Making goals and more importantly, keeping them, takes extreme discipline and dedication. Often just the thought of having to make a goal and trying to "stick to it" is enough to dissuade a person from starting, but did you know that by simply writing down your goals you are 42% more likely to achieve them? Setting realistic and clear financial goals is the key. Here is a list of goals to focus on this year:
- Create/follow a budget and keep accurate records - Knowing where your money is going can be half the battle. A good guide is 50% for essential spending (rent, utilities, etc.), 20% for personal financial goals (paying off debt and saving) and 30% for expenses that very month to month (groceries, gas, hobbies, etc.). Tracking your spending will also help to keep a sense of accountability with your budget and financial goals. You will be able to find areas where you can reduce spending and improve saving.
- Get out of debt - Debt can be a very large burden both financially and emotionally. If you do have debt, choosing this as your number one goal is paramount to your overall financial wellbeing and to achieving financial independence. Remember that you won't be able to get out of debt overnight, so put together a long-term plan and have patience with your progress so that you actually stick to your plan.
- Build an emergency fund - Don't let the unexpected ruin your efforts to be financially successful. According to expert recommendations, you should set up a separate account and try to put away at least 3 months of living expenses - more if you can afford to do so.
- Improve your credit score - Like getting out of debt, this won't happen overnight, but by understanding what makes up your credit score, your spending habits and what areas you need to improve, you will be able to raise your score.
- Avoid large unnecessary purchases - Define what is important to you so you can recognize what is a "need" and what is merely a "want". This will help you to stay out of debt and give you the discipline required to improve your financial outlook.
- Save on utilities - Look for ways to save costs by getting rid of infrequently used or unnecessary services.
- Focus on your health - Choosing a healthy lifestyle will positively impact your finances. When you are healthy, you are more productive, not missing work and have fewer medical costs.
- Eliminate expensive habits - Think lotteries, alcohol and tobacco. When reviewing your budget, calculate the percentage of your income that goes towards these habits and see if you can reduce if not eliminate some of them.
Remember, it may not be easy, but you can do it with a little planning and discipline! If you take away just one thing, let it be this:
Merely writing down your money goals makes you 42% more likely to achieve them.
If you would like more information about how to improve your credit score or how a mortgage review could help you be financially successful this year, call 204-954-7620 and speak to one of our knowledgeable Winnipeg Mortgage Brokers.
Source: Ben Huber - Dollarsprout.com