By Brentt Taylor
Everybody sets financial goals. From the wealthy Fortune 500 CEO to the homeless beggar on the street, having goals when it comes to money is ubiquitous, because quite simply, money is an important part of our lives.
Whether your ambition is to retire a millionaire, or to put your children through college, or make enough money to pay the bills this month, your financial goals help drive you and define you.
Just like how all financial goals are not alike, so are the perspectives and mindsets when setting and reaching these goals. The three most important questions you should ask yourself in order to gain a perspective on your financial goal-planning are:
– For whom am I planning for?
– Why am I setting these goals?
– How will I achieve these goals?
If you can answer these three questions adequately, you’re well on your way to successful goal-setting. If not, you should take a moment to consider these queries so that your goal-planning can be more effective. With the right perspective, you can make sure you have the correct mindset in setting your goals and can recognize the advantages and potential pitfalls you face when setting these goals.
Why Should I Set Financial Goals?
Doing financial goal-planning so that you have a brighter future is the easiest motivator. After all, no one wants to be worse-off financially in the future and no one plans to be in more debt or poorer after a few years.
Do it for Future You. You can avoid long-term struggles if you take just a little bit of time now to plan and prepare. For example, paying the small price of monthly health insurance plans could help you steer clear of huge medical bills in the future that could burden your savings and earnings for years. Exercising, eating well, and maintaining a fit body all take time now but are long-term investments to help ward off costly conditions and diseases like obesity and diabetes.
Do other people count on you? Planning so their lives are better is another excellent motivator. Setting and meeting financial goals is a selfless act if you need money to pay for your child’s college tuition or to help take care of an elderly relative.
Do’s and Don’ts of Goal-Setting
DO: Support others and let others support you.
DON’T: Let your past failings bog you down.
DO: Celebrate meeting your goals and remember what and whom you are thankful for.
DON’T: Let others dictate what goals you set or don’t set.
DO: Be flexible in your paths toward your big goals. Life is unpredictable!
DON’T: Downplay the importance of smaller goals. They are just as important as the big ones.
Tips to Making and Meeting Financial Goals
– Use Reinforcement: A large portion of successful money management and personal finance is psychological. Most people understand the importance of money management but lack the discipline. Use reinforcement as a constant reminder to navigate your road to financial freedom. Reward yourself after you meet smaller, short-term goals that you set. Place notes around the home or around work to help keep your spirits up and your goals on your mind.
– Develop a Routine: Aristotle once said, “Excellence is not an act, but a habit.” Make a habit of meeting and working toward your financial goals. Meeting one goal but failing to meet many others shouldn’t be cause for celebration. Lay out the small steps you need to perform in order to work toward your objectives and then do them often and consistently. Try not to miss a single step. If you develop a routine, each subsequent step will be that much easier.
– Share Your Goals: Don’t keep your goals to yourself. Share them with your spouse, your children, your family, you friends, and your coworkers. Verbalizing your goals to someone else makes your goals much more concrete than just saying them to yourself. Your friends and family will also be able to check up on you and help to motivate and reward you as you work your way up the rungs of the goal ladder.
Brentt Taylor is a 23-year old freelance writer with a focus on health, wellness and personal finance. He mostly spends his time on writing blog posts and editorials or do web content writing for different health and finance websites. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.