People with goals succeed because they know where they're going. ~ Earl Nightingale
Imagine for a moment that you are five years in the future. Any financial challenges you are experiencing today are behind you. You have a fresh start on your life's financial journey. If you were to "paint a picture" to share with others of the financial goals that you want to achieve what would it look like? What do you need to do to get there?
Some examples of common financial goals that many people wish to achieve include reducing debts- including their mortgage, improving their credit profiles, funding children's college education, home purchase or renovations and retirement.
Be sure to take 3 minutes to watch the great video here about "The 10 Rules For Achieving Success!"
ESTABLISHING S.M.A.R.T GOALS
To achieve financial success you must first establish and clearly define attainable goals that you can feel comfortable with and endorse in a heartfelt way. Vague, overly aggressive estimates of what you would like to achieve, as well as lack of motivation will only lead to procrastination, inactivity, and, ultimately, failure to attain your true financial goals which may be short or long term.
The acronym S.M.A.R.T. applies dramatically when thinking of goal plannng. The "S" stands for specific; "M" for measurable; "A" for achievable; "R" for realistic and "T" for time-bounded. Your goal has to stand up to all five of these or... it's NOT a goal....it'sjust a dream or a wish!
Finally, in addition to developing clear objectives, it is equally important to prioritize your goals by relative importance and time horizon to achieve them. Key factors to consider when constructing your financial goals are:
-risk (the possibility of a misfortune occurring)
-inflation (a dollar today is generally not worth a dollar tomorrow - your returns are positive provided the net return from an investment is greater than the prevailing inflation rate)
-tax rates (you live on your net or "take home" pay not your gross salary before deductions are considered)
ARE YOUR FINANCIAL GOALS
Reaching your financial goals starts with a thorough understanding of your needs. Consider the following...
-summarize your current financial position
-clarify your future needs
-identify opportunities to better manage your money
-set a realistic spending plan consistent with your goals
-how do you measure success
NOTE: You can download a PDF copy of our SMART Goal Planning form here. If a couple, this form should be completed together with your spouse or partner as should be our common goals
To help you move move forward to achieve your goals we suggest you calculate your financial fitness score here and if applicable compare the results that will be instantly emailed to you with the results of your spouse or partner.