If you want to be financially successful, it’s essential for you to set money-related goals at the beginning of your journey. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to chart your progress along the way and see whether any adjustments may be needed along the way.
Goals Enable you to Set Up a Realistic Financial Plan
Determining what your financial goals are will give you the opportunity to compile a realistic plan to help achieve it. Simply receiving your paycheck and paying recurring bills without realizing where all of your money is going will not allow you to make the most of your finances over time. For instance, if you would like to retire with a balance of $1 million, you’ll need to know how much will have to be saved and/or invested each month and how long you still have to get to that amount.
You’ll be Able to Track your Progress
Being able to track your progress will not only allow you to see if you’ll be able to realistically achieve your financial goals; if one of your goals is to eliminate all of your consumer debt within a specified timeframe, seeing the amount of money owing shrink each month will be an excellent motivator over time as well.
Goals Help Keep you Focused
Another reason why it’s essential to set financial goals is that they help keep you focused. In other words, it will make it easier for you to ‘keep your mind on the prize’ so to speak.
Regardless of whether you’re saving to buy a car, house or even an overseas vacation, it’s a good idea to take pictures of the items you’re saving for and place them in a spot where they can be seen regularly. This has been proven to be one of the best motivators around that will help prevent you from overspending on impulse purchases.
Enjoy a Sense of Achievement
Although it may seem like it’s taking forever to achieve some of your larger financial goals, there’s little else that feels as good as that sense of achievement you experience once one has been reached.
Once you’ve achieved your first financial goal, you’ll be even keener to see how quickly you can reach any others you’ve set. Consider giving yourself a small reward for each goal you achieve – maybe treat yourself to a coffee that you don’t usually purchase, for instance.
Enjoy Peace of Mind
Once you start achieving your financial goals, you’ll be rewarded in another way that you may not even realize initially – being able to enjoy peace of mind in knowing that your financial future will be more secure than it was before.
If you’re unsure of how to go about setting realistic financial goals, you may need to enlist the help of an experienced financial adviser. They will be able to let you know whether you’ll need to reduce current expenses or increase your income in order to achieve your financial goals. Contact our team today to learn more about planning ahead for a financially secure future.Continue reading
When questioned about why they have not started saving towards their retirement years, many of the younger generation state that there is not enough money left over after paying off student loans and covering living expenses. However, many individuals discover that they are able to find additional cash to save for retirement when they are willing to put in a little extra effort. The advice below can help get you started towards achieving your financial goals for retirement.
Carefully Inspect Bank Statements
Some of the biggest ways in which individuals lose money each month are repeated small purchases and non-cancelled subscriptions. Start by printing out a bank statement that covers your expenses for the past two to three months because this will allow you to see if there are expenses that can be reduced or even eliminated. For instance, consider making fewer trips to your local coffee shop and ensure that any unused subscriptions or membership fees are cancelled as soon as possible.
Any money saved by taking these actions can then be put towards your retirement fund.
Consider Taking on a Second Job
If you currently work regular hours and cannot seem to find extra money to put towards retirement, taking on a second job (even temporarily) may be an option. Options such as driving for Uber or Lyft, or even delivering pizzas and other fast food in your spare time can help bring in a fair amount of additional cash. Although it may seem like you aren’t earning a lot from a part-time position, every dollar helps when it comes to investing towards your golden years.
Avoid Taking on Unnecessary Debt
Although it’s sometimes necessary to take on debt – such as when you purchase a car or home – unnecessary debt can be classified as store credit cards and any other type of expenditure that isn’t absolutely necessary.
If you do currently carry balances on store cards, credit cards and anywhere else for items such as clothing, gadgets and other non-essential items, consider paying these off as quickly as possible. Once this has been done, you can take the amount you were paying towards these and apply them to your new retirement savings plan instead.
Save those Raises and Bonuses
When receiving a raise or bonus at work, it can be tempting to let these funds simply be absorbed into your regular spending. However, even saving a portion of these instead of spending everything can make the difference between retiring and retiring comfortably. If you still have debt, funds from your raises and bonuses can be applied towards it so that it can be repaid quicker. After your debt has been repaid, you can channel these amounts to your 401(k), IRA or other investment funds you may have.
If you’re unsure of where you can make changes in your existing budget and spending habits, why not contact one of our team members today? They will be most willing to assist you so that you can achieve your goal of being able to retire comfortably.
Take advantage of your employer’s 401(k) and company match.
Here’s the simple breakdown of where your investing should start. First, look into your employer’s 401(k). If you have this and you’re able to, max out the amount of contributions you can put into this fund, which is $18,500 a year of your own money.
That $18,500 doesn’t include your company match. If your employer offers this, then use it with a grateful heart. A company match of any percentage is a great employee benefit to get you even closer to your retirement goals. Remember though, that match isn’t part of the 15% you’re investing. It’s just a lovely little bonus.
After you hit the $18,500 mark, you’ll call in reinforcements such as the Roth IRA, which allows up to $5,500 a year. If you need help working through all this, or you’re ready to invest beyond those two levels, you should talk to an investing pro.
Rein in your spending.
It’s time to get real. With yourself. Review your money habits to see where you can rein in your spending. That gum-buying routine, drive-thru coffee habit, or comical T-shirt obsession could be costing you some serious money that would be way better used toward investing in retirement.
Be honest with yourself about places you overspend or budget lines that could be easily lowered. Here’s one simple solution as an example: Meal planning can save you around $200 a month. That would give an awesome jolt to your retirement savings right there—without a huge sacrifice other than some time being intentional with your grocery planning and shopping.Continue reading