Write Your Financial Goals Down So You Know It's Real
Written by J.R. Weiland
Part of taking control of your financial life and working hard to become financially independent includes thinking for the long-term instead of short-term. Everyone wants a nice lifestyle – I mean really, who wakes up every day and says to themselves, “Gee, I wish I were poor…”? The problem most people have is that they don’t think about the LONG-TERM.
One way to change your mindset is to write down your long-term goals and create a plan to get you there. When you write something down, the idea is no longer an abstract thought, but a concrete thing that you can slowly become more committed to.
This plan or list of goals doesn’t have to be fancy, and you should keep in mind that things will change and so will your plan. Life events often occur that change your plan or alter your financial priorities in the short-term. But, if you at least have a general idea of how much money you want to accumulate by various ages, and set mile-markers for doing so, it will be easier to visualize your success and slow (or hopefully end) your habit of spending money recklessly without concern for the future.
I suggest you take the time to write out your plan because when you do, you’re burying it within your subconscious. Though you may not think about it everyday, your inner-money-guru slowly becomes more aware of the need to adhere to the plan YOU created and took the time to write down – you might eventually start reaching your financial goals without even realizing it!
Before you know it, you’ll find yourself declining those new shoes that are ever so hot (yet ever so unnecessary) because after all, the potential to be a millionaire at age 50 is far more important than a fashion trend that won’t last a year.
Have you ever dreamed of owning a boat? Most people can’t afford to go out and buy one on the spot, as well as handle the maintenance, insurance, and storage costs of owning one. However, with careful planning, you could afford the costs of owning a boat one day. This won’t come without sacrifice – you may have to forego a bunch of spending in order to save enough money for your boat, but how you get there will be up to you and your personal list of objectives.
I’m certainly not recommending you buy yourself a boat or add “boat” to your list of financial priorities. I’d much quicker suggest owning a home or saving 20 percent of your paycheck as a “goal”. The point is to get you thinking about spending your money in an organized and responsible manner and for many of us, we need a little motivation; a fabulous vacation to look forward to or a boat to party on with family and friends usually helps.
It is all about priorities – and they are different for everyone. So please try your best not to worry about what other people are doing. Worry about you, you’re written list of goals and where you want your money to be in the future. After all, if you don’t, then who will?