Prioritize and Achieve Your Financial Goals at Different Life Stages
Like millions of other Americans, it's likely that you've added a few financial goals to your New Year's resolutions back in January. Maybe you want to pay off lingering credit card debt, make a dent in your mortgage on your house in Delmar, or contribute to savings every month. How do you follow through on all of your budgeting plans while managing life's busy moments?
Take a step back, and think about which tasks would give you the most security and confidence. Would buying a second car for your family simplify your life right now, or can you still manage by commuting on the CDTA buses or with the Cycle! program.
When and How Your Financial Goals Can Change with Your Milestones
The goals that are prioritized on your to-do list can depend on where you are in life. When you're in job hunting mode, your main goal might be to stay within your monthly budget without relying on your credit card to pay for miscellaneous expenses. But once you start to reach your salary goals, you can allocate enough money to pay off your debts and build your savings.
Whatever stage you're going through, having a plan in mind to maintain your healthy financial status can help you work toward your dreams.
Paying Off Your Credit Card Balance
Once you've paid off your credit card balance, how do you reward yourself without spending more money? Treating yourself to a special night out or another expense you've been dreaming about won't derail your financial goals completely, as long as you stay mindful. Start by saving for a vacation or exploring investment options that will pay off in the future, such as opening an NY-529 College Savings Plan for your child.
When you can breathe (and spend) more freely without debts on your mind, you may try to limit your credit card use to the bare necessities and unexpected expenses. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't weigh the pros and cons of entertainment expenses, such as that destination wedding invite from a long-lost college friend.
Staying Accountable to Reach Your Financial Goals
Set quarterly or monthly reminders to go over your credit card and other loan payments on your smartphone to check in with yourself. Schedule an appointment with your financial advisor or make a date with your spouse, trusted friend, or mentor who has similar budget goals. A survey by The Association for Talent Development (ASTD) discovered that people who shared their goal with someone had a 65 percent chance of achieving that goal, and that chance rose to 95 percent when that goal seeker met with someone face-to-face to share that mission.