In my earlier article "Setting Financial Goals ? Part 1" I identified the 4 simple steps to setting up achievable financial goals. I mentioned that your financial goals should be broken down into smaller more manageable goals and then written down to help you visualize them. This article expands upon that information.
Writing your goals down has an additional effect besides allowing you to properly focus in on their success. In some cases you will discover that some of your goals are unfortunately so broad focused that they are unobtainable. However, don't despair, as you will also be able to identify the smaller more tightly focused and thus achievable goals very quickly and easily. When writing down your goals don't be afraid to dream about riches or retiring early in life just be realistic in your expectations.
Goals are more easily obtainable when they are broken down into separate steps or categories based on time frames. When you place a time frame on your goals you are programming your mind to subconsciously motivate itself to succeed in fulfilling your goals. There are 3 time frames that are generally recommended for goal setting. They are short-term goals (within 1 year), intermediate goals (3-5 years) and long term goals (5 years or longer).
A short-term goal generally takes one year or less to achieve, based on the date the task is needed, the total estimated cost, and the required savings. An intermediate-term goal is the type of goal that can't be accomplished overnight but doesn't require many years to accomplish. Examples might include buying a car, getting an education or paying off your debts like credit cards. Normally an intermediate-goal is anywhere from 1-3 years. Finally a long-term goal is a goal that requires an extensive time commitment (5 years or longer) in order to get accomplished or fulfilled. Examples of long-term goals might include college education for a child, retirement plan or purchasing a home. Whatever the case, these goals generally require longer commitments and often more money in the end.
As we stated before you will need to accurately identify what your financial goals are in order to have them come true. You will need to identify the necessary steps that need to be taken in order to achieve your goals. Examples of such steps include the following:
? Start placing 5% or 10% of your paycheck in a savings account.
? Educate yourself on different investment strategies such as IRA's, stocks, mutual funds and various other personal investments. There are many more and all can assist you in short and long term goals.
? Make a budget for yourself that leaves you with some extra money (remember the 5% or 10%) and stick to it.
? Take every opportunity to use coupons. It seems like small savings, but when added together you could save 20-30 dollars at each trip to the grocery store.
? Shop around for bargains and do not live outside of your means.
? Work with a credit counselor to get help in lowering your monthly expenses and get rid of your debt.
These are just some of the things that you can do in order to realize your financial goals. If you truly set your mind to it and visualize the successful completion of your goals you will find that they are more attainable in the long run.
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