FINANCIAL GOALS: SETTING AND ACHIEVING
Growing up I only knew two things about money, you’ve got to work for it and spend it. I have heard of a certain quote about money: “Money can’t buy happiness.” It becomes a debate to others.
In a conversation, money is an awkward issue. Talking about how much you earn, how much you save, and whether you have invested your savings can be an insult and tends to be offensive to others. Money is like a taboo. A personal issue. Even the married couple have difficulty when communicating towards income, savings, and expenses. Most of the misunderstandings in a relationship are about money. In this aspect, yes, money can’t buy happiness. But when you think about other scenarios: a breadwinner loses his job, a family member had been diagnosed with a chronic disease that needs maintenance medication, or a housewife had an accident. Money can buy their happiness. And that happiness is an additional life to live or a chance to find another job or business opportunity.
By definition, financial goal is an objective which is expressed in or based upon money. It could be a reduction of debt, wealth in retirement, emergency funds, a new home, or a travel fund. Whatever it is, the important thing is determining whether it’s a short-term, mid-term or a long-term goal. Most importantly, it should be time-bounded and realistic.
Now the question remains, how to set a financial goal and achieve it? There are tons of articles teaching us how to set financial goals. But again, what I’d like to stress here is that setting a financial goal is easy, the toughest part is achieving it. Because one needs to be dedicated, committed and motivated.
1. Determine your financial goal. Again, what is your short-term, mid-term or long-term goals are?
2. From there, create a detailed but a flexible plan on how will you achieve it. Are you going to find another source of income to fund those goals? Is the timeframe you set realistic and time-bounded?
3. Get organized. Organization is the key. Organized your financial documents and of course your time. The bills, utilities, loans and debts that you have to pay - organize them in an envelope. When they are due and how much is due every month. So that you have a view each month on how much you are going to set aside for those things.
4. Keep track of your expenses. This way you would know where your money goes. If you prefer the traditional way of tracking down expenses, you could use a pen and a paper. If you are more digital then you can make a worksheet for that. I found a free downloadable template from Just a Girl and Her Blog that you could use. Or if you prefer tracking your expenses by a mobile app, there’s Mint, Dollarbird, Good budget, Level money, Penny App, Walla.by, and wally.me. There are plenty you could choose from that could suit your preferences.
5. Make your savings simple. Save first before you spend. Whatever is left of your money from savings, that’s what you’ll be spending. Or if you prefer categorizing your monthly income, that’s alright. The only thing you should keep in mind is to save. Save more and spend less.
This might be difficult at the beginning but if you make this a habit, then it’ll be an easy-peasy. Always remember your end goal - to be financially free and wise.
Do you track your monthly expenses? How do you do it? Does this article help you? If so, comment how is it helpful and how is it not.