How many times have you told yourself that you will quit spending money? How many times have you told yourself that you will stop going out in order to save money? Chances are that most people couldn’t come up with an answer because the number would be too high. We all lie to ourselves.
We need to be realistic and understand that the financial planning process isn’t easy. It’s just not that was to set financial goals and actually achieve them.
I lie to myself way more than I should about my financial goals. The reason for this is that I often get so eager to try a new idea after I read about it that I get into the positive results without considering the work required to get there. The financial planning process needs to take into account the work involved and not just the speculator potential results.
The good news is that I’m here to write about the financial planning process and how you can set money-related goals that are achievable:
Target your problem area(s).
My main problem is spending too much money on food. I know that it would be impossible to state that I’ll never pay for food again because it just won’t happen. Instead I decided to get more realistic about my problem area.
Over the last few months I have gotten to the point where I plan almost every meal. I go to the grocery store beside my school and I purchase a days worth of food for under $10. This is a great improvement for me but I have one more thing left to do. I want to try to eat every breakfast meal at home. Whatever your problem area is you must know what it is and be willing to work on it.
Set a realistic financial goal.
Don’t tell yourself that you will quit eating out or figure out what to do after college if you know that it’s not going to happen. Instead set a goal to eat out only a certain amount of times a week. Just like you won’t figure out how the stock market works by tomorrow morning, you also won’t be able to reach unrealistic goals.
Focus on the power of slow and consistent effort.
Trying to eliminate all of your weaknesses at once is very short sighted and will only lead to more problems down the road. Instead try to find ways to do certain things less often.
Here’s a quick example of how you can save money by living with your means and cutting down essentially:
If you got plans to go out for next Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, call one of your friends to let them know you can’t make it on Thursday. You’ll still get to go out. You’re only going to miss one night. Can you spare one night
If you eat out three times a day then make it a goal to make your own sandwich for lunch.
My major take home point for today is to quit lying to yourself and be realistic when you set financial goals.