The process of becoming financially secure requires that you set short-term, mid-term, and long-term financial goals. You need to work towards something specific so that you can avoid unnecessary expenditure. It puts you at a disadvantage when unexpected bills arise, and you may end up being stuck in a vicious cycle credit card debt.
Below are a few steps on how to set financial goals as recommended by financial experts.
Have Your Financial Goals Written
When you write your financial goals down, you always remember them. Writing acts as motivation so that you can work towards achieving what you have in writing. You can also stick them anywhere you can see them, be it inside your car, on the bathroom mirror, in the hallway. With your goals where you can see them, you always remind yourself about them, keeping you focused.
Have Specific Financial Goals
When setting your financial goals, make sure they are as specific as possible. Avoid making ambiguous goals that will not give you any direction. Your financial goals need to provide you with guidance so that you work with a clear target. Unclear targets leave room for laxity, and you can settle for anything. For instance, there is a difference between someone who says, “I want to be better with money this year,” and someone who says, “My target is to pay off $500 of my debt this month.” The latter has a clear goal in which they will work to achieve.
Make Your Goals Measurable
Measurability gives you a clear picture of the progress line. With measurable goals, you can track every step as you work towards achieving your goals. You can also break them into bite-size units to keep yourself motivated as you work on each micro plan. For instance, if you set out to pay $12000 of your debt within one year, you know that you need to pay $1000 every month, or $231 every week. Ideally, measurability makes it possible for you to break the goal into smaller units, making it appear like a lighter load.
Set a Deadline
Being time-sensitive keeps you on track. With specific, measurable goals, you can set a deadline for yourself to work with the deadline in mind. Like author Benny Lewis says, “There are seven days in a week, and ‘someday’ is not one of them.” A deadline will act as motivation because you would not want to disappoint yourself.
Make Sure Your Goals are Your Own Goals
When setting your goals, always remind yourself that you are not in competition with anyone. You may feel like you need to be doing what someone else is doing, but everyone has their own financial journey. Focusing on your own goals will keep you disciplined, and you will work with what you can achieve. You are setting the goals for yourself and not someone else.
Financial goals will make you intentional with every dollar you have, changing your mindset, habits, and life. You will work towards getting better and plan for things you intend to do in the future.