It really feels quite exciting to implement new financial strategies, practices, and goals every year. However, it could be pretty challenging to overhaul your finances altogether at one go. You do not have to take dramatic steps to achieve all your financial goals at the beginning of every year. Instead, you could achieve those personal financial objectives steadily and surely by making certain effective long-term plans that you could really stick to firmly. Here are some major personal finance goals to concentrate on and achieve in 2018. You do not have to aim at achieving them all at once, you could focus on one at a time and if by the end of the year, you have managed to fulfill the applicable goals, you are certain to achieve incredible progress in your personal financial life.
You Must Determine Personal Savings Goals for 2018
Do not simply choose an ambiguous number. You must calculate how much income you are getting every month, and your monthly fixed expenses and accordingly determine how much you could actually save every month. You must set both yearly and monthly savings goals and it would be ideal if both these financial goals actually align with each other.
- Build a Robust Emergency Fund: If you still do not have an emergency or rainy day fund, creating one must be your top priority and first savings goal. It would be great if it syncs up with your specific personal savings objectives. Remember it is necessary to make sure that your emergency fund has enough money for covering expenses for about three to almost six months. This should be including all your living expenses and those of your dependents.
- Plan a Cozy but Budget-Friendly Trip: Once you start gaining financial freedom, you could start planning for certain fun trips. When you make travel plans, flight, and hotel reservations, you feel great that you could make all this happen as you could make substantial savings. Start planning your travel destination in 2018 if you haven’t done it already.
- Keep Tracking or Monitoring Your Expenses: Your aim must be to keep monitoring all your expenses as if you fail to do so, you would have absolutely no idea as to how much exactly you are spending every month. That would be hindering your capacity to budget. So it is mandatory to track all your expenses every month and you must know how much you are spending on utilities, rent, and other utilities. You must additionally determine how much you guys are spending on eating out, coffee, alcohol, or other entertainment etc.
- Chalk out a Budget & Stick to It: You must determine a budget and firmly stick to it. Remember there is a huge difference between creating a budget and creating a budget that you could follow and stick to. That is the reason why it pays to monitor your expenses as it could effectively inform and impact all your budgeting choices. Remember to chalk out a budget in 2018 that inspires you to firmly follow it.
- Pay off All Your Credit Card Debts: If you are having substantial credit card debts, it is imperative to pay them off and that should be your topmost financial objective and priority for 2018. The interest rates seem to be astronomical in terms of credit card debts as opposed to interest rates of the student loans. That is the main reason why you must necessarily get rid of all your expensive credit card debts. In the event of any financial crises, you could browse through debt consolidation reviews for expert assistance and professional advice.
- Discuss Personal Finance with Your Life Partner: If you are already married or just engaged, it is important to discuss money matters. You need to be honest and transparent about all your debts including student loan debt, and credit card debts even though it is a really very tough topic to discuss. Moreover, you must also discuss topics such as personal finance goals, and money habits to make sure that you are financially compatible and are thinking on the same lines.
- Be Optimistic but Realistic: Setting a goal is very important in deciding the direction that your company takes. In regard to this, it is quite common to set goals so lofty that your staff can never hope to accomplish them. Aiming so high is a grave mistake because the plans don’t work out in the first place, and then your workforce gets extremely demoralized and may not be willing to attempt the same task when the time is right in the near or distant future. It is important that you make informed decisions when deciding your goals. Have an idea for the long term, but feel free to set multiple short-term goals to achieve it in realistic increments.
- Don’t Set Things in Stone: In an ideal world, everything would pan out just the way you’d want it to. Unfortunately, contingencies are very real and very likely, and you must be ready to face them head-on. When you feel like you are in over your head, you must alter your goals or make a pivot to ensure you can salvage what is left of the situation and keep going forward. This does not make you a bad manager; in fact, having the mental fortitude to make the right call is the sign of an excellent leader. Be prepared for eventualities and act on them, but ensure your decisions aren’t knee-jerk and that people are on-board with them.
- Document Everything: An undocumented goal is unlikely to be remembered or fulfilled. If it’s important, write it down- on a diary, a document, a whiteboard, a post-it note; the choice is yours. If you have them written down, you are likely to revisit them intentionally or unintentionally and this will remind you to consider how far you have gone and where you are in terms of achieving the goals.
Conclusion: Always Stay Focused
Personal finance is easy to keep up with if you stay absolutely focused and alert. There are sales and discounts that run all year long and it is rather easy to get tempted to purchase things. While cheating on your budget is okay once in a while, distractions could derail your goals in the bigger picture. You have to keep your long-term goals in mind and ensure you aren’t falling into a trap that you can’t get out of. This is easier said than done, of course, but with determination and practice, you should be just fine.