Reaching your financial goals truly comes down to two things: your intentions and your actions. This means that if you want to be successful with your finances in the future, it's important to set goals and know how/why you want to reach them. Everyone has different levels of revenue that coincide with different goals, but these are general steps we take that can help you get started in setting realistic financial goals.
Determining Your Priorities
A first step that we take is to determine where your priorities are. Are you interested in moving towards purchasing a home, renting a vacation property, or paying down debt? Of course, your goals may change over time as well, and we can change your plan accordingly. No matter where you are in your financial journey, we can help figure out where to start so you can reach your ultimate goals. By determining your next financial priority, we can collectively develop a concrete and disciplined plan for getting there. Our advanced planning software will allow us to assist you in the difficult planning process.
Creating Your Budget
The next step towards being successful in this area is to follow the created budget and stick to it. One problem that many families run into is not making a plan for the money that they earn; thus, it ends up getting spent on things they do not need. Once you have established a.) what expenses you have and b.) what you'd like to save toward, we can create a budget that will allow you meet both short-term needs and long-term goals.
We typically start by establishing all of your fixed expenses, those bills you must pay every month. Then, we determine how much of your remaining income you can set aside for your various financial goals. In addition, we will create a line item for "fun" expenses as well (such as vacations, clothing, experiences and little indulgences) and will include this as part of the budget.
Post Your Goals Where You Can See Them
In order to be successful in reaching your goals, one useful strategy is to keep them somewhere you can easily see them. Consider posting your top goals in your office or next to your bedside. Seeing "Trip to France next year" every morning is a great way to reinforce why you are skipping take-out coffee and brewing your own cup at home.
Tracking Your Progress
You don't want to set a goal, then never reach it because you were not actively working towards it. One of the greatest benefits of working with FMA Advisory is accountability. We will routinely check-in with you on the progress you are making toward your goals, and help you adjust your spending and/or priorities as necessary.