Everyone has financial goals. It just so happens that not all of us achieve them. And it’s easy to see why. For some of us, life throws us curveballs and it derails us from our path towards long-term financial prosperity. And for a number of us, not having a plan to achieve our financial goals will ensure you fail instead of succeeding. So, how does one succeed in meeting his/her money goals? We’ve got some simple steps for you to follow.
1. Know where you are
Before you even embark on your journey to financial prosperity, you need to know where you stand. Financially, that is. How much money do you have in the bank? How much debt do you have? Do you have investments? What’s your credit history? Create a spreadsheet detailing all the relevant information to let you know what your current financial condition is.
2. Set your goals
Of course, you already have goals. But if you really want to achieve a goal, you have to be more specific about it. For example, you want to get out of debt. Which debt do you want to focus on first? You might want to get rid of the debt with the highest interest first. If so, you’ll need to explicitly state that crossing out that particular debt worth X amount of money is your goal. If you have student loans that need paying off, maybe your goal would be to find alternative financing that would allow you to pay off all your loans at a lower interest rate.
With these kinds of goals, it’s much easier to keep track of your progress. And you’re 10 times more likely to succeed compared to someone who only has a vague idea of what they’d like to accomplish.
3. Create a budget
If you plan on saving money or paying off a debt, you’ll need to keep track of where your money is going. You can easily do this by creating a budget. Look at what you’re spending on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Find out whether you’re spending wisely or willy-nilly. Maybe you’re paying for a membership that you thought you had cancelled. Or you’re spending too much money on eating out. With a spending plan (a.k.a. budget), you can make sure that your expenses do not prevent you from achieving your goals.
4. Develop good financial habits
Do you spend money on stuff you want but do not need? How often do you pay your bills on time? Do you follow your budget or do you tend to go overbudget? If you have bad financial habits, you’ll need to start finding ways on how to change them and add some good ones. For example, if you tend to spend money on things you don’t need, maybe you can stick to paying cash for all your stuff. This way, you don’t overspend and create more debt instead of eliminating it. If you have trouble saving money to pay off debts, you can set up automatic savings so you’ll have money set aside for payments. You can also set autopay for your bills if you often pay your bills late.