At the start of every new year we make decisions to change or enhance something in our lives for the next 365 days. This year, I want to encourage you to make positive financial changes that will stick and set goals that will lead you on a path of prosperity and turn your resolutions into a reality in 2010.
Before you set your financial goals for 2010 assess your needs by following the steps below:
Know Your Money: Create a financial profile by writing out all your household income, debts, property and assets and liabilities. Identify your strengths and opportunities.
Keep a Spending Diary: Keep a spending diary for one week and log the amount of money you spent and identify the description of the item, the location and if the purchase was a “need” or a “want”. Add up all of your “wants” (lattes, shopping sprees etc.) and write the total weekly expenses. Identify your discretionary spending habits and create a plan to curve your spending appetite.
Write out your Financial Goals: Your goals might include getting out of debt, saving for an emergency fund or vacation, buying a house or saving for college or retirement or business.
By conducting the above assessment this will help you get set up a realistic financial goal and create a plan based on a time-line that is achievable versus a plan that is doomed to fail. Now you have a baseline of where you are currently financially and where you want to go in the future. The steps below will help you create a plan that will help you make your financial resolutions a reality.
Start with a Specific and Realistic Financial Goal: When you set financial goals that are too grand you are more likely to become overwhelmed and not achieve the goal. Create a realistic goal that is based on the assessment above and aim low. For example, save $100 for the next 12 months. To make this goal stick set up your bank account to automatically transfer the amount to your savings account.
Break it Up into Mini-Goals: Break your financial goals down to smaller pieces or shorter mini-goals throughout the year. This will allow you to envision your goal as attainable and create checkpoints that are manageable. It will also help you build your confidence and lead you closer to achieving your goal. For example, if your goal is to save $1,200 in 12 months, that means you will create a 6 months goal to save $50.00 every 2 weeks to achieve $600.00.
Accountability: Create or join a support group or find a friend to share your financial success and struggles. Research shows that people who have accountability partners are more likely to stay motivated and focus and achieve the goals that they set. For example, find a friend and share your goal with them and tell them you want them to hold you accountable. Give them your deadline and the checkpoints. Make if fun. Tell them if you do not meet your financial goal of saving $600 by June. You will hand wash their car or clean out their garage. Also Set 4 Life will be starting on February and I will hold you accountable in that.
Reward Your Self: Life is too short. Treat yourself to something special when you achieve your mini-goals. Positive reinforcement is great way to stay motivated on your road to financial success. Tell your friends and co-workers and let them celebrate with you. You might inspire someone along the way, getting out of debt or gaining financial success is contagious.
I look forward to watching you prosper in all areas of our life in 2010!
I am here to help you achieve success in the days ahead but will also help you get the most out of stewardship experience in 2010.
It is my desire that you are inspired to be good steward over these three areas of your life: Time, Talent, Treasure. Time, you must learn to manage your time; talent you have skills and gifts and lastly treasure, your finances need to managed appropriately. All of these areas work together, when they are managed properly you will be able to become A BETTER YOU!
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