Personal Financial Goals
Do you often set personal finance goals as New Years resolutions? When life inevitably gets in the way, you completely, unintentionally abandon them by March?
This was me for several years until I set SMART, short-term financial goals with a deadline of 1 year or less.
In case you haven’t heard of SMART – it stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.
Setting SMART goals not only helped me attain my goals, it instilled a good financial mindset all year round. It kept me frugal and grounded. I was also setting bigger personal finance goals because I was motivated by the momentum.
What are examples of personal finance goals?
Here are 8 personal finance goal examples that are achievable for even the BUSIEST people.
Let’s get right in…
8 Personal Financial Goals
1) Read 1 personal finance book
If you can read 2, 3 or 4, all the better! Depending on what knowledge you have about personal finance, 1 book can be life changing!
I try to read a few personal finance books each year.
Every time, I read a GREAT personal finance book, my life changes for the better in a BIG way.
After I read Rich Dad Poor Dad, I refinanced my house, unlocked the appreciated value, and bought a rental home. Now I have rental income!
Your Money or Your Life made me think differently about money and jobs. I value my time more and my goals have now shifted. I started this blog to document this quest towards early retirement. Starting this blog has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done. I learn something new everyday from blogging. I’ve met many smart people I never would have otherwise encountered.
You can listen to these books through Audible’s 30 day FREE trial, which gets you 2 FREE books! Audible, an Amazon company, has the world’s largest selection of digital audiobooks. Even if you cancel within the free trial period, the books are yours to keep!
Related Book Reviews:
- Your Money or Your Life: 9 steps to transforming your relationship with money and achieving financial independence
- Rich Dad Poor Dad: what the rich teach their kids about money
2) Find a financial mentor or role model
This person doesn’t have to be a “mentor” in the traditional sense.
It can just be a friend. Someone you can bounce ideas off of. Ideally someone who’s also enthusiastic about personal finance who you can learn, share and grow with.
Having that person in your life can make you more accountable for your goals and push you farther in your progress.
I’m lucky that my husband and family are my financial mentors and role models. We’re all interested in improving our finances. We help each other when we can.
If you don’t have people like this in your life, find people online. This sounds crazy! Of course you want to be safe and not exchange personal passwords with strangers.
One thing I’ve done this year is join Facebook groups that are financially focused or blogging related. I’ve learned so much from just participating in and reading the forums.
Through the blogging groups, I joined mastermind groups. I’m excited about connecting with these bloggers next year. I know it will make a huge impact on my blog and I hope to do the same with their’s.
If this isn’t possible, follow someone who inspires and motivates you. Understand what their routines are and what tools they use.
Tools of Titans, written by 4 Hour Work Week author Tim Ferriss, outlines the tactics, routines and habits of billionaires, icons and world-class performers. There are over 200 interviewees including Tony Robbins, Jamie Fox, and Malcolm Gladwell.
Learning a tool here and there and having that positive influence in your life – it can make a big impact.
3) Add an income stream
Most of us rely on our 9-5 paycheck. There’s nothing wrong with that.
For emergencies, your savings and retirement goals and just for cash flow management, it’s always a good idea to add another income stream.
It could be something small like credit card cash back rewards or a one-off bank promotion sign up bonus.
It could build into a full-time passive income stream like stock dividends or interest payments such as through Lending Loop or Lending Club.
Perhaps you can monetize a hobby? If you like to knit in your spare time, you can sell your creations on Etsy.
My goal is to constantly add income streams and then nurture them until they become more passive.
I currently manage 6 different types.
Developing them to this systematic, passive stage allows me to have the time to explore other money making opportunities or cost reduction strategies.
4) Cut or reduce 1 regular bill this year
When life gets busy, you get into the habit of paying your regular bills without thinking if you can get it cheaper elsewhere.
If you make the commitment to just look at one bill, you can save hundreds of dollars per year.
It could just involve looking at the competitors’ offers and renegotiating with your current vendor. There’s often room for negotiation with many companies – even with advertised prices.
I just did this with my cell phone and internet bill earlier this year. I saw a promotion with a competitor, called the company I’m with, and asked if they could match the price, which they did.
Or you could nix a bill all together like a landline if you have a cell phone. Or you could replace your cable with streaming services like Amazon Prime. This membership has 2 great benefits: free 2 day shipping and free access to movies, TV shows, music and books.
You no longer have to worry about last minute items. You can cancel your other movie, music and book subscription services.
You can also get 20% off diapers and baby food when you have more than 5 subscriptions through Amazon.
Get the Amazon 30 day FREE trial here. You can cancel at anytime. No questions asked.
5) Sell 1 possession per month
I love goals that improve your life in multiple ways! Selling your stuff not only gives you extra money, it also allows you to declutter!
An open space just feels good! It gives you space to move around. Clears your mind of the overwhelm from messiness, which only makes you productive to make more money!
Where do you find items to sell? I usually look through my closet for things that don’t fit me or that I haven’t worn for over a year.
If you need help selecting items for sale, you can read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.
The author Marie Kondo is a Japanese organizing consultant who created the KonMari method. It involves picking up each thing you own and seeing which ones spark joy. It’s a New York Times best-selling guide.
Giving yourself a goal of selling 1 thing a month is attainable if you take well lit photos, set competitive prices, and include detailed descriptions with the condition of the item.
6) Have a no spend month for non-essentials
Earlier in the year, I tried doing this. It opened my eyes to what is possible.
My no spend month parameters were only spending on essentials. So not spending on things like going out to restaurants, the theater, sports games.
Not getting Starbucks coffee/tea or buying pop from the store. Not drinking alcohol, smoking, gambling or playing the lottery.
How did we cope?
We rented books and movies from the library. We spent time outdoors and at the park.
Side story: my husband used to have difficulty sleeping. We couldn’t figure out why. We realized it was from the caffeine in the pop! Now he only occasionally drinks pop on the weekends.
We cooked at home and learned new recipes. This was the most difficult part for me. I love trying new food (I didn’t cook) and the convenience of take out! The Instant Pot helped with this! Pressure-cooked food tastes good and it’s fast to cook!
We even walked more (instead of driving) to get to and from the grocery store.
After a no spend month, it’s surprising how many free activities are available. How not spending doesn’t inconvenience you greatly, especially once you make it into a habit, and can be better for your health.
Some people take it to an extreme level and don’t spend any money the entire year. I haven’t made it that far yet, but I’m up to the challenge sometime this year!
7) Execute 2-3 activities to give yourself more time
Make yourself more focused and productive so that you can spend time on things that will help your bottom line!
Here are examples of activities I’ve done to give myself more time back:
- Eliminate emails that waste time and don’t add value to your end goals. Take the time to hit that unsubscribe button!
- Limit TV watching. Maybe limit this to 2-3 hours per week. I love watching TV! I used to work at a movie store just to get the 10 free movies per week. When I think back, I don’t remember 90% of the movies I watched. I didn’t learn anything from them. Sure it made me feel good for the moment. I could have spent that time doing more meaningful things.
- Make a to do list to prioritize your time. Whenever I feel overwhelmed with things that need to get done, I write them down and circle the ones that have to get done today because
- they’re time sensitive
- give me larger returns the earlier I do them
- or they’re things I’ve been putting off for a while (I try to tackle this first because the longer you put it off, the larger the burden that grows with it and weighs you down.)
- Meal plan all of your meals for the week. Meal planning not only saves you time, but money as well! If you’re new to meal planning, check out the $5 meal plan. For only $5 a month, you receive a delicious meal plan that only costs $2 per meal! If you’re interested, they offer a 14 day free trial (approximately 40 recipes) – regular or gluten-free – that you can cancel at any time with no questions asked.
- Get the roomba – the robot vacuum. It’s not cheap, but for the amount of time you save from not having to vacuum, it’s worth it! We’ve had our roomba for a few years and it’s still going strong!
8) Create 1 goal for what you’re saving your money towards
All work and no play doesn’t make for a fun year. All this saving that you’re doing – you should put it towards something important to you e.g. a vacation, a house, your early retirement, paying off your student loans or mortgage!
Every time you add to that savings, the goal will give you motivation to continue working towards it.
Recap of the Personal Finance Goals
- Read 1 personal finance book
- Find a financial mentor or role model
- Add an income stream
- Cut or reduce 1 regular bill this year
- Sell 1 possession per month
- Have a no spend month for non-essentials
- Execute 2-3 activities to give yourself more time
- Create 1 goal for what you’re saving your money towards
Final Thoughts on Personal Finance Goals
Hopefully this list gives you some ideas on what financial goals you’ll want to implement.
Once you’ve finalized the goals you’re interested in, write them down in a place you’ll see every day. That could be your daily calendar or a white board at home. You want to be constantly reminded.
To keep yourself motivated, spread out your goals throughout your year. Break down large goals into small, attainable tasks.
The next few months are going to be life-changing. You can do this!
Related Personal Finance Goals Articles:
- How to stop buying things to save money
- How to reduce your food costs by 50%!
- Easy ways to lower your home utilities expenses
- Money sayings that will change your life forever
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