Living Well

Setting Financial Goals in the New Year

It’s the new year and you might be getting ready to make some exciting new changes! But have you thought about what changes you need to make to your finances?

How Do I Know if I Should Set Financial Goals?

Take a moment to do an inventory on your finances in the last year by answering the following questions:

  • Did you ever feel stressed about paying your bills, mortgage/rent, or other money you owe?
  • Did you have to borrow money to make ends meet?
  • Did you contribute money to your retirement fund?
  • Were you able to make it the whole year without withdrawing from your savings?
  • Did you feel stressed about money?

How Do I Set Financial Goals?

Based on the questions above, think about your financial stressors and what you need to do to eliminate them.

Are you struggling to pay your credit card every month? You need to set a budget each month.

Did you have any unexpected expenses that really threw you off? You need an emergency fund.

Did Christmas break the bank? Set aside a little bit of money each month.

Whatever your issues were in this last year, take time to think about how to practically and reasonably correct those problems.

What Are Some Examples of Reasonable Financial Goals?

Examples of financial goals can be monetary or a practice. Here are a few ideas:

  • Create a meal plan each week and stick to it.
  • Only eat out x number of times a month.
  • When you eat out, don’t order a drink, just water.
  • Switch to a cash-only system or use pre-paid gift cards instead of your credit card.
  • No impulse shopping or online shopping outside of your budget.
  • Set a budget for your family every month.
  • Create a separate account for a Christmas/birthdays fund and deposit into it monthly.
  • Have a $1000 emergency fund by a specific date–don’t touch it unless you have a true emergency.
  • Pay off a line of credit.
  • Sell items that you don’t need or are causing you financial stress. (i.e. Sell your car to stop making payments and buy a cheaper car to use until you pay off other debts.)
  • Take up a side job on the weekends.

The options are endless!

Any Advice on Meeting My Goals?

Yes! Write them down and post them in a place you’ll see them regularly! Write out your budget and place it on the fridge. Make sure your goals are visible and more important to you than your impulses to buy things you don’t need.