If you’re wondering exactly how you’re going to finally purchase a home someday, or retire comfortably, and you’re worried that you might not ever be able to do it, it’s probably time for you to set some financial goals.
Trying to figure out how to handle your personal finances can be a bit stress inducing, no question, but the fact is that ignoring your personal finances is about as risky a thing as you can do these days, especially when the economy simply isn’t what it used to be and the job market as well. Setting goals to meet and, if possible, exceed your financial needs is one of the most important tasks that you will need to accomplish as an adult, and so below we’ve put together a number of tips and bits of advice on how to start setting, and achieving, those goals. Enjoy.
First, you simply have to be realistic as well as prioritize your goals. Yes, “setting financial goals” is on your “to do” list but, seriously, you really should be setting some time aside at least once a month, if not once a week, to not only plan but manage those goals. Simply put, if it’s on your calendar or a reminder that you see every day, there’s less chance that you’ll forget about it and instead prioritize it over any other activities or tasks you might have.
Of course taking the time to manage your financial goals, while all good and well, doesn’t do anything unless you actually set some goals and reach them. You should definitely start small with goals that are realistic and “actionable”, which means that you can take action on making them happen. Setting goals that you can achieve using your current budget will obviously help you to reach those goals, and meeting them will not only help you reach future financial successes like purchasing a house and retiring comfortably, but give you a real feeling of accomplishment along the way they can help you to achieve bigger and better financial goals as well.
Once you’ve gotten started the next thing to do is simply to track your progress, something that might seem a bit difficult but, in the end, can make a huge difference in reaching your goals and achieving the lifestyle that you want. Frankly, the difference that tracking makes can be huge and help you to retire comfortably rather than having to work in a low-paying, thankless job as a senior citizen.
That means setting up a budget and tracking what you spend, what you save and your progress towards any goals that you have. If this means putting aside $500,000 in a retirement account, saving $25,000 to put down on a house or simply saving enough money to pay cash for this year’s vacation, tracking those goals is the best way to meet them. There are many different budget tracking programs you can find online, and budget tracking apps that you can use on your smartphone.
Lastly, realize that you might need some financial help and advice along the way and don’t be too full of pride to ask for it. First, there are a plethora of online tools these days that can help you to not only set up but manage your budget and set savings goals for yourself. Monitoring your credit is an excellent idea as well in order to improve your credit habits and make sure that you don’t go too far into debt. Also, if you have high credit you’re going to get lower interest rates when you apply for a mortgage or any other type of loan, something that can help you save quite a bit of money over the lifetime of that loan.
Asking a professional financial advisor for help is a good idea as well, once you put aside a substantial amount of money. In fact, even before you have a substantial amount of money you should probably ask for help so that you know exactly how to get there.
In closing let us give you one simple bit of advice; the best way to accomplish your long-term goals is to accomplish short-term goals along the way.