I love love LOVE money goals! When your brain is focused on a specific goal, you take the steps to get to that goal and actually achieve it. So many of you have achieved incredible money goals like paying off credit cards in full, paying off student loan debt, and even saving enough money for a down payment on a house.
Get excited because today you’re going to learn how to achieve your money goal. You can do this!
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Here are six things to do this year to hit your money goals.
I know I know, you are probably not even going to read this because you hate budgeting. You’re always told to budget but you think it’s tedious and time consuming. And at first, it is, but it eventually becomes a habit and it’ll be one of the best things you can do for yourself long-term.
Budgeting is giving your money a task and it is not depriving yourself of the fun things. Instead, you’re setting aside money specifically for the fun things. I used to despise budgeting and avoided it for years, and believe it or not, I now check my budget every 3 days because I enjoy seeing that I’m on track.
So how do you start a budget? It’s pretty easy actually and I’m going to break it down the easiest way possible.
Step #1: Calculate how much you take home.
Step #2: Create spending categories and allocate money into each spending category.
I personally use the free version of the app EveryDollar and find it’s the best method for me, but it might not be for you. Budgeting is a very personal thing and the same method doesn’t work for everyone.
If you need a little extra help, here’s a thorough post on creating a budget.
#2 Choose a goal
Now that you’ve got your budget underway, it’s time to create those money goals!
If you’re having trouble choosing a money goal, think about what you’re currently struggling with or something you want to strive for. Maybe it’s paying off that last student loan or that credit card that has way too high of a balance. Or maybe you just want to go on a vacation with the fam.
Once you have a goal in mind, put that goal in SIGHT. You need to be reminded of this goal every single day or else you’ll forget about it. For example, our current money goal is to pay off a whoppin’ $62,000 in student loans. We have a piece of paper on the fridge that tells how much we have left on the loans and it is so motivating. (We are $25,000 away from paying it off!).
Here are some money goals to choose from.
- Pay off my auto loan in full
- Contribute 15% to my retirement
- Pay off my high balance credit card
- Save $3,000 for a dream vacation
- Fully fund my emergency fund
#3 Create monthly goals
Now that you’ve chosen your goal, it’s time to break down goal down into smaller, more manageable goals.
I mean, thinking about my huge goal of paying off $62,000 in student loans is scary! That’s why we broke that goal down into smaller goals. We have a goal to pay off $2,000 in student loans on regular paycheck months, and months where we get an extra paycheck, we pay off $3,000. We could honestly do more but we love having fun with our money and enjoying it.
So if your goal is to pay off a $10,000 credit card balance, you’re either thinking “this is totally possible!” or “there’s no way I can possibly do that”. Whichever thought you’re having, you CAN do this. Once you’ve created a budget and found ways to save a little extra money each month, put any extra money into your credit card. If you have $500 extra each month, pay $500 toward your credit card balance.
#4 Save money now
There are so many ways to save money to help you achieve your goal even faster. You need to take advantage of them! If you complain that you don’t have enough money to put toward your money goal, find ways to save money or make more money.
Here are my favorite ways to save money that I actually use in my real life.
If you’re lazy like me, you don’t want to scour the internet for the best coupon. Honey does that for you. Honey finds the best deals for you by searching for the best coupons, track prices to see if you’re buying at the best time, and even notifies you when prices drop.
Ebates gives you cash back for doing that shopping you’re already doing. You might as well earn some money back if you’re going to shop anyways. Even better, I think if you use my link you get $30 and I get $30. So it’s a win-win. You need to make a qualifying purchase of $30 to get that $30. I hope that makes sense!
#5 Learn the right skills
What if you’re someone who has no personal finance skills? Don’t worry about it because we all start somewhere.
Here are what I believe are the top personal finance skills you need to know.
- Budgeting (but we already went over that).
- Paying off debt
- Building credit and paying off credit cards responsibly
- Investing for your retirement
These are four key skills that will really help you all throughout your life. And even better, you can teach these skills to others or if you have children.
What if you don’t know these skills? You’re obviously in the right place.
For paying off debt, I recommend reading:
For paying off credit cards responsibly, I recommend reading:
For investing, I recommend reading:
#6 Join a community of like-minded peeps
It is so much easier to achieve your goals when you have support. So whether that support is coming from family, friends, or random strangers in a Facebook group, you need that support.
When you’re struggling or feel like giving them, reach out to someone or make a post in a Facebook group and share why you’re struggling. We can help!
I also have a lot of readers email me to get support and to just talk to someone. It helps to get your struggles out or ask what’s been working for someone else.
More helpful tips:
- Make budgeting a habit (check in regularly!)
- Increase your retirement contributions
- Still have fun with money (spend money on things you enjoy)
- Don’t deprive yourself of your favorite things
- Put your goals in sight (stick that goal on the fridge!)
Money goals and how to achieve them
Example #1 Stash away a fully funded emergency fund
If you lost your job for six months, how much money would you need? Though this is a scary question, it’s a question worth asking. You’re being responsible by storing away money for an emergency fund and everyone needs to have one.
If you don’t have an emergency fund, start with $1,000. This is a great start and can be quite motivating to keep going.
And one of my best pieces of advice is to put your money into a high yield savings account. High yield savings accounts earn up to six times more than your regular local bank. For example, my local bank gives me .03% while my Ally Bank savings account currently gives .50%. Before March 2020 (when you know what happened), my savings account was 2%APY. Interest rates change for so many reasons (more on that here if you’re interested). If your money is going to sit and not be spent unless an emergency happens, you might as well have it building some money with a high yield savings account.
Example #2 Saving $3,000 for a getaway vacation for the family
If you don’t have any extra money to put toward a family vacation, I recommend finding a side hustle. Here are some side hustles I recommended checking out:
- Selling printables on Etsy
- Selling dog treats from your home kitchen
- Working as a proofreader
- Earn money with surveys like Swagbucks and Springboard America
You can achieve your money goals, so start believing you can. Readers email me all the time sharing their money wins such as paying off student loans, credit cards, and even car loans. No goal is unreachable. You just have to believe in yourself. And well, if you don’t believe in yourself, then I do!
- How To Create A Debt-Free Plan
- Financial Goals You Should Make In Your Twenties
- 10 New Years Goals To Make For The Best Year
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What are your goals this year?
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