Whether you want to help your children to pay for their college tuition, take the exotic vacation you’ve always wanted to take, or put together a down payment on the home of your dreams, figuring out the funding can be one of the most important parts of realizing your big life goals – a part that can be downright daunting.
But never fear – you don’t have to let your dreams just be dreams!
We’ve put together a few tips that can help you achieve your goals – no matter what they are.
Tip 1: Don’t be vague – Define your goal.
It’s easy to say you want something; we do it all the time. But that desire won’t go anywhere unless you take the next step and begin to determine the specifics of what you want to achieve.
Ask yourself questions like:
- How much do I need to save?
- How quickly do I want this all to happen?
By defining the parameters of your goal, you give yourself specific targets to aim for. Do some research and hammer out the details or reach out to a professional who can help you more easily get the information you need to plan.
Tip 2: Make a Plan, Stan!
Now that you’ve got the specifics set, it’s time to decide how to get there. Break down your bigger goals into smaller, more quickly achievable milestones that you can use to gauge where you are in the process. These smaller steps not only help you reach your goal, they can help keep you motivated as you check them off the list.
Let’s say that your goal is to save $25,000 for a down payment on a new home within the next five years. That works out to about $5,000 per year or about $420 per month. Each of those $420 chunks is a milestone that will help you achieve your ultimate goal!
Tip 3: Make your Plan Work for You
The next big step in the process is to work your new savings plan into your budget. This may require you to move around expenses or spending to make your new plan work. If you can’t, then pop back over to step 2 and review your plan to make tweaks so that it all works out for you.
Tip 4: Streamline, baby!
Still having trouble getting your plan to work with your budget? Then it might be time to take the axe to a few non-essentials in order to make your dreams flourish. Go through the last several months of your expenditures and make a list of all non-essential expenses. Once you’ve got your list, go through each item and ask:
- Do I really need to spend money on this?
- What value does it add to my life?
- Could this money be better spent elsewhere?
You don’t need to be brutal about things, but it’s always a good idea to self-assess and make sure your spending habits are all moving you toward your goals.
Tip 5: Eyes on the Prize
It’s easy to get discouraged when you’re playing the long game – but sometimes that’s the way things need to go. Make sure you’re celebrating the milestones and always remember what your goal is. Stick a photo of your dream home to the bathroom mirror, change your desktop background to a picture of the view you want to have from your hotel – whatever keeps you inspired and motivated.
Remember: when it all comes down to it, it’s all about you and your goals – do what you need to do to get where you want to be.
Need help? Reach out to us! We’ll be happy to help you ourselves or refer you to someone we trust to help you get to where you want to be!