Life is the hardest thing that we all go through, with many complicated decisions that have to be made from the job that we do to the person we choose to be with forever. We all have a purpose and a reason in life, we don’t just float through life waiting for things to happen. The phrase ‘life is what you make it’ is likely the truest thing that you will ever understand in your life, because it’s going to be the goals that you have set out for yourself that you want to achieve which will dictate everything that you do. For example, you may have daydreamed about owning a beautiful car and you know that it’s going to take more than the salary that you can earn in a grocery store to get there. So, you could alter your path by choosing to go back into education and complete a degree which will unlock the door to a salary that pays you more. It’s things like that which will help you to understand that you need to take a few steps left and right before you can step forward towards the goals that you have for yourself and your family.
All of us have financial dreams, and they vary person to person. Some people want to pay off their student loan debts as fast as possible so that they can redirect that money onto things that they want rather than paying debts. Some people want to save as much cash as humanly possible throughout life, sacrificing the fun they could have right now, so they can set up their future according to the lifestyle that they want to live. Some people want to be able to buy or build their dream home, so that one day they have assets to pass down to their children. The biggest challenge that you will face will be making those dreams that you have for your life become more than dreams. It’s going to be trying to set the goals that you have – which is hard enough if you’re not sure how to articulate those dreams into living goals. Then, you’re going to have to try to save the cash that you need to for those goals to be viable. For example, taking a mortgage calculator to work out how much cash you really need to have before you can put in an offer on your dream home. You need to know how much money you need for each goal before you get started, otherwise you’re not going to be able to make that goal everything that you need for it to be. Lastly, you need to achieve it. Achieving the goals that you want to hit is going to be the bit where you cross the finish line, arms in the air and screaming that you did it.
Regardless of the goal that you have for yourself and your future, there are fiver very specific steps that you can take to make your goal a total reality. Follow these, and your cash goals could be achieved much faster than you anticipated.
So, you know what you want to achieve. You want the dream house. You want the beautiful 4X4 hybrid (because you know, environment). But you have to ask yourself how you are going to get from the position that you are in now to where you want to be. Having a dream is lovely, but you need to give your dream a solid but very real timeframe. Let’s say you want to be putting that deposit down on a new house in 4 years. How do you plan to save for the deposit? How much cash can you realistically put away, allowing for bills, food and even the unexpected? You should include emergency savings in your overall budgeting so that you don’t have to touch your dream savings to get you there. You have to allow a level of flexibility in your goal planning, because you can’t always predict a financial crash. You also cannot predict it if you lose your job or need to move to a new home. There are a number of things in life that can take things away from what you consider to be stability, so have a detailed plan, and then plan to throw it out if you have to! Ideally, you don’t want your plans to unravel, so by considering all the things that could go wrong, you could make life easier for yourself.
Be Real About Your Planning
Building castles in the sky is fun, we all know that. We dream about the house with the pool and the two-car garage in the best neighbourhood. If you’re working a job that just about allows for you to afford the rent on a six-floor walk-up, though, those castles are never going to get built. You need to get real about your dream; but that doesn’t mean that you have to give it up. It just meant a little sidestep here and a little sidestep there are going to be necessary. Establishing what is realistic for your finances is vital if you want to get anywhere near achieving your goals. Look at what you can realistically manage right now. If your goal is to be debt free in five years’ time, can you clear any of that this month? The long-term goals are great, but if you can’t add anything to it in the short-term, it won’t be realistic.
Smaller Milestones Keep You Moving Forward
Much as it’s nice to think about the end game, there are often many obstacles to get you there. Looking at a deposit for a house being $50,000 can be far too overwhelming, right? It’s much easier to give up the ghost when you look at something that is a pretty insurmountable amount of money to save. It can send you spiralling into a kind of depression if you don’t feel like you can hit the target that you are desperate to hit. So, the best thing to do is look for the smaller milestones to keep you on track and motivated. If you are looking to save a deposit of $50,000 in five years, then you need to think about what you can save this year, which would be $10,000. That’s a saving of $800 this month. That’s also a requirement that you save $175 as a minimum this very week. $175 sounds a heck of a lot more manageable than $50,000, doesn’t it? Once you understand that smaller milestones are not just achievable, they’re EASY, then you can surge forward toward your goals and feel comfortable in hitting them.
Get Your Savings Automated
The biggest problem for most people when it comes to saving up is that they find it easy to avoid doing it. It’s not that they don’t want to, it’s just that on payday, it can often be far more fun to buy a new pair of designer shoes or a handbag than it is to put the money away and be sensible. This is where technology is beautiful. We automate a lot of our finances these days by setting up payments that are instant for our rent, utilities and our other outgoings. You need to automate your savings. This means that every week on payday, you have it set up so that your weekly savings goal is met. You need to put that money you want to save to one side whether weekly or monthly. This way, by the time you check your account, what’s left after your bills, rent and savings has gone out is all yours. It helps you to learn how to live with your budget after you’ve saved the money that you need to save; it’s clever, right?
Bin The Card
Your savings account is going to be growing at a rapid rate and watching it grow is going to be satisfying for you. The thing is, the holiday you really want to go on might just happen to be the right amount of money you have in that account, and it’s linked to your online banking, so you can transfer money very easily. Keeping your savings out of your own reach so you don’t hit self-destruct and start trying to pay other bills with your goal money is not going to be easy, and that’s why it’s often a good idea to open a savings account with an entirely different bank to your own. Your savings goal money shouldn’t sit somewhere that you can get to it at any time. You should cut up or freeze the card, even giving it to a parent or family member who will put it away in a lock box for you is a good idea. It’ll help you stay on track.
Your savings goals are right within your reach, so sit up and get writing that plan. Your dreams await!