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With hard work and discipline, you can achieve simple financial goals. Goals can be based on a short term or long term time frame; however, I believe giving yourself a good year makes sense for a variety of financial goals.
You cannot always see a big difference in financial goals when you only allow yourself one, two, or three months.
A year normally allows people to save money for a vacation, Christmas spending, paying down a loan or credit card, and much more.
Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor, conducted a study that found people are 42% more likely to achieve goals by writing them down daily.
Therefore, just like any other goal it is beneficial to write down financial goals too.
Allowing yourself to set realistic financial goals sets you up for success!
Adjust and Evaluate Your Budget
If you don’t know where your monthly budget sits right now then download my free PDF below. Once you have determined your monthly financial situation, adjust your budget to achieve your goals.
For instance, if you have extra money at the end of each month choose to create an emergency fund, set it aside in a vacation fund, or increase your IRA contribution.
If you are in the red as I like to say or a negative amount at the end of each month choose to create another stream of income.
Other streams of income can be from a side hustle, starting a business, or looking for a weekend job.
When you automate your bills you guarantee your bills are paid on time and you can keep track of your budget easily.
Automating bills saves time every month and the headache of remembering when they are due. In addition, some companies will give discounts by placing payments on auto deduction.
Create a Financial Vision Board
Vision boards are not for everyone, but just like writing down goals every day a vision board helps to develop a clear picture on what you actually want to achieve in your financial goal.
Think of a vision board as an art project. Gather a poster board or corkboard, magazines, newspapers, scissors, and glue, or thumbtacks.
A financial vision board starts with your financial goal. The images you cut out of magazines and newspapers should reflect the specific goal you are attempting to accomplish.
The vision board should adjust as your vision makes progress just like your monthly budget changes so does your financial goal.
Create More Income
It feels like every financial goal and outcome has to do with creating more income. Unfortunately creating more income gets us the savings we need to feel safe in our financial space while working to achieve goals.
There are various ways to create and earn more income like creating a side hustle, getting a second job, making more money in the job you have, investing, and starting a small business.
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It’s important to set money aside for emergencies so goals can become a reality. When a large appliance, medical fee, or job loss happens it’s beneficial to have money to cover costs.
Many events in life are unpredictable so why not allow yourself to stay on financial track by having an emergency fund.
The idea is not to skip a beat when reaching a financial goal.
Invest In Yourself
As I said before earning additional income gets us to a place in our lives where we can feel safe in accomplishing our financial goals.
Have you ever heard the quote by Albert Einstein? “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
Therefore, investing in yourself is the first step. Make changes that allow you to learn a new skill or make more money in your profession.
Lots of people start new side gigs while holding down a full-time job. Michelle Schroeder-Gardner from Making Sense of Cents became a millionaire from her blog and courses. One of the courses she created was Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
Paying off debt can seem difficult and a long drawn-out process, but the reality is debt keeps us tied down.
It is difficult to payoff debt when you are stuck in the cycle of making minimum payments every month.
By gradually paying off debt you have extra money for savings, traveling, investments, and more.
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Review Your Credit Score
Raising your credit score assists with achieving financial goals like buying a house or a car.
Increasing a low credit score can take time just like reducing debt. The first step is checking your credit. You can get a free report at Annual Credit Report or Credit Karma.
When you retrieve your credit report you can determine what’s affecting your credit score. Companies like Credit Karma give suggestions on how to improve your credit score.
Reduce Unnecessary Expenses
Another way to achieve financial goals for the year is to reduce unnecessary expenses. Daily or weekly purchases, unused memberships, and unwarranted upgrades can help prevent debt.
Sign up for local rewards in your community to receive discounts on coffee, food, and fuel.
It will be easier to identify which expenses are unnecessary by filling out your Monthly Household Budget and checking your credit as we previously discussed.
Just like an emergency fund it is also important to have a saving account. Pay yourself first by setting up an auto deduction from your pay or another account where you have funds being deposited.
When your savings account grows you can ask your bank or credit union to help you place the funds into a high-yield savings, CD, or money market account.