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Tips for Setting Financial Goals for the New Year

Financial Success in 2014Ready or not 2014 is here, and now is the perfect time to start setting some new financial goals for the New Year. Studies suggest that people who have become very successful business entrepreneurs are about 30 per cent more likely than the average person to set and track personal financial goals for themselves. If you are hoping to have a more prosperous and successful year than last year, one important step is to create a set of financial goals to guide you through the year.

However, it is equally important that you set the right type of financial goals that will help improve your overall finances and your quality of life. Below is a look at several things to keep in mind when setting your 2014 financial goals. This tips will help you create the right type of goals that will keep your motivated and boost your success.

Your Future

Even before you set out to write down you list of financial goals, the first thing you want to do is to ask yourself where you want to be in five, ten or fifteen years. Think you where you want to be or things you want to accomplish, such as a new car, complete you education, advance training, a new home, or retire from your job. Understanding your long-term goals will help you make better short-term goals that will work together to reach this point.

Be Realistic

When setting your financial goals it is very important that you make them realistic. While it may be nice to have a goal to purchase a new home, or plan your retirement, within a year, this may not be realistic for your specific situation. Instead, set more realistic goals that will increase you chance of obtaining your larger goal. For example, if you have a goal of purchasing your own home, but are not even close to have enough money saved back for a down payment, consider starting a First Home Saver Account, and set money aside each pay period. While this may be a four-year plan, at least you are taking positive steps towards your overall goal. On the other hand, if you want to secure your retirement, this may not happen overnight, but you can make some wise investments and start to increase your contributions to your superannuation fund.

Make Achievable Goals

You also want to make sure you can achieve your goals within the timeframe you set up. For example, making a goal to get rid of your debt by the end of the year may not be achievable depending on the amount of debt you owe. Instead, may shorter goals of paying off one debt at a time. This will allow you to see success after each debt is paid off, and will help to keep you motivated until all of your debt is gone. If you create unattainable goals, you are likely to get discouraged and quit your plan without seeing any success.

Post Goals

It is not enough to just talk about setting financial goals for the New Year, you must also write them down. It is recommended that you post your goals somewhere in your home that will allow you to see them often, such as your refrigerator. This will serve as a constant reminder of the goals you set at the beginning of the year. It can help to keep your motivated throughout the year and discourage impulsive spending. Writing these goals down also serves as a commitment that you are making with yourself to make better financial decisions in the upcoming year.

Once you set your goals for the year, it is vital that you evaluate them on a regular basis to see if you are keeping up with your plan. Make any adjustments to your plan and/or goals that may be necessary and if your backslide, just start over again. The important thing is that you stick with it and just keep trying to make better financial decisions. If you write you goals down on paper and post them in your home, evaluate your goals regularly, and make changes if necessary, you will be surprised by the end of the year how successful your are.

Image: Freedigitalphotos.net/Miles

About Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.

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