Tips to achieve your financial goals
You can get a great start to the new year by setting action-oriented financial goals. Having measurable financial objectives allows you to keep track of how you’re doing and adjust your plans as needed, but it can be challenging to stick with your plan and not lose your momentum. You can maximize your chance of staying on course by focusing on your goals.
1 Start wherever you are
Whether you haven’t made progress or even gotten started on your budget, emergency savings, or retirement planning in the past month, it’s fine. Now is the time you can reset and get on track. You might have a variety of goals, or just one—some may include paying down debt, improving your credit score, or saving more for emergencies. It doesn’t matter how far or close you are from meeting your goal. What’s important is that you decide which goals to pursue and outline measurable objectives.
2 Revisit your goals
Are your goals measurable? For example, having a goal to save for emergencies can be hard to achieve because it’s too general. But if you specify that your goal, for example, is to put aside $100 each month for emergencies, then you have a measurable goal to aspire achieving. You don’t need to build your whole emergency fund right away. Rather, work on taking small steps toward achieving your resolution.
3 Consider setting up automatic payments
You can make taking steps toward your goals a habit by setting up automatic deductions from your paycheck or bank account. Plus, you may be less likely to notice the loss of money if you don't see it in the first place. This could be by deducting 401(k) contributions from your paycheck or transferring money from your checking account automatically to your IRA or high-yield savings account. Setting up automatic deductions can help you stay on track and makes it easier to meet your savings goals. Any small, regular contribution you make can lead to large balances over time.
4 Tackle debt
Do you have much debt to pay off? If you can lessen your debt, you may free up some income to be used for paying your expenses and adding to your savings. This can help reduce your stress and allow you to focus on achieving your short- and long-term financial objectives. You can use different strategies for paying off debt, depending on your situation. Developing a realistic plan that you can follow is one of the best ways to approach reducing your debt.
5 Be kind to yourself
Most important, don’t be hard on yourself. Keeping your resolutions and achieving your financial goals takes time and a lot of discipline. You should celebrate small successes in meeting your objectives. Improving your relationship with money can help you achieve your goals in the long term. And if you fall off track, you can always just get right back on.
Improving your financial health
Many people use the start of the year to make financial resolutions. While your specific goals can vary, your ultimate objective of improving your financial well-being is a worthwhile pursuit. You can start by making small changes such as setting a budget and creating a savings goal. By tracking your results and measuring your success, you’re setting yourself up to meet your financial resolutions.
The content of this document is for general information only and is believed to be accurate and reliable as of the posting date, but may be subject to change. It is not intended to provide investment, tax, plan design, or legal advice (unless otherwise indicated). Please consult your own independent advisor as to any investment, tax, or legal statements made.