January 31, 2017
Despite your best intentions, financial ups and downs can often throw you for a loop. Whether you’re striving to keep recent resolutions on track or resolving to recommit to your financial goals once and for all, a clear plan is essential. Avoid losing momentum while pursuing your goals by considering these strategies.
Is a portion of your income automatically designated to a savings or retirement account? Have you scheduled recurring payments so bills and debts are automatically paid? By automating your savings and payments you can take the guesswork out of your budget. It becomes easier to avoid the temptation to spend what should be saved when you streamline savings. When bill and debt payments are automated, you have a clearer understanding of what your expenses are and can more easily maximize fluctuating expenses.
Monitor and adjust priorities routinely so that you can refine goals as financial demands shift. First and foremost, always ensure they are realistic. Life can have countless financial seasons. Some allow you to stay consistent with your long-term plans, but others may call for some readjustment while you manage a major life event or recover from an unexpected expense. When you consistently evaluate where you are compared to where you want to be, circumstances are less likely to be a detrimental setback.
Celebrate achievements and recognize progress. Take time to track advancement so you can be reminded of how far you have come and realize the greater impact of your smaller financial decisions. Identifying short-term goals as milestones can give you a psychological boost and reassure you that efforts are worthwhile. Consistent reminders that progress is meaningful will help you stay on track.
Always remember that a financial journey is not supposed to be linear. Each person will celebrate victories and learn from obstacles that are unique to their story. Utilize a support system, and if you need additional help, enlist the expertise and objectivity of a financial professional.