Meeting Your Financial Goals…For Real

Guest post by: Danielle of Maxi Dress Mania. Find Maxi Dresses based on your body type.

Many of us resolve over and over again to get our spending habits in check, reduce our debt, or “save some money”.  But for some reason, these nebulous ambitions never materialize into quantifiable results.  The reason could be either that you are not setting attainable goals or that you are not taking the necessary steps to reach your goals (or both).  And if you’re experiencing monetary misfortunes, you may not have the extra cash on hand to hire a financial planner to help you out of the hole you’ve dug.  So here are a few simple steps you can take to set financial goals that you can actually implement and follow through on.

  • Set a definite, realistic goal. The idea behind this is twofold.  You want to define your objective in quantifiable terms, but also be realistic about what you are capable of.  You should be able to formulate a solid result such as “I will put a portion of every paycheck into a savings account that I won’t touch,” or “I want to pay off the balance on my credit card by the end of the year”.
  • Make a plan and work it into your budget. If you want to build up a savings account, look at your expenses and see what you can afford.  Most people will find that they can easily spare $50 per paycheck if they are willing to cut down on extras like eating out.  It doesn’t seem like a lot, but at the end of the year, your savings account will have $1,200 plus interest, and that’s nothing to sneeze at.  It could mean a family trip for the holidays next year (or at least avoiding the black hole of spending that the holidays seem to foster).  And if your aim is to pay off a debt, the same tactic applies.  Like any budget, you’ll need to make cuts, but when you come out ahead on your bills, you’ll be glad you tightened your belt.
  • Avoid the grass on the other side. Sure it looks greener, but who’s to say it’s not just Astroturf?  We’ve all been guilty of keeping up with the Joneses, but when money is tight, you need to base your financial decisions on what you can afford, not what the other guy has going on.  For all you know, he’s in way worse trouble than you, so set a good example and tend to your own business.
  • Finally, don’t sweat the small stuff. You’re going to fall off the wagon.  It happens to the best of us.  But don’t let it stop you from reaching your goals!  You’re probably trying to reverse a lifetime of bad spending habits, so see a temporary setback for what it is…temporary.  If you stick to the program, you’re going to get the results you desire.