When it comes to financial planning some people want to run the other way, while others make a list that they never apply to their situation. But plans are nothing without specific goals to achieve before that year is out. You’ll find too that even if you’re unable to achieve a goal – you’ll have set yourself up to getting closer to it just by knowing your endpoint and moving towards it. With that in mind, let’s look at some practical ideas that help you move forward.
Raise your credit score __ points. You decide how many points feel feasible. This goal is helpful because instead of just saying better your credit score – you can measure your success. Don’t know how or where to start? We’ve got you covered with some ideas on how to build your credit.
Save a certain amount. Pick a number and set up the guidelines of how to reach it. Base it off of your budget and income – don’t reach for something unrealistic, but don’t make it easy either. Have something in mind for what you’ll save. Think something like: saving to pay off a piece of debt, to pay for a home update, to fix a car, to be generous, or to give a special gift. Starting from scratch? Let’s get that budget figured out!
Pay extra towards the principal of a piece of debt. We all know interest is crippling, right? So, why not try to get ahead of it a little bit? Some loans will allow you to allocate where your money goes. You might try to allocate an extra $50 to your monthly payment directly at your principal. This reduces the overall amount and lessens what you pay interest on. It can also cut time off the life of your loan.
Write down purchases/ balance your checkbook. Tracking what you spend isn’t a blast, I get it. However, with the digital transformation of our money it’s so important to keep track of where it’s going. Not only is this a good habit to combat over-drafting or cutting it close, but also it can help you realize your spending habits. Sometimes we don’t realize what we regularly spend on that isn’t needed. This is a good place to trim the budget.
Spend less in one specific category. If you discover that you overspend in one area or you already know a problem area, give yourself guidelines for how to do better in that certain area. Either cut yourself off completely, make a budget for how much you can spend, or make smarter purchases within that category.
Start with simple investing. Investing can seem hard to get into but there are low-impact things you can do first. Start by researching, asking someone you trust how they invest, or consult a professional. Never make an investment you feel unprepared for.
We hope that these ideas get you inspired and hopeful about reaching accurate and helpful goals. Remember a step is a step and we commend any progress. Take a step by focusing on your financial planning.