When it comes to improving your finances, you have to keep your mind on your goals. You have set your goals, right? If you haven’t got goals then how will you know when you have achieved them?
Grab a pen and paper.
Start with the Long Term, Ultimate Goal. Consider for a moment that if money was not an issue, where would you be in 20 years? Imagine it completely. Where are you living? If you could do anything in the world, what would it be? Just let your mind wander and see where you end up. When you find yourself thinking of something that feels completely natural, something that you truly would love to do, write it down under the title of Long Term.
After you’ve developed a couple of Long Term goals, ask yourself what it would take for you to reach them? Would you have to quit your job? Move to another part of the country (or other country altogether?) Would you need to go back to college or university? How much money would you need?
All of these are the Intermediate Goals, the steps that you would need to take within the next 3-5 years or so to fulfil the Ultimate Goals. You can make these happen! Write them down!
Now that you have established your Ultimate Goals, and then the Intermediate goals needed to reach them, take some time to consider what you can do over the next year to start the journey towards them.
The final thought to consider is what you can do NOW in order to help you achieve those Ultimate Goals. This will most probably be the hardest question to answer. How can anything you do today possibly affect your Ultimate goals? the truth is everything that you do today can affect those goals.
Every time that you choose to do non-essential shopping instead of putting that money, however small towards paying off debts, you are agreeing to put off achieving your Ultimate Goal just a little longer. Whenever you decide to go out for some posh nosh you are adding an extra few days on to the time it will take to get your dream.
I know you set the Ultimate Goals by completely ignoring money, it is key to succeeding in these short term, immediate goals. The intermediate and Long Term goals are most easily achieved if you set a strong, financial foundation early on.
Now, i am definitely not suggesting that you should forego all fun and pleasure now to obtain your Ultimate Goal, but you need to think of what is more important to you?
The best way to make sense of immediate financial decisions is to have a clear long term objective. If all you want in life is to stay where you are, work a 9-5 and spend time with your friends then you probably dont need to change much, and there is nothing at all wrong with this goal! But if you dreams are bigger, then you need to be clear about how your spending affects your goals.
Many people can make poor financial decisions because they dont have goals. Make your goals SMART, such as “I will have 1 million pounds invested in dividend paying investments by my 40th birthday by investing 10% of my gross income on a monthly basis”. Very specific on the goal, time frame and how it will be achieved. Goals that are SMART will also help you hold yourself accountable to what you want to achieve.
Start small with Immediate Goals. You could say that you want to clear 2 debts within a year by paying off a set amount each month for instance.
How can you measure your success? With goals.
Trust me, set goals and achieve your dreams.