This series has been an introduction to how I changed by thoughts related to my financial happiness. In the first post, I discussed how I needed to discover how to be happy with less. The greatest lesson I learned was that comparison really isn’t beneficial. It is best to be happy with what you have and not to worry about others.
In the second post I talked about triggers related to my personal finances, and how they led to negative thoughts. The big takeaway was to develop a plan to change my wayward ways. I have mentioned this many times before, but change is a process, and at times it doesn’t go as smoothly as we would like. Show yourself some grace, if things don’t go the way that you planned, and be happy with all of the progress that is made.
In this post, I realized that I needed a blueprint of sorts to begin. For me, that was actually developing a set of financial goals that I wanted to achieve.
So, what’s the plan?
The plan that I developed was to create financial goals, a budget, find an accountability partner, and reframe my thoughts about money.
I’m not the greatest person with goals. I created goals to accomplish until I was about thirty- after that, everything was a wee bit fuzzy. I’m not too sure why.
Lately, I have had difficulties developing long-term goals for this point in my life. That, in addition to actually sticking to the goals have proven to be a challenge. I’ve realized that if I make my goals uber small, that it helps me get to my larger goal. I learn more and more; I don’t always see the bigger picture, sometimes I think having smaller goals helps me get there.
I have taken courses, brought planners, and made itty bitty goals to try to get things accomplished. Full disclosure, I start a lot of stuff that I just don’t finish. Ugh! I wonder if I should add this to my goal list…lol.
At the top of my list was creating financial goals. Rather, what did I need to accomplish? I had no idea where to begin with this process. My idea of a financial goal was to work
for what felt like forever about thirty or so years, put aside money into a retirement fund and retire to use those funds in order to live my golden years out until I die (is it just me, or does that sound crazy morbid?!). I didn’t think that there were any other options, because this is what my parents did, and this is what my peers do too.
Here’s the gotcha though, as time progresses we will need more and more to retire. I looked at this nifty retirement calculator, and cheese and crackers, I am no where near where I need to be! It is suggested that 70% of your income, which can be a combination of your savings, investments and Social Security should replace your pre-retirement income. Plus, if that isn’t alarming enough, there is no guarantee that millennials will have all of what they allocated towards Social Security. How you would feel about getting 25% less of what you saved? Just thinking about it makes my head hurt.
So There’s The Norm…
Although that is what I see and what is the “norm,” with more thought, I realized this just wasn’t good enough for me. I can’t imagine working for someone else for the next thirty or so years. Turning into someone’s robot and doing what I’m told without freely being able to think. Yuck!
It would totally get in the way of the things that I want to do (things that I haven’t quite figured out, but still). I can imagine at least ten things (eating, painting my nails, lounging on a beach, EATING, okay you get the idea) that I would rather do than get up early and clock in to work for someone else.
…How Do I Get There?
I wasn’t really sure, but if you haven’t figured out by now, I like to research and read about what works best for others that are successful, try some things out, and make it work for me. Here’s what I came up with.
The Benefits of Establishing Financial Goals:
It allows you to consider where you are now, and where you want to be:
I must be honest, this is one of the hardest things to do. Recognizing that your financial choices aren’t the greatest. Hey, it is pretty hard to sit down and look over your bank statement not realizing how much money you spend on things you really don’t need. Doing this allows you to take control, and gives you an indicator of where changes need to be made. Knowledge is power.
Develop Your Why to Prioritize What’s Important:
Here is what I realized, I wanted to be financially free to do whatever I wanted to do. Even if that was absolutely nothing. Prioritize how you are going to get there by writing your goals. But don’t stop there, plan out how to accomplish them, and when.
Creating Financial Goals Aides with Making Other Decisions:
Think about what you are doing now, and how it may effect you later. I have several financial folk that I follow (I love that alliteration by the way); The Budgetnista, for instance, says to name your future self, and consider her as someone dear to you, like a grandparent. When I think about my grandmother, I want her to be set! I never want her to struggle to make ends meet. That being said, my future self has to be set for life, and she will be fabulous and free!
It will allow you to build wealth and have more confidence in your decisions:
Having a plan and direction will slow down the temptation to spend without need. It will instill confidence in your outlined goals and give you clarity of how to meet them.
Developing Financial Goals Allows you to Be Accountable:
Think about the joy that will be obtained when you have accomplished everything that you have put in place for yourself and your version of your future self.
Why You Should Do It Too!
Goal setting is really important because it gives you a solid foundation and direction to where you would like to be going forward.
Are there any other benefits of developing financial goals that you can add to this list? What are some of the financial goals that you have developed for yourself and your family? I’d love for you to share them with me below.
Stay tuned as I continue to dive in further about finding my financial happiness.