Just making a financial goal is the first step in ensuring you are on track with your financial goals. It’s a big step that might seem simple to take, but too many Americans cannot even take this plunge. They find that they cannot make reasonable financial goals that will work in their favor. The shame is that all it takes is a few minutes, some careful thought and a plan to really get your finances on track. The problem is that many don’t take this first step. If you find yourself questioning whether or not you are on track to meet your financial goals, ask yourself if you even have financial goals more elaborate than just, “Be wealthy,” or “Get out of debt,” and you’ll know you’re on track. If you cannot answer this question with a specific goal, you are not on track. Get to your desk and make a goal; make several goals. It’s the first step. And to help you stay on track, we’ve designed a few points that will help you remember you are on track to meeting your financial goals. When you have a tangible list of reminders, it’s simpler to stay on target.
You Have a Budget and You’re Sticking to It
The most important aspect of any good financial goal is setting a budget. Too many people think that because they have plenty of disposable income that they do not need a budget. It’s just not the truth. We’re not here to tell you that you cannot have a good time with your disposable income and that you should sit home dressed in secondhand clothing and never leave the house so that you can save every single penny that comes your way, but you should have a significant budget. This budget should be maxed out as far as savings and expenses are concerned, and you should be making the most contributions to you. You are, after all, your own biggest investment. If you have a good budget and you stick to it monthly, you are on track to meet your financial goals.
You Have Created an Emergency Fund
This is probably the simplest thing that a person can do, yet it’s something so many people forget to do. They make the decision to ignore the emergency fund, allotting credit cards for this type of situation. If you have an emergency fund you’re contributing to regularly or you already have one with at least $1000 sitting in it, you’re on track to reach your financial goals. If you have not created an emergency fund, it is time to do so. Even if you can only contribute $25 a week to it, do it. It’s a start, and starting is the best way to finish.
You’re Maxing Out your Retirement Savings
Retirement is all about you. It’s an investment into your future, and you should be putting as much toward your retirement as humanly possible. One way to tell if you are on track to meet your financial goals is to see if you’re contributing the absolute max to your retirement plan. This doesn’t have to be the max allowed; it can be the max you can afford. We don’t want anyone in financial difficulties thinking they have to pay money they can’t really afford. If your employer offers a match to your contributions, make sure you are contributing as much as possible so that you can get as much of that free money as possible in return. It’s going to help you attain financial freedom as soon as possible.
You are Debt Free/Working on Being Debt Free
Being debt free is a good indicator that you are reaching your financial goals. However, not everyone can be debt free right away. To know if you’re making progress, see if you’re making progress. Have you cut up your cards or put them away and have not used them since you created your budget and your financial goals? If so, you’re on track. Are you paying them off as much as you can? Then you’re on track. We can help you a bit more, too, if you’d like. One way to pay off debts faster is to choose a small card that you can pay off relatively quickly. Seeing that final balance of 0 is going to motivate you to continue along this successful path. Additionally, you should pay off the most expensive cards first and then work on the ones that are not costing you as much. It’s a great savings plan.
You Feel Good about your Financial Situation
How do you feel about your current financial situation? Has it improved since you made the decision to change your life and become financially secure? If it has changed for the better, you’re on track. It’s a simple way to tell if you are where you want to be and where you need to be. If you feel good about what you are doing with your finances, you’re in a good place. If you don’t feel good about it, ask yourself why. Is it because you feel that it’s taking such a long time to pay off debts and become debt free? If you feel this way and you are paying them down, you’re still in a good place. Impatience is common, and it’s nothing to worry about. If you feel poorly about your situation because you’re not as involved with it as you could be, or you ‘cheat’ on your budget, you should make some changes.
How you feel is important. A positive attitude and a good outlook on your financial future can make all the difference. If you wake up in the morning and promise that you will make at least one good financial decision throughout the day, you can make a difference and get on track. It could be that you promise to put that bonus you’re getting today away in savings without spending any of it, or it could be that you promise to forgo that $4 latte and save that money instead. All steps count; big or small.
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