Setting and Attaining Financial Goals for the New Year

Let’s take some time to look at our money related goals and what we can do to achieve them.  When the end of the year rolls around next year, do you want to be in the same financial shape that you are now?  Keep reading to find out how you can set your financial goals and actually attain them in the new year.

Financial Signs

© iQoncept / Dollar Photo Club

Assess Your Current Situation

You can’t figure out where you want to go without knowing where you are.  Take a look at the past year and take note of your failures and wins.

Which areas do you see that need improvement?  Are you in debt?  Do you need to put more into your emergency fund?  Do you need to ramp up your retirement savings or college fund for the kids?

Are you all set without debt and have adequate savings in place?

With personal finance, there are certain things that you have to be doing to set goals for higher achievement.

Determining Your Goals: Needs vs. Wants

You may want to save for a nice beach vacation or new car but think twice if you’re in debt.  If debt is lingering then you have to focus on getting rid of it or making a dent in it in the coming year.

Even if you have your savings where you want then think about increasing your giving instead of spending on a luxury item.  It’s definitely okay to have some fun but think of how you can be a good steward with what God has entrusted.

It shouldn’t be hard to decide if something is a necessity or a desire.  If you’re roof needs to be replaced or your vehicle needs tires then make it a goal to get those types of things taken care of before you get a new TV or the latest shiny i-gadget.

Back to Basics

If you’re not doing the following then don’t think about going any further with your financial goals.  Make these shorter term, maybe over the course of the first quarter of the year, as they are low-hanging fruit that you should be able to easily take care of.  I’m sure that you can establish a budget and a simple will in short order.

  • Budgeting – You have to be intentional about where your money is going or you’ll lose it.  You can get our simple budgeting templates by going through the link on the right side of the page.
  • Emergency Fund – You have to be ready for bad things to happen because they will.  At least have a smaller emergency fund in place as a goal for the first part of the new year.
  • Life Insurance – Again, things happen and physical death is guaranteed.  Make sure those that are left behind are taken care of.
  • Will – A will is important for everybody, especially families.  Get things set in order to make things easier for your family if the unexpected happens.

Get on the Same Page

Set your goals as a couple or family.  You have no chance of success without full transparency and agreement around your goals.

An honest accountability partner that you can trust and don’t want to let down is another component that will increase your chances of success.  Ideally this would be someone that you don’t want to disappoint and feel that you can share openly with.

Baby Steps

So that hitting the mark doesn’t seem so difficult, break your goals down into days or by week so that they add up to achieve your goals for the year.  This is especially effective for setting savings and debt reduction goals.

Financial goals don’t have to be complex.  Set yourself up for the smaller wins and they’ll add up over time.

What are your financial goals for tomorrow, this week, or the next month?