Last Updated April 9, 2020
Did you know that those with goals are 10x more likely to succeed? With statistics like that, it’s clear how important setting financial goals really are. So, are you ready to increase your chances of achieving your dreams? Find out how to set financial goals that you can actually accomplish.
What Is A Financial Goal?
A financial goal is something you hope to achieve with your money. They aren’t one size fits all, because everyone has different hopes and priorities when it comes to their money.
In general, there are three different types of financial goals that you can have: 1) short-term; 2) mid-term; and 3) long term goals. Let’s break down what I mean by that…
1. Short-Term Financial Goals
Short-term financial goals are usually goals you wish to accomplish in less than 3 years. Some common examples of short-term goals are building your emergency fund, paying down high-interest debt, or saving for a wedding or vacation.
2. Mid-Term Financial Goals
Medium-term financial goals usually take about 3-10 years to achieve. Some examples of mid-term financial goals may be saving to buy a car, saving for a down payment on a house, or paying off your high-interest debt.
3. Long-Term Financial Goals
Long-term goals usually take more than 10 years to achieve. Some examples of long-term goals may be saving for retirement, saving for your child’s college tuition, or paying off a mortgage.
How To Set Financial Goals
According to a study done by Gail Matthews at Dominican University of California, those who wrote down their goals accomplished significantly more than those who did not write down their goals. To achieve your goals, they need to be written out and planned for.
When setting your goals, use the acronym SMART. SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely.
You want to make your goals as specific as possible. For example, rather than saying, “I want to save more money,” you should say “l want to save at least $600.” As you can see, the second example is much more specific.
Make your goals measurable so that you can track your progress and know when you’ve achieved your goal. Using my previous example of saving at least $600, this goal is also measurable. The goal of saving at least $600 is measurable because I will know I achieved my goal once I reach $600.
You want to make your goals achievable. You don’t want to set a goal that is impossible.
For example, setting a goal of becoming an Olympic swimmer is almost impossible for me. I am in my 30’s and I don’t know how to swim! Even if I devoted my life to swimming at this point, I could not honestly see myself achieving that goal one day.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t set goals that are challenging; however, your goals should be achievable. If your goals are too unrealistic or not achievable, you will probably give up on that goal in due time.
Your goals should be relevant to your overall plans in life. Achieving your goals should be contributing something positive or provides a benefit to your life.
Going back to our previous example of saving at least $600, achieving this goal would definitely provide benefits to my life personally. It also aligns with my overall goal to be financially free. Since this goal is relevant to my overall plans in life, I would be more motivated to accomplish it.
Finally, you want your goal to have a time limit where you set an end date to achieve your goal. For example, to improve our previous goal of saving at least $600, you could say, “I want to save at least $600 in the next 12 months.”
I would be much more motivated to accomplish my goal if I know I have a set amount of time to accomplish it. Without adding that target time limit, I may only save $50 here and there when I can. But knowing I only have 12 months to accomplish this goal, I would be much more disciplined to try and save $50 every month.
What Are Some Good Financial Gaols?
It’s hard to say what a “good” financial goal is because it really depends on your situation. However, here are some examples of financial goals that most people would like to achieve:
- Create And Stick To A Budget
- Increase My Net Worth
- Buy A House
- Save At Least 10% Of My Income Every Month
- Have A Fully Funded Emergency Fund
- Increase My Income
- Pay Off My Credit Cards
- Develop Other Streams Of Passive Income
- Reduce My Expenses
- Increase My Credit Score
- Break Bad Spending Habits
- Increase or Start Investing
- Start A Business
- Buy A Car
- Pay For My (Or My Child’s) Wedding In Cash
- Save For A Vacation
- Pay Off My Car
- Pay For My Child’s Education
- Retire Comfortably/Financial Freedom
- Pay Off My House
What Is The Most Important Financial Goal I Should Set First?
The first and most important financial goal anyone should have is to have a working budget.
Before trying to achieve any of your other financial goals, it is crucial that you have a functioning budget first. Creating a budget can help you feel more in control of your finances and let you save money for your financial goals. If you want to improve your finances, the first thing you need to do is know where your money is going.
If you’re just getting started with making a budget, you can use this FREE Monthly Budget Printable.
If you want something a little more advance, I personally use these budget templates every month to track my spending. It is the system I’m currently using for my budget, and it has helped me save over 50% of my income every month.
You can read my detailed article “How To Use A Monthly and Yearly Household Budget Spreadsheet” to learn more about how to set up a budget that actually works.
How Do You Achieve Your Financial Goals?
Now that you know how to set realistic financial goals and have an idea of the goals you would like to achieve, I will show you the systems I’m currently using. Hopefully, this will help and work for you also.
The systems I’m using right now to set financial goals are: my Law Of Attraction Planner, The Ultimate Productivity Bundle, and Goals On Track software.
Law Of Attraction Planner
The Law Of Attraction planner is designed to increase productivity and happiness! I highly recommend the Law Of Attraction Goal Planner. You can get a dated or undated version of this planner—so you don’t have to wait until January to get started.
When I used this planner, I definitely found myself being more productive and happier. I like that this planner forces you to envision all the things you want to accomplish—not just things for this year, but throughout your lifetime.
You can read a more detailed review of this planner in my article “How A Financial Goal Planner Will Save You Money.” It also includes a video at the bottom of the post so you can get a better look inside the planner.
Keep in mind, The Law Of Attraction Planner is a physical product you order. If you’re interested in a digital product, check out GoalsOnTrack.
The Ultimate Productivity Bundle
I’ve personally paid for this bundle and been using it for the past few months. I must say the value is AMAZING and it has made a difference in my life!
The Ultimate Productivity Bundle is over 70 different products related to increasing your productivity bundled into one package. If you purchased each product separately, it would cost over $2,800; but the bundle is priced at $67 (an incredible 97% off).
There’s also a “cheat sheet” that you can add to your purchase. This is a game changer, because with these time-saving cheat sheets, you can review all the bundle’s material in less than half the time, and then dive deeper into the topics that are most interesting to you. The cheat sheet summarizes each product to help you find what you need easier.
The products are also sorted into the following sub-categories:
- Daily Planners
- Goal Planners
- Goal Setting
- Home Management
- Mindset & Self Care
- Productivity At Work
- Time Management
Even if you only like 2 or 3 products out of the entire bundle, it would be worth the price.
My favorite planner in the Busy Woman’s Daily Planner by Susie Glennan (a $34.99 value if purchased separately). I think this is a solid planner you can use if you don’t already have a daily planner. It is also good to use in conjunction with any planner you already have.
You can print one of the planners, and make it your new daily planner (whichever seems to fit your needs best). Or you can mix and match the different planners to make something perfect for you.
Although I already purchased a daily planner that I’m pretty satisfied with (my Law of Attraction Goal Planner which I reviewed below), I still found value in these planners. I printed out sections of different planners to supplement the planner I already have.
With 10 different daily planners and 6 different time management products, I’m sure you will be able to find something that you like. And if one planner isn’t perfect, you can combine it with parts of another planner to make it just right for you.
I love The Ultimate Productivity Bundle because:
- You get a lot of value for the price.
- 30-day money back guarantee.
- With so many products to choose from, you don’t have to wait until January to use it.
- It’s so much more than a goal planner. There are daily planners; home management planners; time management products; products to increase productivity; and products to increase mindset and self care.
- You can customize by combining products to make a planner how you want it.
- The cheat sheet summarizes each product to help you find what you need easier.
I would definitely recommend The Ultimate Productivity Bundle to all of my readers. You can read more about The Ultimate Productivity Bundle in my article “5 Ways To Be More Productive: The Ultimate Productivity Bundle.”
Click the button below to check out the different planners in The Ultimate Productivity Bundle right here:
Goals On Track
Goals On Track is a web-based electronic planner that makes it easy for you to set SMART goals.
You can break your goals down to smaller sub-goals or tasks. You can then break down your sub-goals again into tasks. This helps you make your goal more specific.
Next, it has a section of how you can track your progress. You can track your progress by completed tasks, sub-goals, or manually updating your progress. This helps, with making your goal measurable so you can track your progress.
When creating a goal, it also asks you your vision for your goal and what it will look like when you reach this goal. In addition, it asks about your purpose and why you want to achieve your goal. Finally, it asks about the obstacles you may face that stop you from reaching your goal and the resources you can use to overcome those obstacles.
These thought-provoking questions make you get specific about your goals, see if it is achievable, and understand how it is relevant to your overall plans in life.
Finally, when creating a goal, it has a “start date” and “end date” of when you want to achieve your goal. This allows you to have a time limit and an end date to achieve your goal.
How To Take Action on Your Financial Goals
You will be able to achieve your financial goals quicker by having your goals written down and planned for.
You must take action if you wish to achieve your dream of financial freedom. Every day you need to do something that moves you towards your financial goal.
Start by asking yourself what do you want out of life? Where do you want to be next year, five years, ten years or thirty years from now? Make goals and prioritize them.
I would start by establishing one big long-term goal, and then break it down to smaller more specific goals or milestones. People who identify their goals and work towards them usually accomplish their goals, and accomplish them quicker.
To increase your chances of financial success, you have to set financial goals. Make sure all of your goals are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely). Now that you know how to set financial goals, it’s time to take action! Invest the time and set up a system that works for you.
The systems I use right now to set financial goals are my Law Of Attraction Planner, The Ultimate Productivity Bundle, and Goals On Track software. Give one (or all) of those a try or find something else that works for you.
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