Not that 2017 has ended, the prospects of 2018 have become clearer. That means it is time to reevaluate your financial goals to reflect where you see yourself by the time December 31, 2018, rolls around. Maybe you realized that it’s time to move out of an apartment and buy your first house. Perhaps you have a new addition to the family on the way. Here are a few things to consider while you are planning for 2018.
Know What You Want to (and Can) Achieve
The essential part of developing financial goals is to know what you’re aiming for and make them achievable. Where do you want to be in 12 months? On a beach in the Bahamas, whether on vacation or even living there? Do you want a new job or at least start enjoying the one you have? Do you want to be a millionaire?
Realistically, are you going to make millions of dollars in 2018? Probably not, but you can increase your income by asking for a raise at work, looking for ways to climb up the career ladder, or working side jobs. If you want to buy a house, start looking at where you will financially feel safe enough to buy the house you want and work to achieve that stability. You will never know the goals you need to set unless you can know exactly where you want to be. Imagine it. Hold it in your mind. Then, start working.
Give Yourself a Saving Goal
The first goal you should set for yourself is a savings goal. This purpose of this will help you see how much you need to set aside for years to come and what you will have for other goals once that amount hits your savings.
An easy way to do this is to give yourself a small goal to set aside each week. A few years ago, a 52-Week Challenge was posted on Pinterest to save money throughout the year. Each week you set aside a small amount of your paycheck with the amount increasing each week. Start at $5 Then raise it to $10. Continue doubling until the year is over and you will find that you have saved thousands. Once you have your saving goal, divide it throughout the year to see how much you can be saving each week.
Plan to Achieve
Once you have your savings goal and your other financial goals planned out, start figuring out exactly what you need to achieve those goals. How do you develop the ideal credit score for buying a house? How can you increase your productivity at work so that you can get that raise? How do you start that new business you always wanted? Having a plan in place will not only help you achieve these goals but will also make you feel more secure in your ability to reach them.
Don’t Waste Your Money on Resolutions
The most prominent threat to your financial goals is going to be those other New Year Resolutions you have piling up in front of you. You want to lose weight. You want to get more organized. The list goes on. However, if you're going to achieve your financial goals along the way, you can’t waste money on gym memberships you will only use twice at the start of the year. Before you invest in those resolutions, look into cheaper options to see if you WILL commit. Buy a trial of classes on Groupon for the spin class down the street. Find a free workshop on diet and weight loss at a nearby wellness center. Go to the library for a book on decluttering your life before spending $30 at Barnes and Noble. You will be surprised at how many cheaper options you’ll find to kickstart the new year and the new you.