The new year is here and if you haven't already, it's time to set your financial goals for 2017!
Maybe you are hoping to pay off all of your debt, or perhaps you'd like to start a savings account for a particular purpose. Whatever it is you've been considering doing with your money, now is the time to resolve to do it and take steps towards getting it done.
Even if you are all for setting new goals and working toward becoming more financially secure, you may be wondering how to get started on your 2017 financial journey. After all, money is often a big and intimidating topic that you may try to avoid.
For this reason, we have taken the time to put together a series of guidelines for setting and meeting your 2017 money goals.
Look at Your Situation
Before making any enormous resolutions, you must take an honest look at where you currently stand. If you find that you are deep in debt and/or on the verge of bankruptcy, setting a goal to save for a cruise vacation is probably not the best choice.
Decide Where You're Headed
After taking an unbiased look at your finances, you'll want to decide where you are trying to go, financially speaking. In other words, where would you like to be at the end of this year, in two years, five years, or even a decade? Decide what your end goal is before making resolutions for the new year.
Set Milestone Goals
Once you have figured out what financial path you would like to take, you can begin deciding which smaller goals should be set for the upcoming year. For instance, if your ultimate goal is to be debt-free, perhaps paying the car off would be a good and reasonable goal for 2017.
Break Goals Down
Even with your ultimate goal broken down into yearly goals, financial resolutions can still seem intimidating. Instead of balking at the enormous undertaking of paying off your car—or whatever goal you have set for yourself—sit down and write out exactly what steps will need to be taken in order to reach that goal.
If your goal is to pay off a car, this list might include how much you will need to pay each month, where the extra money will come from, and/or how you might save in other areas to put extra toward the car.
Schedule Your Steps
With your steps written out, you will be able to take a look at your 2017 calendar and figure out when each step should be taken in order for your goal to be completely accomplished by December 31st, 2017. Write the steps into your calendar when they need to happen and set reminders for yourself.
By scheduling these steps, you are more likely to make time for them and get them done.
Go Out and Do It
This is perhaps the most difficult of all the steps, but also the most important. Setting goals and writing out steps mean nothing unless you act on them. Therefore, it is important that you go out and work to accomplish your goals. Challenge yourself by racing the schedule you put into place, make it a game with one of the many websites or apps that make productivity a game, or find other ways to motivate yourself.
Setting attainable financial goals that move you forward is the best way to get ahead financially. Why not sit down now and figure out what you would like to accomplish with your money? By setting your goals now, you'll have all of 2017 achieve them.