While we’re talking about goals and the new year, let’s discuss financial goals. This is a subject that is uncomfortable for a lot of people. It’s a lot easier to just stick our heads in the sand and ignore it all. But our finances should be planned as much as anything else we do in our life. Even more so than other goals in my opinion. Because if we don’t plan our financial adventures, the other adventures in our lives aren’t going to happen. As the great Zig Ziglar said, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” So let’s put our goals out there early in the year so that we know what we are aiming at.
What do you want your year to look like? Do you want to be debt free? Do you want to own your own home? Do you want to be able to travel? What do you want retirement to look like? Do you want to retire early, or do some form of work forever? Does your vision of retirement cost as much as you are making now, or less? These are all questions that need to be asked.
Here’s my list of things to consider so that 2017 can be your best financial year so far:
- How much debt do you have and how much can you pay it down this year? This is the most important thing on your list this year. Start this right away so that you can move to the next item on the list.
- How much extra can you pay on your mortgage? The sooner you have your house paid off, the better, but make sure to pay off your other debt first. That way you can take the money you are paying on student loans, credit cards, cars, etc. and put it toward your mortgage too. Being mortgage free puts a lot of extra cash in your hands every month.
- How much do you need to have saved for your retirement? Chris Hogan has a great retirement calculator that will help you see where you’re at and how much more you need to save. Don’t think that you don’t have to worry about this yet, because everyone over the age of 18 should be thinking about retirement. Time is money, and the sooner you start saving, the less painful it will be. On the other hand, it is never too late to start saving either, you will just have to save more aggressively if you start later. https://www.chrishogan360.com/riq/
- What adventures do you want to go on this year? Plan this into your budget so that they are paid for in advance, an adventure isn’t nearly as much fun if you are charging it on a credit card.
- How about budgeting for Christmas now so that December isn’t so financially draining.
- If you’ve gotten your budget put together, go through it and recommit to sticking to it. If you haven’t, read my article on choosing the best budgeting system for you, and get it put together. Don’t wait any longer.
The new year is a great time to start on a new financial path. The holidays with all of their added expenses are over. We’re thinking about fresh starts anyway.
You have the whole year ahead of you to save for some of the expenses that you know are coming up. Make a commitment now to end 2017 better off financially.