As February comes to a close, we’re at a point where many of us start to lose momentum on our yearly attempts to change for the better. Are your New Year’s resolutions or yearly personal finance goals still on track? There’s still plenty of 2017 left to improve your outlook and behavior!
Don’t Give Up on Finance Goals
Whether you started strong or never started at all, it’s still worth it to pursue financial health goals this year. Your personal finances should always be something you’re paying attention to and seeking to improve. Plus, there is still a lot of year left to make adjustments that could have a big impact on your financial outlook for years to come. Here are some ideas to get you started or get back on track.
- Keep it Simple – To be effective, finance goals don’t need to be complex. Goals like “save more” or “spend less” can have a big impact. The key is to think of actions that will help make these goals part of your routine. Start with reworking your budget and tracking spending changes along with how much more is left over for putting in savings or paying off debt.
- Shorten the Timeline – Set a monthly or even weekly goal that moves you closer to a more long-term achievement. Turning your goal into a habit and seeing progress on a small scale improves the likelihood for success.
- Lower the Expectation – If you started towards a very ambitious goal, try lowering the threshold for success. Instead of aiming for “being debt free this year,” try to “reduce credit card debt by half” or “pay one card off completely.”
- Set Specific Targets – Vague goals frequently don’t offer precise actions to achieve them. Conversely, a specific dollar amount allows for planning that establishes incremental steps to reach the target successfully.
- Seek Knowledge – Sometimes our finance goals themselves are good, but we lack the know-how to complete them. Searching online or speaking with a professional who can provide financial counseling helps get insight on how to go about attaining goals safely and efficiently.
No matter what, keep in mind that readjusting is not failing. Setting new goals doesn’t mean the old goals are off the table. Keep moving forward and chipping away at the short-term objectives, so the long-term goals will come within striking distance.