In this special episode of Mortgage 101 with Clinton Wilkins and Todd Veinotte, as heard…
At some point in our lives, we have created goals for ourselves. These may be goals for our personal, professional, or financial lives, and everyone’s will look a little different. The trouble, however, is often how we will achieve them. Since we’re in the middle of Financial Literacy Month, today we’re focusing on how to make our financial goals a reality. It can be challenging to meet our money targets, especially since there isn’t one path that works for everyone. However, the important thing is to create goals that are tailored to you. We’re going to review how you can ensure you have achievable financial goals, and what steps you can take to get there.
Use the SMART method
You’ve probably heard of the SMART method before to achieve your financial goals. This acronym stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant or realistic, and time-based. These are adjectives you should keep in mind whenever you create a goal for yourself.
First, ask yourself if your goals are specific enough. A focused goal is easier to achieve than a vague statement. For example, saying “I will save 10 per cent of my income every month” is much better than simply saying you plan to “start saving more.” Next, measurable goals are those you can track with real life numbers and figures, such as how much you manage to save each month. Putting aside an extra $300 per month is probably not an achievable financial goal if you’ve been struggling to make ends meet. Try for a more attainable goal.
Relevant goals are those that actually make sense for you. For example, it wouldn’t make sense to focus on credit card debt if you don’t struggle with that, but maybe you want to focus your savings on buying a home. Finally, time-based goals give you a timeline of when you need to achieve these targets. If you leave them open-ended without a time stamp, you’ll have less motivation to complete the goal. However, if you know you’re working towards a certain deadline, you’ll feel more inclined to keep it up.
Line up your goals with your situation
We touched on this above, but part of creating achievable financial goals is making sure they line up with your situation, both personal and financial. Some goals simply won’t match your lifestyle and they will be very difficult to achieve. Being unable to accomplish your goals can make you feel discouraged and less likely to continue working toward them. Take a good look at your finances and create realistic goals based on what you want to achieve. The higher or more ambitious your goal, the more time you should give yourself to accomplish it.
Don’t set financial goals and then never check in on them, otherwise you won’t know if you’re making progress. Say your goal is to add 10 per cent of your income every month to a savings account. At the end of every month, you must actually take the time to see if you’ve accomplished that, and if you haven’t, figure out what you can do to reach it next month. Keeping tabs on your goals lets you know when you’re on the right track, and when you need to make some adjustments.
Acknowledge your progress
Finally, your achievable financial goals should leave room for celebration. Take a moment to acknowledge your financial milestones when you reach them! Did you save the amount you wanted this month and did you limit your spending? Feel free to treat yourself to something that brings you joy. This gives you something to look forward to with your goals. If you succeed, you know you can indulge in something you really love.
If buying a home is your goal…
Are you working towards buying a home with your financial goals? This is one of the most common but most challenging purchases to save up for. Let an unbiased mortgage broker help you with this process. We can get you in touch with the right lenders who can give you the best product for your needs, handle paperwork, figure out your budget, and take so much stress off of you.
If you’re hoping to buy a home, get in touch with us at Clinton Wilkins Mortgage Team! You can call us at (902) 482-2770 or contact us here.