpected tends to happen and derail your financial plans. However, a lot of that can be avoided if you simply set the right goals for you. How do you do that? Great question. Below are some tips to help you out.
1. Be Realistic with Your Financial goals
Yes, it’s important to shoot for the stars, and I do believe that most things are possible when it comes to our personal and professional goals. However, I find that people make their goals way too big too fast. Instead, it’s important to have small, incremental goals to build your way to the ultimate one.
For example, don’t set a goal to save $20,000 next year if you only make $30,000. Sure, it’s not impossible, as many people have proven they can live on very little. However, if you’re new to saving aggressively or new to budgeting, you should probably start slow, like taking things one month at a time.
2. Know Yourself
It’s very, very hard to change who you are. You can make little tweaks here and there, but innately you are who you are. So, when it comes to setting financial goals, know yourself. If you’re really good at saving and you know that you can make it the whole year without eating out, that’s awesome for you. However, that would never work in my house. A better goal for me would be to try to only eat out or order food once a month. That would be a challenge, but very reachable with the right motivation. Basically, know yourself and your limits so that you can successfully reach your goals.
3. Check in Regularly
Financial goals are only possible if you regularly monitor them. It’s not enough to say you want to save more or invest more this year and simply automate it. Now, I’m a fan of automating but I always go back and check at the end of the month to make sure everything is as it should be. Stay involved with your goals and your money choices. As the saying goes, no one cares more about your money than you do. To add to that I would say, no one cares more about setting the right financial goals next year than you do.
Honestly, the best thing about a fresh, new year is that it really is a blank slate. I only had one goal this year, which I wrote about recently, and that was simply to maintain what I had financially.
Next year, though, it’s game on. I hope to save much more money than I did this year because we have the very large expense of residency applications for my husband. He’s finally entering in his 5th and final year of medical school next year and with that comes $10,000 worth of applications, interviews, flights, and hotel rooms so that he can hopefully match into a residency spot.
So, that’s my big goal for this upcoming year. What’s yours? How do you set financial goals that are a good fit for you? How did you do on your goals for this year?