2016 is knocking on the door. When you answer, what will you say? “Hello, goals! Be prepared to be achieved this year!” or “Hello, dreams. I’m going to watch you in the distance and keep you slightly out of reach.” Of course you want to achieve your financial dreams! Will you make it happen? It’s going to take commitment and changes, but your dreams are worth it because you are worth it! Get started right away with these five tips to achieve your financial dreams.
- Create realistic goals! This is very important. To be a dreamer that becomes an achiever, you need to write down your goals. Think SMART. To put your dreams into goal format, you need to be:
Specific– What exactly are you working toward?
Measurable– Where are you in your goal versus where you want to be?
Adjustable– How will you overcome an obstacle?
Realistic– What commitments work with your lifestyle?
Timely– When will you reach your goal?
- Create a spending plan! Fit your financial goals into a spending plan. Include all of your income and expenses. This gives you an opportunity to take control over your money and spending rather than having it control you.
- Reduce unwanted expenses! Track your spending habits for two weeks. Ask yourself what items you purchased weren’t necessary. Think about how much money you spent on items that weren’t of personal value to you and where you would rather spend your hard earned dollars.
- Start saving! Set up automatic savings transfer from your paycheck into your retirement account, emergency savings account, or goal-getter savings account (where you’re saving toward your goals—vacation, car, or other goals). When it’s automatic, you won’t have to worry about forgetting to transfer the money yourself. Even if you can only save $20 per paycheck, that’s $520 saved per year which is less than eating out for two people once per paycheck. Think about what that could do with $520.
- Ditch the credit card debt! Stop carrying credit cards with you, and use your credit card for true emergencies only. Decide on a system to pay off credit card debt, such as the Debt Snowball
By using these five tips, you will be on the path to success. When you open the door, you’ll be telling yourself that your dreams will become reality and that they are well within reach. It’s going to take work, but you are making a commitment to yourself to make 2016 your year. You are deciding that you are worth it! Happy New Year, Achiever!
By Meghan Northcutt, AFC® Candidate, FFC Candidate