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Having financial goals and a five or ten-year plan is a great start to reaching success. Simply telling yourself you want to have a certain amount of money in the bank by a specific date or saying you have financial goals isn’t enough, however. You need to know how to set financial goals and how to reach financial goals.
It’s also important to have long-term financial goals and not just a number to reach by the end of the month or year. What does your future look like? How can you ensure you give yourself the future you want?
In the guide below, you’ll learn how to meet financial goals and how to start financial planning as well. If you’re ready to change your spending habits and find financial success, then continue reading below. Here’s everything you need to know!
1. Define Your Goals
Before you can reach long-term goals, you first need to define them. Defining your goals is much more than stating what they are. When you define your goals, you need to make a plan.
This could be listing your goals, deciding how you’ll stay on the right path to meet them, preparing a tax strategy, and more. Do make sure they’re achievable or realistic. You need to take into consideration your current income and what’s realistic based on it.
Then, you need to make your goals clear and specific. For example, a goal to “have more money in a savings account” is great, but when you specify it, and say, “have $300 dollars put in savings each month to reach a long-term goal of x by this date,” is even better!
You also want your goals to be something you can measure. Give yourself a deadline to reach your goal by. This makes it measurable.
2. Make a Realistic Timeline
Planning for the long term means planning for the short term as well. When you create a timeline, be sure to make it realistic, and give yourself a path to follow that’ll keep you on track. Before you can meet your long-term goals, know what your short-term goals are that’ll lead you in the right direction.
Your short-term goals can range anywhere between a few months to several years. Then, there are your long-term goals. These goals are about 7 years away or further.
Your long-term goals should be your biggest ones, or the most important ones. Put it in writing when you want to reach each goal by, and how you’ll ensure you do so. Having a clear and realistic timeline is the best way to stay on track!
3. Start Saving
Now that you have your goals and timeline defined, it’s time to start saving! If you have financial goals you want to reach, then saving is key. How can you start saving money today?
If your income doesn’t allow you to put money aside each check, then what can you do to make more money? Having multiple sources of income is ideal even for those who don’t need it. Working multiple jobs isn’t the only way to make extra money.
Think about your favorite hobbies. Is there a way to make money from them? For example, if you love to crochet, then consider crocheting baby outfits and selling them or crocheting other items. There are many ways you can transform your hobby into a side hustle and use the money to start your savings account.
4. Consider Multiple Investments
Aside from multiple sources of income, you should look into multiple investments as well. You want to look into investing in liquid and static investments. Because this can get a bit confusing, there are financial advisors who can help you.
Schedule an appointment with an advisor and discuss all of your investment options with them. This is something you want to do ahead of time because you might not be able to invest right away. For example, some IRA accounts require you to have a certain amount of money before opening them.
Gather all the information you need so you can prepare.
5. Clear Your Debt
Before you can build a savings or plan for a better financial future, you need to first clear all debt. If you have any debt lingering about, start there. Do what you can to pay off credit cards, lenders, or collection agencies.
This will also boost your credit. Once you’ve paid off your debt and your credit is good, you’ll then have more opportunities to invest and reach your goals.
6. Cut Spending Costs
Sometimes, it’s not debt that’s holding someone back from financial success. In some instances, it’s bad spending habits. If you’re not already tracking how you spend money, start doing so.
Once you know where your money’s going each paycheck, you can then figure out where to cut spending costs. Bills are top priority, but are there some bills that aren’t necessary, such as cable or memberships you don’t use? Are you eating out more than you need to?
Where can you make these cuts? Make a list of priorities and then cut spending costs where you can.
7. Monitor Your Progress
Don’t forget to keep tabs on your progress too. Monitor how well you’re sticking to your goals. Each time you meet a new milestone, be sure to treat yourself!
If you see yourself not reaching your short-term goals, then make the necessary changes to ensure you do. Come up with new ways to track your progress as well. There are apps you can download that’ll help you stay on track.
You can also consider keeping tabs on a whiteboard or chalkboard. Find what works best for you!
Are You Ready to Meet Your Long-Term Financial Goals?
Do you have long-term financial goals you want to reach by a certain date? Are you ready to meet those goals? You can do so by following the helpful tips and advice listed here in this guide.
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