5 easy tips to help you meet your financial goals
We've all heard about the benefits of setting financial goals. They help you stay motivated to save, keep you organized, and are an essential part of becoming financially secure. What we don't hear as often is how many people never end up achieving their goals. Why is this? Especially considering how essential these goals are to our financial health. Well, the answer is simple – changing your financial habits is difficult! Luckily, there are some helpful and easy tips you can utilize to help you stick with your goals! Such as...
writing them down
Did you know that only 33% of Americans claim to have a written plan for reaching their financial goals? That seems low, considering people who write their goals down have proven to be more successful than those who don’t. Writing out your goals will help you stay focused, allow you to check in on your progress, and keep you organized!
This is especially true for those who claim they don’t have enough money to set financial goals in the first place. It’s a common misconception that you must have a sizeable discretional income to set financial goals. In fact, even the smallest amount of money and planning can help someone improve their budgeting habits! Whether you are saving for a dream vacation or hoping to put away $10 a week into your savings, you'll be much more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down and create a plan!
be S.M.A.R.T about it!
Using the S.M.A.R.T method is one of the most common pieces of advice from financial experts – but what does it mean? Let’s break it down:
- Specific – What are you saving for? How much money will you need? What's your plan once you have saved the money? All these questions need to be answered to make your goal specific.
- Measurable – Set your goals in quantifiable amounts that you can easily track. For example – If your goal is to save $100 a month, break it down even further and plan to put away $25 a week. This will help you stay organized and quickly identify when you could not meet your goal.
- Achievable – Ask yourself if your goal is possible given your current budget and financial situation. If it's not entirely realistic, you can lower the amount you plan on saving or focus on another area of your finances.
- Relevant – Let’s say your goal is to purchase a new car in a year. Before you go ahead with the planning, double-check that you actually need a new car, or are there other things you should be saving up for first? Your financial goals should always be beneficial and necessary!
- Time-based – Determine a clear and realistic timeline to complete your goal. This will help you with procrastination and keep you focused.
keeping them visible
Once you have your goals written out, it’s essential to be reminded of them often. Life is busy, and it’s easy to get distracted! Try keeping a copy of your goals on your fridge, phone, or desk – whatever works for you. Just make sure they're in a spot where you’ll see them daily. The constant reminder will help you stay focused and keep you on track.
pro tip - Creating a vision board is a fun way to keep your goals visible! To learn more about how to make one and other creative ways to save money, check out our blog: BlueOXcu.org/blueox-blog/creative-ways-to-save-money.
get an accountability partner
Changing your financial habits or tightening your budget can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Try sharing your goals with others and get an accountability partner! This could be your spouse, a close friend, or even a hired coach. It might seem unconventional – but financial experts recommend it! Typically, people are more successful when working in teams and seeking advice from others.
A good accountability partner will help you stay motivated by cheering you on and keeping you on track. They're also available to talk to when you feel frustrated or tempted to stray from your goals. Most of the time, it’s a two-way relationship where you are both holding each other accountable. You can set up weekly check-ins over the phone or meet for coffee and discuss your progress. Just make sure that whoever you choose is trustworthy, understanding, and, most importantly - financially responsible!
give yourself a deadline
Stop saying “someday” when it comes to your financial goals. Give yourself a deadline, and try your best to stick to it! Deadlines are so effective because they help you prioritize your spending. You're less likely to overspend or make unnecessary purchases when a deadline is approaching. They also create a sense of urgency – making it harder to procrastinate or forget about the goal.
Deadlines are only going to be helpful if you make them realistic. Otherwise, you're setting yourself up for stress and disappointment. But also, keep in mind that life happens! Unexpected expenses may require you to push back your deadline or reevaluate your goals. This is completely fine and nothing to be ashamed of – accomplishing financial goals should be a healthy and rewarding process!
use your resources
Any good financial institution wants the best for its members and their financial wellness! Whether you're saving for a new vehicle, looking to purchase a home, or hoping to build credit – your financial institution will likely be able to assist you!
Communicate your financial goals with your member service advisors - After all, they're the experts! They’ll be happy to point you in the right direction of the specific product, service, or department most beneficial to your banking needs. Often, there's a credited financial partner they can connect you with, such as an investment program or a debt management service. These resources were designed and developed with you and your financial well-being in mind!
Ready to start saving to achieve your financial goals? Contact us toll-free at (800) 648-8035 or click the following link to learn more about the Savings Accounts BlueOx has to offer:
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