Setting Your 2020 Financial Goals!
"Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver" – Ayn Rand.
It’s a new year, time to set some new financial goals!
The best way to start is to just write down all your goals, no matter how big or small. What matters to you? Is it making a budget and sticking to it? Paying off that credit card? Saving an emergency fund for those unexpected events? Simply living below your means?
Once you have your list you need to decide if they are short, medium or long-term goals. Short term goals are those that can be achieved in the next 1-2 years, like saving for an emergency fund. You can expect to achieve any medium-term goals in a 3-10 year time period. Long term goals are those that won’t be reached any earlier than 30 years, think your mortgage.
Next you need to think of what things you can do to help you achieve your goals. These might include saving money, reducing expenses, earning extra income. Decide what option or combination of options will best help you reach your goals.
Applying the SMART goal strategy can help you create a clear plan of what you need to do and how you will achieve it.
S – Specific; state exactly what you want to accomplish and why. What are the potential limitations you may encounter.
M – Measurable; Use smaller, mini goals to measure your progress. Breaking your goal down into smaller milestones helps you track your progress and see whether or not you are on track.
A – Achievable; Make your goals reasonable. Can you really achieve the goal within the limits of your lifestyle (i.e. time available, budget, work commitments).
R – Realistic; Set a goal that is relevant to your life. Does it fit in with other larger goals you wish to achieve.
T – Timely; Give yourself time, but set a deadline. A goal with no end date allows for you to keep putting off your progress.