Although you may be in a season where you’re spending more money than usual, now is actually a great time to craft your financial plan for next year. If you want to successfully achieve your financial goals, write out your financial plan now. If you’re an entrepreneur you’ve hopefully been in this mode for quite a while with your business, but did you remember to do this with your personal finances? The method is pretty much the same. You have to plan first then implement to achieve results. In order to achieve your financial goals in the new year, let’s talk now about how to design your plan.
As a scientist, I’m a strategist so I love designing strategies. If you don’t share the love for planning, then you may just have to grit your teeth and bear it or ask for support. Ok here are a few things to do now:
1) Make a primary goal. What is the main financial goal you want to achieve next year? This should be a goal that increases your wealth. If you have consumer debt then that should likely be your primary goal. You can’t grow your money and build wealth if you have debt. If the consumer debt is gone then you should be planning how to grow your assets and increase your net worth. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- A good start is planning to contribute more to retirement accounts if you aren’t maxing them out already.
- Talk to your financial advisor and review your investment portfolio, is the allocation of your assets the best it can be for you right now.
- Make a list of assets that you will work on acquiring in the new year. Are you going to increase contributions to a mutual fund? Are you picking your own stocks and have a list of companies where you will buy their stock? Are you going buying real estate?
2) Make two secondary goals. I suggest two because you don’t want to add so many goals that you then become overwhelmed thinking of how you’ll achieve them. Also financial goals can be hard work and a slower process to come to fruition. One goal should be another action or result that will grow your wealth. The other can be a want goal or luxury item. Maybe you want to be able to take a dream vacation with your family. Plan it out. How much do you need to save up? How long will it take you to save that amount with the money you’re able to save for vacation each month? When will you be able to take the trip? Create a plan for that luxury financial goal now so it can be a reality later.
3) Write staying on track tricks. It can be easy to write out goals and for some even a plan to those goals. It’s the implementation of the plan that’s the hard part. Temptation arises and new things happen that can cause you to get side tracked. Or sometimes your emotions get in the way. We’ve all had moments where you know you should be doing something, but you just didn’t feel like it. Emotions are powerful. However, you know you. You know when you’re not likely to “feel like it” or when an event may come up that can possibly sidetrack you.
Write out tips now that you can use to make sure you stay on track with implementing your plan for your financial goals. For example, as much as possible automate tasks that are necessary for the goal. Are you determined to contribute more to your IRA? Then automate the payment every month so you don’t skip or decrease it. The same for your savings. If you’re determined to save more, then automate the amount to savings. If there are annual sales of events that you participate in (even when you say you won’t hint hint) then plan tricks to resist them now. For example, schedule some free things to do with family, friends or by yourself on the night of the event.
You can successfully achieve your financially goals next year. It just takes planning, implementation and tricks to stay on track. What other tips do you use to stay on track?
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