Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.
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Sticking To Your Financial Goals

Often our financial goals are so big, that it can take months to see significant progress and years to accomplish them. Staying the course can be hard considering the number of obstacles and distractions you encounter along the way. Your goals are important; otherwise you would never have set them. Here are some tips for sticking to you financial goals, even when you feel like giving up.

Make sure you’ve set a realistic goal. Your current finances – your income and expenses – may not allow you to pay off all your debt in a year or fund a vacation to Europe. If you set a goal that’s impossible to reach, you’re far more likely to give up on it. Worse, you may not be willing to set another goal for fear of disappointment. When you create financial goals, base them on what you’re realistically able to contribute toward those goals.

Have a plan. Without a plan, you are far more likely to fail at reaching your goals. For everything you want to accomplish, you should have a clear plan on how you’re going to get there. If you’re going to pay off debt, how much are you going to pay each month? Which account are you going to pay off first? Or, if you’re building a retirement account, how much will you contribute? To which accounts? Will you participate in an employer’s retirement savings plan? Have clear steps for reaching your financial goals. If you’re not making the progress you expected, revisit your plan to be sure it’s adequate for reaching your goal.

Imagine yourself accomplishing your goal. When you feel discouraged, think about what life will be like once you’ve paid off your debt, built your emergency fund, or fully funded your retirement. Keep in mind that what you’re doing, the hard work you’re putting into meeting your goal, is so that you can enjoy life later. Continually remind yourself that you’re working toward something great and that it’s worth all the effort and sacrifice you’re putting in.

Work through distractions. There will be plenty of distractions on the road to your goals. People, things, wants, desires will all come along and tempt you. These things will seem far more gratifying because they’ll often provide immediate pleasure. You may want to give in, especially if it’s taking a long time to make real progress on your financial goals. You must recognize and fight these distractions. Ask yourself “What will I truly miss if I don’t spend money on X?” If you really dig, you may find that you’re not missing out on much at all.

Keep your goals in front of you. Forgetting about your goals and they’ll definitely not happen. Write your goals on a piece of paper and look at them often. Post it in your office or your room, somewhere that you’ll see it frequently. Keep your financial goals on your mind and you’re more likely to make decisions that will help you reach your goal.

Get a support system. Knowing that others also want you to meet your goals can help keep you motivated. Tell a few of your close friends and family members what you want to accomplish and why. You’re less likely to give up if you know that others are counting on you.

Life changes may slow you down from time to time. Don’t ditch your goal. Instead, revisit your plan, adjust the steps if necessary, but don’t forget what you want to accomplish and why. Stick to it, even if it takes a little longer than you initially planned.
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Monday, 21 October 2019

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