This post is sponsored by Serve®, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.
The new year signifies the beginning of a new start and provides an opportunity for us to commit to our financial goals for the months ahead. While I believe that setting specific intentions for our money is key, it’s really important to be flexible, set up systems that support our efforts & find things that inspire us as we work to achieve our desired financial vision.
Here are four tips to help you achieve your money goals for the new year and beyond:
1. Expect the unexpected to happen
While your financial goals should be specific , ex. “I want to pay off $1,000 of debt in 6 months” be prepared for things to happen during that time frame that are outside of your control that can possibly set you back. When we put our best effort forward and then something happens that throws us off track, our initial reaction is to be discouraged which can lead to giving up on our goals. In order to stay motivated, we have to realize that things are going to happen that we can’t predict. So when things happen, as they inevitably do, give yourself grace to restart and try again.
Automating my finances has always been a big help in me being able to meet my money goals. Between juggling schedules for 3 small children, running a business and all that’s required in between, it’s easy to forget or put off doing something important. When I set the goal of investing more money, I made sure to take myself out of the process as much as possible. I eliminated the manual steps of needing to login to my investment account every month and instead set up monthly automatic recurring transfers from my checking account to investment account so that even if my schedule got busy, I was still investing and reaching my goals.
3. Set up “failproof” systems
I like to set up what I call “failproof” systems that work with my personality. A “failproof” system is a process or tool that makes failing at a goal nearly impossible. For example, do you have a habit of overspending on holiday shopping? Look into opening up a prepaid card like the Serve® Pay As You Go Visa® Prepaid Card, an account that gives you the freedom to spend when and where you want, on your own terms. Unlike a debit card, it’s not linked to a bank account and it’s not a credit card where you are spending money you don’t potentially have yet. You can only spend up to the amount that you have on the card which helps you to stay on budget when shopping. If you have a goal of growing your emergency fund and you know that you have the tendency to transfer money from your savings to a checking account for non-emergency expenses, consider opening up your savings account at a completely different bank. I have my emergency savings account at a separate bank from my main bank to help reinforce that the money is off limits.
4. Keep up the momentum
If you’re like me then setting the goal is the most exciting step but as time goes on, sometimes you lose motivation. Keeping up the momentum and how you feel as you work towards a goal is important. I love to surround myself with motivating & educational things to keep me inspired. When I first found out about the Financial Independent Retire Early (FIRE) movement, I was listening to interviews with other people who were also pursuing financial independence. I started to read more books and consume content that was inspirational and served as a source of fuel. What can you begin to do, listen to or read that helps keep you fired up for your goals?
We may have every intention of going after our goals when we first set them but make sure you are; realistic about potential setbacks, incorporate some automation & “failproof” systems and are staying motivated as you work towards the financial life of your dreams.