Dollar bills rolled up and planted in dirt like flowers.

Achieving Your Financial Goals: Part 3

By Denise Keiser, Fund Development Specialist at Elder Law of Michigan

If you’re like most Americans, you probably set some New Year’s resolutions in January that included a few money goals. As the new year moves forward, are you smashing those financial goals, or are you like most people, who end up hitting roadblocks?

New Year’s resolutions, like getting physically fit or financially fit, have become a norm, but most people never see their resolutions through to the end. In fact, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by February every year, according to U.S. News and World Report

Does this sound familiar? Have your money goals faded since you made resolutions to do better in 2019? If so, don’t get discouraged! If you’ve set New Year’s resolutions that include money goals, and you’ve hit a few roadblocks, there may be a simple solution. Fortunately, we have a few tips and tools to help you rethink your money goals so that you can get back on track quickly. 

First, you should know that simply resolving to make a change usually isn’t enough to make a resolution stick. A resolution alone, like saving more money in 2019, often isn’t enough to keep you motivated through the rest of the year. Chances are, there is some heavy lifting to be done to accomplish your goal, and you need inspiration, motivation, and energy along the way to see success. 

The good news is that there is one simple thing you can do to ensure that you make progress with your goals. Most people never see their New Year’s resolution through to the end because they don’t have a plan. A plan – that’s it! The one thing that will help you achieve your goals is to have a plan.     

So, let’s get started! Take a moment to reflect on the past year and think about what you would like to change this year. Perhaps you would like to stop overspending and not live pay-check to pay-check. Maybe you’d like to save for an emergency so that you don’t have to put yet another car repair on your credit card? Better yet, perhaps you want to take your family on vacation for the first time in years – or for the first time! 

Take these four steps to smash your money goals in 2019:

  1. Make a prioritized list of SMART goals (Achieving Your Financial Goals)
  2. Create a budget to know where you are starting (Achieving Your Financial Goals Part 2)
  3. Track your spending for thirty days in every budget category.
  4. Revisit your budget and adjust every month.

Remember, it’s nearly impossible to do everything all at once, so start small, with one SMART money goal at a time, and have a plan on how you will accomplish each one.  Start today by deciding what you need to do this week to make your money goals happen this year! Hint! Take the four steps above now!

Denise Keiser is a Fund Development Specialist with Elder Law of Michigan and has been a member of the Elder Law of Michigan team since August 2017. As a Fund Development Specialist, Denise assists Elder Law of Michigan’s leadership with donor management, grant writing, and communications.