Setting goals can help you in so many areas of your life. You can set them to lose weight or to even finish a project. When setting your goals, you should always remember to include your financial ones as well.
Are you saving to make a large purchase? Perhaps you need to save money to go on a trip. These are goals. One huge goal that many overlook is getting out of debt. This is a huge financial goal. Without goals, you have no reason to stay on track. The thing my husband and I did when we worked our way out of debt was to hang a sign on our refrigerator door. It looked a little something like this:
Achieving our goal was truly life altering. I know that probably sounds a little dramatic, but it is the truth. Having been through bankruptcy myself to getting to this point was very moving. The reason it was for both my husband and I was because we did it without help. We scrimped. We cut back. We put every. single. extra. cent towards our debt. And you know what – it paid off in the end!
So, now that we have paid off our student loans, credit cards, home equity line of credit and vehicles, now what? Of course, we don’t stop setting goals. Instead, we redirect them. Our 2011 goals included (some of which have been met):
Having at least 8 months of income in the bank.DONE
Purchase new recliners for the family room.DONE
Funding retirement savings of at least 10% annually. IN PROGRESS
Funding our children’s college (based upon the amount we are choosing to contribute towards their secondary education). IN PROGRESS
Saving for trips for our family for 2012.
Paying down our mortgage.
As your financial picture changes, so do your goals. That means you have to choose new ones and then check in monthly to make sure that you are on track to actually achieve them. The other thing to remember is that not everyone has the same goals as they are not in the same financial situation. Set your goals based upon what works for you.
No matter your financial goals, I recommend hanging a sign somewhere you can see it. The key to really keeping a goal is to write it down. When you do that, you become accountable. And to take it further, when you post it where you see it daily, it keeps your eye on the prize. You don’t have to put on your refrigerator like we did. You can hang it on your bathroom mirror or any other place you know you will see it every single day. Just doing this can be the first step to achieving them.
As I mentioned above, there is nothing like reaching your goals. You smile a little brighter and even hold your head a little higher. Just shoot for the moon and you might be surprised where you land.
(This post is part of the Penny Pinchin’ Mom 2011 Debt Free Challenge).