If you ever want your money to work for you then you need to tell it what to do.
If you do not know what you want your money to do, you will find your money going to waste month after month.
Knowing what you want needs to be the first step in the process of creating wealth.
When determining your financial goals, always begin with the end in mind. What sort of financial shape do you want to be in 20 years from now? What sort of lifestyle do you want to be living?
Do you want your house paid off? Do you want to be paying for your children’s college education? How much do you want in retirement savings? What age do you want to retire at?
For example, I have set a goal to be debt free by April 2009. This is going to be tough considering the fact that I am $72,900 in debt right now.
When you are planning a road trip, the first decision is always where you want to go. The answers to the above questions will be on our financial road map to tell us the destination for our money.
The second step in planning is knowing your short term goals. What do you want to do in the next 2-5 years? Do you plan to have a baby? Buy a home? Buy a different vehicle? Go on a large vacation? Pay off your credit cards?
The answers to these questions are the roads you will follow on the journey to your ending destination.
Next we need to determine what needs to be done on a daily and monthly basis to be able to meet at of your goals. It is best to break each individual goal down into steps so you can feel a sense of accomplishment after each step is completed.
Here is an example on how to break a large financial goal down into steps:
Goal- Save 20% for a down payment plus money for closing costs on a new home
1. Save 3% for closing costs on my new home
2. Save 5% towards my down payment
3. Save 10% towards my down payment
4. Save 15% towards my down payment
5. Save 20% towards my down payment
This gives you five milestones to celebrate and helps keep you on track so you don’t get overwhelmed by the big picture. During each step just concentrate on getting through that one step as quickly as possible.
This will give you focus and drive and by having the steps small and obtainable it will keep your motivation level high.
I find that having a definite goal with a set date gives me the motivation to keep going. I have been paying down debts by earning extra money online.
If your financial goal is to save I suggest you try an
ING DIRECT – High Yield Savings with 4.50% annual percentage yield. They are a really great bank and I have always enjoyed using them.