Back in November we wrote a post giving our advice about some financial goals to shoot for in 2016. Those are good goals at any time, and in that article we shared other goals we’ve recommended over the years.
The best thing about goals is they help us to keep on track for what we hope to accomplish. The worst thing about them is that, if we don’t reach them, sometimes we get depressed or frustrated, which leads us to giving them up.
Recently there was an article that talked about financial goals in a way that makes a lot of sense. In essence, the person who wrote the article said that most people look at the big picture when it comes to goals. For instance, if they want to make $10,000 more a year than the previous year, they start at the end, which is the $10,000, instead of at the beginning, which is figuring out how to generate more income in the first place. That’s the difference between having an actual goal and having a dream to shoot for; it’s an important distinction.
Let’s take that $10,000 as an example. If you work at a corporation making $40,000 a year and your goal is $50,000, yet the company usually only gives 3% raises every year, you don’t have a chance to hit your goal if that’s all you have to count on. This means you have to either get another job, a part time job or find another way of making money on the side.
Let’s say you did either of these things.
A part time job might do it for you, and it’s probably your best immediate option. If you found a job paying $10 an hour and committed to 100 hours a month you’d earn $12,000 in a year, which would put you at your financial goal. Or maybe you could try to find a way to create your own income. Either option is viable, as long as you recognize one important thing – it’s going to take some time.
That’s not a bad thing, but it’s something that’s hard for a lot of people to consider. That’s why goals need plans, because the plan will help you realize how long it may take you to achieve your financial goal, whether it’s making money, reducing debt, or saving money. If you invest $10 a month into stock options, it’s going to take a very long time to get that money to grow; if you could afford to pay $1,000 a month it’ll grow faster, but even there if you have big dreams for great wealth it’s going to take time to realize it.
The article recommended people get used to the idea of financial growth by thinking in small increments. If you’re looking to reduce debt, concentrate on one bill at a time as the one to pay off while still making payments on the rest. If you’re trying to increase your income, start by trying to find a way to make $100 of extra money, then see if you can expound on it.
We want to see everyone living in comfort and financial responsibility. We’re not dream providers but, as accountants, we can help you learn where you are and figure out where you might want to be financially. After that, the skies the limit if you have the patience to ride out the time.