When it comes to the many things you want to invest in or buy, everyone has some sort of ‘wish list.’ It can range from a new TV, a new smartphone or tablet, or even a new car. Whatever your wish list might include, if you don’t have the money or the budget for it, you’re going to have to set serious financial goals to make it happen. Creating a list of goals and how you plan to achieve them is a great start, but the key is to remain disciplined and keep your eye on the prize, so to speak.
Here’s how you can get started on building these goals and making them work:
- What are your goals? As you begin your goal-setting journey, first you must consider what it is you’d like to purchase. Don’t focus on cost right away – address what you’re looking to buy when you’ve completed your plan. It doesn’t even have to be a tangible item like a computer or new furniture – it can include building up your savings account, paying off credit card debt or student loans, home renovations, and much more. Then you’ll want to decide on the time frame in which you’d like to achieve these financial goals.
- What kind of timeline are you considering? As they say, time is of the essence, and developing a realistic time frame is an essential element when it comes to your financial goals. If you have an idea of when you want to reach these goals, you can budget better and decide how much to save each month. Using a savings calculator will help you determine whether you need a short-term, mid-term, or long-term savings plan, based on your income and necessary monthly expenditures.
- Stay realistic about how much you’re able to save. It’s not uncommon to have that burning desire to quickly get what you want; instant gratification can be both comforting and dangerous, and when it comes to saving money for something more expensive, you don’t want to rush it if you can’t currently afford it. If you take your income and subtract your monthly expenses (rent/mortgage, utilities, groceries, et al), you’ll have an idea of how much you can comfortably save every month without causing harm to your checking accounts. Consider making small cuts to your spending – eschew your daily latte, cook at home more often, search for coupons and deals while grocery shopping. Every little bit can help.