This is part 2 of this article. To get caught up read part 1.
All right, who convinced their spouse to help come up with some goals? They were probably reluctant. If you were successful you probably have a few goals and it’s time to prioritize.
4 SIMPLE steps needed to achieving financial goals (because we all know that most people don’t achieve a majority of their goals):
- What’s most important? You are going to focus on this number one goal because, like multitasking, trying to accomplish too many goals at once will only cause you to achieve none of them.
- When do you want to have this done?
- The further away you set the deadline the more difficult it is to remain focused. It probably also means that it’s not that important to you.
- Be realistic, but don’t be a wimp. If you set an unrealistic goal you will never make it but if your goal is to save $5 a week, or “Well, maybe I will eat out less this month,” That is a sorry excuse for a goal.
- Tell someone about your goal. If only you know the goal, only you know if you fail. Public shaming (or accountability if you want to be nice about it) is a great way to get stuff done.
- Set up a schedule and automate the savings. Don’t let your emotions or Starbucks get in the way. If you are emotional or weak to temptations like Chickfila AUTOMATE your savings on the day you get paid.
- Use YNAB. It rocks at this. You simply set your goal up as a category and fund it every month. You can set up a monthly funding goal or a goal to have a balance by a certain date. Either way it will remind you each month to fund the category. You never have to move the money. It simply sits in your checking account with your goal as its assigned job.
- Another option is to set up a savings account for your goal. Capital One 360 offers great interest rates and allows you to open as many accounts as you want. Also if you use the link above, you also get $25 for depositing $250. That is an instant 10% return on investment, for those of you keeping track. As of March 2017, they are offering 0.75% interest–which, let’s be honest, is better then what you get at your bank.
- Achieve your goal and move on to the next one. Don’t be lazy or take some time off–roll your savings from the first goal right into the next. There is no point in waiting.
Whether it is paying off a credit card, paying off a student loan, saving for an emergency fund, or maybe buying your next car for cash (I like this one), determine your goals and follow the 4 simple steps listed here to achieve them while others flounder around wondering why they can’t get anything done and why they always seem to be broke.