Set Some Goals- If You Fail to Plan, You’re Planning to Fail
When making plans to improve your finances, you will need to set some goals. Don’t worry if you think things in your life may change; you can adjust your goals later if you need to. Having some sort of goals, even temporary ones, will help you build your financial strategy.
Financial goals vary from person to person, of course. Some common goals are saving for retirement, paying down debt, saving for a child’s education, and buying a home. You’ll need to decide what your personal goals are, and work from there.
Sometimes, goals can seem elusive. If you’re having trouble working out what your financial goals should be, or if you aren’t sure the goals you’ve set are realistic, you can use the SMART goal method. A SMART goal is one that is:
- Specific- The goal is clear-cut.
- Measurable- You can measure your progress as you work towards your goal.
- Attainable- The goal is one that you can actually reach.
- Realistic- You need to set goals that are practical for your situation.
- Timely- You should have a timeline for working towards and achieving the goal.
If this all seems overwhelming, you can choose one goal to start with. I decided that in my personal situation, my number one financial goal should be getting out of debt. After all, it’s hard to think about saving and investing when you have to send off a chunk your hard-earned money to creditors every month! Your situation may be different- maybe you have little to no debt, but you’d really love to buy a house yourself and your family. Whatever you hope to achieve financially, setting goals will help you set a clear path to get there.