Over the past few years I have learned the value of setting an intention when it comes to money and today I want to help you do the same. For a long time, we did not have any goals as far as finance was concerned. Unbelievably I wasn’t even aiming to pay off my overdraft because it didn’t seem possible! We weren’t really aiming for anything so we didn’t really achieve anything either.
As soon as we started to set goals we made progress. At first, the goal was just to save a small amount each month but currently, our short term goal is to save at least 20% of our household income each month. We have set medium term travel goals that we consistently save for and have a long term goal to own a home mortgage free.
Setting financial goals allowed us to travel back home to the other side of the world for my sister’s wedding and have a wonderful holiday at Disneyland on the way. If you are interested, you can read more about how we did this here. Goal setting also provided us with the financial security to be able to buy a replacement car when our old one died.
I believe that the process of goal setting makes progress towards any positive change more likely and I believe that setting financial goals for your family has the power to change your experience with money.
‘Your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.’ Abraham Lincoln
An initial short term goal could be to take steps to save a set amount by the end of the month – just like we did when we actually started to have a plan. You could write a budget for the month or even aim to just keep track of how you are actually spending your money for a week or a month. This is sobering but doing it really helped us understand where our money was actually going and what we needed to cut back on.
The point is to take the first step towards managing your money.
A positive medium term goal could be a target that could be met within a year or two such as saving for a trip, saving up for a replacement car, paying off a loan or simply working towards having an amount that you agree on in your savings account. A long term goal could potentially span anything from one year to 30 or 40 years! As I mentioned, our current long term goal is to be able to buy a house. Where we currently live in Auckland New Zealand, this is not currently possible in our price range so we see this as a five to ten year plan. We know where we are heading and I am confident that we will get there in the end.
Today I want to encourage you to take the first step in your own Simple Money Project. Identify three goals: short term, medium term and long term that are aspirational and meaningful for your family. This will give you a sense of purpose and will start to simplify your money journey because nothing aids navigation more than knowing what your destination will be.
Personally I find it helpful to have a visual reminder of my goals and so I have put together this resource that you can print and then fill in with your goals before displaying in your home if you would find that helpful! In any case, if you needed to read this today – take the first step. Set some goals and take some action!
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it.” –Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe