Are you on track to reach your financial goals? Sometimes it can be challenging staying on course without ways to monitor your progress. If you feel that your financial goals are slipping or you need to refocus, use these tips to get back on track.
1 – Reevaluate your goals
At some point in your life, you created short-term and long-term goals to work towards and achieve. Those goals may have been necessary to you at the time, but as life progresses, you may find that needs have changed. There is no need to start completely over. Instead, begin by reevaluating each goal to ensure they align with what you want for the future. Work out why these goals are important to you and decide which goals should and can be achieved short-term and those that will take longer to accomplish.
2 – Be clear about your goals
After reevaluating and organizing your financial goals, it is helpful to be clear about your goals by defining each and formulating a plan of how you’re going to get there. For example, if one of your long-term financial goals is to buy a home, consider how much you will need for a down payment, how long will it take for you to save for that down payment, and how much of your income can you put into this savings each month. If planning out a long-term goal is too challenging at the time, break down the goal into smaller goals, such as saving the down payment, to make the long-term goal more achievable. Treat yourself to an inexpensive celebration after you’ve achieved each goal.
3 – Create a vision board
Some individuals are driven more by visualizing their future than writing down their goals. If this is the case, creating a vision board can help you stay motivated. A vision board can serve as a reminder of where you are heading and what you are trying to achieve. For example, one of your long-term goals might be to travel after you retire. You can create a board with pictures of all the places you want to visit and the landmarks you want to see and use those images as inspiration.
4 – Ask for help
Receiving help from others can be reassuring, especially if you are having doubts in your mind about whether or not you can achieve your goals on time. Inform your family or close friends of the goals you are trying to reach and areas where you may need their motivational help. Your friends and family can help you to get you back on track when you lose focus.
5 – Expand your financial literacy
Improving your financial literacy will provide the knowledge to manage your money better so you can feel confident making strategic financial decisions. Understanding the impact of your credit score, learning how to budget to manage your money, and obtaining the skills to pay off your debt are all examples of being financially literate. Expanding your financial literacy can be helpful to ensure you stay on track with reaching your financial goals. To help you get started, FinLocker has educational resources on credit cards, paying for college, auto loans, home buying, insurance, and home equity.
6 – Challenge yourself
An awareness of where you are and how far you still need to go can make a big difference in your path towards achieving your financial goals. Check on the progress of your journey and see if any areas need adjusting to stay on track. Once you start seeing progress, challenge yourself to see if you can do better. For example, if you saved $100 extra last month, challenge yourself to save $150 the next month. If you have a friend trying to reach their goals alongside you, create a friendly competition to see who can lower their monthly expenses by the highest percentage next month. Challenging yourself and aiming to do better than the previous month can help keep you focused and may even enable you to reach your goals faster.