Most people don’t accidentally achieve amazing things. Awesomeness takes work!
The first step to outstanding results (I’ve been freelancing for a “one weird trick to burn belly fat” website, can you tell?) is to know what you want those results to be. In school, you might have set a goal of a 4.0 GPA. Maybe you’re an athlete and you’ve set a goal of a 6-minute mile (mine’s 10-minute on a good day, #humblebrag). And yet, with our money, we rarely set goals, we just have guidelines.
Your guideline might be to save 10% of every paycheck for retirement (which is a great start!). But then something might come up – a great sale on a coat you’ve been coveting, or a chance to travel somewhere cool – and you decide it’s fine if you just save 5% this month.
Goals are harder to turn your back on, because then you have something to compare your decisions to. If your choices are taking you farther from a goal that really matters to you, then it’s easy to say no to those choices.
You and I probably won’t have the same goals, because goals are personal. Just “amassing lots of money” isn’t a goal unless you have a reason for it, something that inspires you to keep your expenses down and keep socking cash away.
For the moment, these are my money goals:
- Flights to Minneapolis, Nashville and Phoenix this year (I budget $2400/year for travel, because it’s really important to me)
- Amass a $10,000 liquid net worth (cash & investments, not including the value of my car)
- Not have to use debt to finance anything but a house ever again (because interest = evil, and also I like my paycheck to belong to me)
- Retire as young as possible while still enjoying the journey
Those goals are all super important to me. They are important enough that packing my lunch, not having television, avoiding the mall and working my side hustles don’t feel like sacrifices. They just feel like necessary steps toward my goals, much the same way that doing homework and studying was in college.
Your money goals will be different. Maybe you want to own a cabin on a lake. Maybe you want to build up capital to start your own business.
Money can do great things for you, if you know what you want.
So, what are your money goals? Are you close to achieving them? Have you achieved other money goals in the past?