Ok, it’s question time:
- What’s your top financial priority next year?
- Your other goals?
- Your—dare I say—financial resolutions?
Please share your goals in a comment.
I’m obviously writing this around the New Year, but it doesn’t matter when you do this exercise. I mean, there’s nothing special about January 1st, right? How can it be the date when we REALLY ARE going to start hitting the gym, cut back on sugar, and finally pay off that credit card balance?
Although I would argue that there’s nothing magical about the first of the year that’s suddenly going to make developing new habits any easier, taking time to SET GOALS and figuring out HOW TO GET THERE is important. Not as important as, say, actually DOING WHAT IT TAKES, but it’s a first step.
And I think big time frames work especially well for financial goals because it takes so long to see improvements. Cutting out $100 a month of spending to pay down debt hurts immediately, but that debt still hangs around for a long time. I’ve recommended making a five-year financial plan before, but a year works, too.
AN EXERCISE IN GOAL SETTING
Need help setting some goals for next year? Try this. Grab a blank piece of paper and write down the following:
- This year I earned $…. Next year, I will earn $…. In order to make that happen, I need to ….
- Today, I have $… in debt. In a year, I will only be $… in debt. In order to make that happen, I need to ….
- Today, I have $… saved. In a year, I will have $… saved. In order to make that happen, I need to ….
- Finally…I really want to spend my time doing …. In order to make that happen, I need to ….
In case your curious, I’ll share mine: 2010 was a huge year for me. I tripled my income, I paid off the last of my credit card debt, I maxed out my Roth IRA, upped my emergency fund, and oh yeah, together with my wife I bought a house and had a baby. Crazy!
In 2011, I hope to slow things down a bit, so my goals are fairly simple. My biggest focus is going to be stashing away money in savings and investing accounts for future wants like a new car, home improvements, and vacations, as well as continuing to GROW MY BUSINESS in some pretty exciting ways (more on that next week).
That’s mine, now share yours! What financial goals do you hope to achieve this year?