Sunday, Jun 26

Setting financial goals, following through Discipline

Setting financial goals is often a smart choice and can be very rewarding when reached or attained. When one sets a financial goal, one is able to define what he or she wants and develops a plan for achieving it. Instead of wandering purposelessly, one would have something to strive for and a clear path for getting there.

The set goals need to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time bound. Some financial goals one might set as an individual includes saving for a comfortable retirement, saving to send your children to the university, or managing your finances to enable a home purchase.

Financial goal setting is important to realizing the big vision one has for life. The dreams and desires one has is usually only achievable, if one has the financial discipline to make it happen. And having that capacity means creating a roadmap of how one will get there, hence, the importance of goals setting.

Some few steps one can take now to help reach his or her financial goals and become wealthy include

Realize your core values

Reaching one’s financial goals starts with one’s core values.  In order to find true financial success, one must do well in all areas of life and determine what it is that he or she believes in and stands for. Core values underpin and guide our decision making and behaviours and decisions made in life are often based on our values.

One’s values therefore lies at the very core of everything one is as a human being. The virtues and qualities one stands for, constitutes the person one has become and continue growing into. All improvement in one’s life including financial improvement begins with one clarifying his or her true values, committing oneself to living consistently with them and aligning everything one does with them.

When one aligns his or her work and personal life to support his or her financial goals, one will find it much easier to reach them or any goals set.

Align goals with values

Aligning one’s goals with his or her values helps one to become a living magnet. This means his or her thoughts create a force field of energy that radiates out from him or her and attracts back into his or her life, the people and circumstances that are in harmony with those thoughts.

Most people that have achieved financial independence and become wealthy had the idea of wealth and success in their mind long and hard enough which drew into their lives the resources needed to ensure their success. The main objective therefore is to keep one’s mind fixed on improving his or her personal finances and achieving financial independence.

 Assign a Priority to Each Goal

One probably must have a long list of goals, and it would be nearly impossible to tackle them all at once. To start, one must choose the short- and long-term goals that are most important now and focus on them.

Prioritizing all of one’s goals helps to direct the right amount of money to each of them, including the one that seems so out of reach.

If one is saving to send the kids to the university without any debt, and his or her unfeasible goal is paying off a home, one might be surprised by the idea of placing a lower priority on the university. Between the two, one’s contributions will be the only way his or her home will be paid off sooner than its 15-, 20-, or 30-year note. Kids can take out student loans. Although not ideal, they will have another option -- you don't!

Consider each of the goals carefully to determine which options are available have for each. Tackle the biggest ones first. The unattainable goal might not have the highest priority, but chances are one can rearrange his or her current budget to direct money there. But don’t give up on goals that don’t make the priority list. After one has achieved some of the prioritized goals, he or she may be able to get started on them.

 Think big but start small

Also when it comes to setting financial goals, one must think big but start small from wherever he or she is. High achievers always set challenging goals and continue to work towards them in everything they do. Self-made millionaires all started with a dream and one of their secrets is dreaming big.

To reach one’s financial goals, one can practice back from the future thinking. This involves imagining the kind of life one wants to be living in the future. For instance, imagine that five years have passed and life is now perfect in every respect. What does it look like? What are you doing? Where are you working? How much money are you earning? How much do you have in the bank? What kind of a lifestyle do you have?

One then makes a list of the logical steps, in the order that will get from where he or she is now, to where he or she wants to be. Subsequently, figure out what big or small action you can take today to propel you.

 Accept that financial goals are long term strategies

Many people fail to realize that financial goals are for the long term. They instead go through their days and their money trusting they would get lucky and somehow become wealthy.

People buy lottery tickets, gamble and think about enjoying quick and huge profits in the stock market. The fact, however, is that financial success is a long term money so one should give himself or herself time to plan it out.

Those with financial freedom are patient, persistent and far sighted. They discipline themselves to save and accumulate money over many years. As a result of this habit, their wealth grows annually and they usually surpass their financial goals sooner than expected and keep going.

 Commit Now to Living beneath Your Means for the Rest of Your Life

Living beneath one’s means will provide most of the spare cash one will need in order to accomplish his or her goals. Learning to live beneath one’s means is one of the central costs of learning how to become financially independent.

This involves probably having to cut out every expense in one’s budget that is not absolutely necessary, and even do what one can to reduce those that are.

It could include passing of the annual family vacation, driving a car for years after paying off a car loan and buying clothing in second-hand stores while everyone else you know shops at the mall.

That's just a short list of the sacrifices one will have to make. But in making them, one will be clearing money in his or her budget to build savings, to get out of debt, and to invest for the future.

 Always Save Money no Matter Your Income

Don't be one of those people who says "I'll start saving money when..." The problem with telling yourself that is "when" never comes.

One should always save money despite what is happening. That's one of the very best strategies to make sure one is always moving forward.

If one doesn’t have enough room in his or her budget to save money now, then the answer is to increase one’s income, lower his or her expenses, or both. One should also keep himself or herself accountable by reviewing his or her budget monthly. This keeps you on track to reaching financial goals.

Just writing down the goals will help one start the process. Also, reviewing them regularly and having honest conversations about where one is financially will determine one’s success or failure in reaching his or her financial goals.

Stay Out of Debt

It's difficult to attain financial goals when one owes money to banks or other people. One important goal one should set is getting out of debt as soon as possible.

Create a timeline for getting out of debt because there is no overnight solution to the current debt problems.  The timeline however points one in the right direction.

Once you get out of debt in any category, stay out and make sure to never come back. There is no such thing as "good debt" when one is trying to reach his or her financial goals.

 Expect the best

When setting financial goals, expect the best. The law of expectations says that whatever one expects with confidence, whether positive or negative, becomes the reality.

Don't worry about failure as it breeds negativity. If you confidently expect to become wealthy, hold on to that belief and act like your financial success is inevitable. One will eventually achieve that goal.

Successful people who become rich expect to succeed in advance. The wonderful truth about expectations is that, they are completely under your control. You decide for yourself if you want to become rich and how you're going to get there. The more you think about financial independence, the more you base your decisions on time and money.

Reaching financial goals isn't easy hence a detailed plan is needed as well as a commitment to stick to it. This list serves as a guide, and can be modified to fit anyone’s circumstances. Attaining your financial goals is possible, as long as you don't give up.

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