Goals are dreams or wishes that could come true â€“ if you work really hard at them. If your goals are specific enough, they will motivate you to balance your spending and savings in order to reach your objectives. If you donâ€™t set goals, you will find yourself saying â€œI wish I hadâ€¦â€
The idea of goal setting is to decide specifically what you want. Goals should be set and monitored or tracked periodically because they can change.
Goals can be short-term or long-term. Every family member should have a part or a say in deciding which goals are selected, if itâ€™s going to affect them in any way.
Once youâ€™ve determined what your goals are, estimate their total cost and decide when you want to accomplish them by setting a deadline date. Divide the total cost by the number of months until your deadline date to figure out how much to save toward your goals each month.
Hereâ€™s a great tip to help you save more money towards your goals: Avoid Impulse Spending! Itâ€™s the #1 all-time budget buster, and most people donâ€™t even realize they do it. To control your impulse spending, try these suggestions: keep your financial goals in mind at all times, shop less often, create a shopping list and always stick to it, and leave your credit cards at home and just use cash.
Some other great suggestions are to use payroll withholding, or direct deposit from your paycheck each month if your employer offers it. Save any additional income such as raises and tax refunds in a separate interest-bearing savings account. After you pay off an installment loan such as a car loan, mortgage, or student loan, continue to pay that same monthly amount but add it to your savings account instead. Save all of your loose change in one spot. Itâ€™s a surprisingly easy way to save and those pennies really start to add up.
I hope that you start saving towards your goals today. Thereâ€™s nothing stopping you from achieving everything you want!
Lauralynn Schueckler is the Online Marketing Specialist at Advantage Credit Counseling Service. She is the author for Advantage CCSâ€™s Blog called Dollars & Sense. Advantage Credit Counseling Service is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Contact Advantage Credit Counseling at 866.699.2227, or visit them online at www.advantageccs.org.
Views expressed are the personal views of the author, and do not represent the views of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, its employees, its members, or its clients.