Keeping your financial goals on track
Summer is coming to an end, which means we are more than halfway through the year. What about those resolutions you made for 2018? If you’re like most people, they probably went out the window during summer vacations. We’ve all been there!
With the holidays fast approaching, now is the perfect time to hit reset on your financial goals. Before you know it, you’ll be busy booking holiday travel plans, buying gifts for loved ones and enjoying other festivities.
No matter how you’re doing, you have plenty of time to get back on track. Here are a few ways to reach your financial goals before 2018 comes to an end:
1. Make some adjustments
Maybe your New Year’s resolutions weren’t realistic, or you had something pop up that drained your emergency fund and slowed you down. Life happens, and it’s okay to adjust your goals. Look at where you are financially today and decide where you want to be by the end of the year. Don’t be afraid to set new goals for yourself, too. You can start making progress towards your future today. Just make sure you factor in the amount of time left in the year as you reset your goals to ensure they’re attainable.
2. Get back to budgeting
A budget is the most important thing when it comes to winning with money. If you don’t tell your money where to go, you’ll wonder where it went! Assess how you’ve spent your money over the past few months. Look for areas where you can cut back (dining out, groceries, new clothes), and put that money towards your goals. Trust me, you’ll feel less stressed.
3. Plan ahead
It’s September, which means we’ll be decking the halls before you know it. At this point, you can count how many paycheques you have left until the holidays. The last thing you want to do is spend money you don’t have. In 2017, roughly 74 per cent of Americans said they failed to budget properly for the holidays and racked up an average of $1,054 in debt. Plan ahead by adding a line item to your budget for holiday spending. Aside from gifts, don’t forget to factor in travel expenses, charitable giving, and parties. Start setting this money aside now so you can enjoy the holiday season guilt-free.
4. Stay motivated by tracking your progress
You’ve got your budget, so now you just have to make sure that you stick to it and stay motivated. Tracking your progress can be one of the most helpful ways to do this. When you can visualise your progress, you’ll be excited by those quick wins, you’ll be less tempted to spend what you don’t have, and you’ll be motivated to keep going. I’ve created a free goal tracker that you can download at www.rachelcruze.com to make this part easy and fun!
5. Focus on what matters
Sometimes we want things so badly they start to feel more like needs. Do you really need the newest iPhone? Do you really need to replace your outdated computer? These things are nice to have, but they’re not must-haves. With social media today, keeping up with the Joneses is harder than ever. And who would want to anyway? Don’t compare your life to someone else’s highlight reel. Focus on your goals and the things that really matter in life.
You don’t have to wait for a new year to set new goals, or make progress towards the goals you’ve already set. In order to win with your money later, you must be intentional today!
• Rachel Cruze is a #1 New York Times best-selling author and host of The Rachel Cruze Show. She helps people learn the proper ways to handle money and stay out of debt. She’s authored three best-selling books, including Love Your Life, Not Theirs and Smart Money Smart Kids, which she co-wrote with her father, Dave Ramsey. You can follow Cruze on Twitter and Instagram at @RachelCruze and online at rachelcruze.com, youtube.com/rachelcruze or facebook.com/rachelramseycruze
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