What Are Your Financial Goals?
Money can be so hard to talk about; especially when it comes to setting a budget or determining financial goals. One woman recently summed it up while talking with a financial investor:
“I’d love to think about investing but I have to have money first.”
If you are in that situation, living paycheck to paycheck and feeling stressed just making ends meet, setting financial goals may seem like a silly exercise. Yet, if you don’t have a goal, you will never be able to work your way out of your current circumstance.
The definition of insanity says it all:
“Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.”
Actually Albert Einstein took it one step further when he said:
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
Keeping that in mind, it is time to shake things up with your finances, set a few goals and move forward in a direction that offers you a little financial freedom so that you don’t die in debt.
MarketWatch got to the heart of the matter in a recent article in which they revealed:
More than 1 in 10 Americans (12%) think they will die in debt. That’s according to a recent study by CreditCards.com.
But it’s troubling because Americans now have more debt than they have in years. “I’m worried that some people are getting carried away,” says Matt Schulz, the senior industry analyst for CreditCards.com. “Credit card debt has been rising steadily for more than five years. It seems like a lot of people are forgetting the painful lessons of the Great Recession.”
If you don’t want to become one of those statistics, it is time to set a few financial goals.
Setting Financial Goals
1. Start by assessing your current situation: Income versus financial obligations. The Nerd Wallet offers a quick quiz to help you assess your current financial health. Financial Quiz.
2. Create small mini goals. In an article from Huffington Post, they talk about bite sized financial goals:
The trick to sticking to your New Year’s Resolutions is to make them both manageable and incremental. Some people like to take their financial goals and break them down month by month, for example, if you know you have $12,000 worth of financial goals this year, you then allocate $1000 each month to them. Or you can do a “debt snowball” approach where you take either the biggest goal, (or smallest one) knock it out completely, and then move on to the next.
3. Set SMART goals. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-Limited. The Simple Dollar goes into details about how to apply the SMART technique to your financial goals. The final component – time limited – is the most valuable. Having a date you are working toward for each part of your goal helps keep you on track. Read their article here: Simple Dollar: Set SMART Goals
4. Ask for help. Whether it is from your bank, a trusted friend or a professional like the attorneys with Bankruptcy Advocates, ask for help. There is no reason to go it alone. Setting financial goals does not require reinventing the wheel, so learn from those in the know!
We have been practicing in this area for over 35 years. What we have learned is that too many people avoid discussing and dealing with their financial problems while they live paycheck to paycheck, getting deeper into debt. They are depressed and have no joy in their lives. In many cases, we can offer advice that may not even result in filing for bankruptcy that puts our clients on a path to financial solvency.
If we are speaking to you, please consider giving us a call and setting up an appointment. Know that you are not alone. You are not the first to experience this. And Bankruptcy Advocates are here to help and the initial consultation is always free. Call us.