As we enter the second half of 2015, it’s time to evaluate your personal financial goals. Whether you have goals in place or you need to create them, now is the time to rededicate your finances to goals like eliminating consumer debt, building savings or sticking to a budget. Use the month of July and this challenge post to help with your financial goals.
2015 Financial Goals Challenge
Even though half of 2015 has gone by, there is still plenty of time to set financial goals or get them back on track. If you have been diligent this year with your goals, it’s still a great time to evaluate your progress and maybe increase your efforts.
Setting SMART Financial Goals
Setting SMART goals for your finances can make the difference between succeeding and failing or giving up. Goals are more than just ideas or a dollar amount you want to reach; goals should be well thought out and follow certain criteria.
SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Here is what a SMART goal would look like to reduce credit card debt.
Specific: I will pay off $5,000 in credit card debt.
Measurable: I will apply at least $100 each month to that debt.
Achievable: I can achieve this if I cut back on my cable and dining out.
Realistic: I need to reduce my debt to apply more money to savings and future goals. My budget still works with the reduction in spending.
Timely: I will pay off this debt in 30 months.
For a more thorough overview, read this SMART goals blog post.
Overcoming Financial Setbacks to Eliminate Debt
Maybe you have established financial goals for 2015, but you have hit some setbacks. Let’s find a few ways to overcome those obstacles when trying to eliminate debt.
- Adjust the end date – less money means a longer time frame
- Redo the budget – find room elsewhere to make up for the new deficit
- Table another financial goal and focus on eliminating the debt first
It’s important to be honest about your financial goals. Changing the plan due to circumstances is totally acceptable and happens to most people. Life happens. Just don’t give up! Getting rid of debt will allow you to focus on savings and other financial needs.
Increasing Financial Goals
If you’re having a good financial year, then congratulations! Hopefully you’re still dedicated to your financial goals and doing really well. If so, you should consider increasing how aggressively you are tackling debt or building savings.
Take some time to go over your budget and identify any areas that you could redirect to one of your goals, like eliminating consumer debt. If you consistently have money left over in dining out or you still have a high cable bill, consider using that money to reach your goals even faster than anticipated. Remember to keep your budget realistic.
Make July the month that you move forward with your personal financial goals for 2015. Start a budget, reduce debt or build savings using the SMART goals model. You can also review previous challenges and start them anytime.
To speak to a credit counselor today about budgeting and managing your finances, call 800-769-3571.