If you set your 2023 money goals in January, now is the perfect time to check in on your progress. If not, it’s never too late to set goals for the next six months and beyond.
“Without a goal, the year goes by so quickly that everyone is so busy with their own lives,” said Dan Casey, owner of Bridge River Advisors, a financial firm in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. ’ says.
with many people money goals With the twin headwinds of inflation and economic uncertainty, it’s easy to get discouraged when you don’t see the progress you hoped for. The financial expert suggests his five strategies for using the midyear time point as a way to get back on track or embrace a slightly altered trajectory:
Define what you want and refine it
Rebecca Eve Selkow, a New York City-based licensed financial counselor and owner of financial counseling firm RebeccaEve.com, encourages people to first define what they want to achieve with their money, and that goal over time. We point out that it can change with That discussion can lead to unexpected discoveries, such as realizing that what you actually want is more than just doing so. repay the debt However, you will need to reduce your working hours or change jobs.
“Just clarifying your goals with that specificity allows you to look deeper into the numbers,” she says.
Define action steps
Once you’ve narrowed down or set your goals, Sercowe says it’s time to make a concrete plan to reach them. If you know you need a certain down payment to buy the home you want, you can: make a budget For example, start putting money into a high-yield online savings account each month.
Valerie Rivera, a certified financial planner and founder of Chicago-based virtual financial planning firm FirstGen Wealth, also suggests setting a timeline. “We create spending worksheets because a lot of people don’t know where their money is going. It creates accountability,” she says.
Keith Spencer, CFP and owner of Spencer Financial Planning in Spokane, Wash., says opening separate savings accounts for specific goals can also help. “I think it would be useful to be more specific if you set up a dedicated account for home renovations, vacation savings, or if you want to pay off your mortgage faster,” he said, noting that customers will It grows over time and tracks your progress, adding that you can more easily see how much money you have saved.
Schedule regular check-ins
In addition to mid-year check-ins, Casey suggests doing quarterly and even monthly check-ins yourself. “We get overwhelmed thinking about his entire year, so let’s create a micro-timeline instead,” he suggests. For example, you can set a mini-goal for how much you want to save by the end of the month or the end of the quarter.
That way, if you fall behind or find that you have the flexibility to meet your goals, you can make adjustments to catch up with your larger goals. savings rate. “Savings can also be automated so that they are invisible and careless,” he added.
Follow up with a responsible friend
Rivera says sharing your goals with a friend, coach, or financial professional can help keep you on track and can be a natural way to gain extra motivation. “It has to be someone you feel a little uncomfortable with if they cancel or don’t keep you updated,” she says. Partners can also act as accountable friends, especially if you’re working on goals together.
Jonathan Kiel, CFP and founder of Evenkiehl Financial Planning in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, encourages his clients to make accountability check-ins as enjoyable as possible to make it an activity they expect. “If you’re in the mood to consider spending plans, you can go to your favorite coffee shop or go on a dinner date,” he says.
Recalibrate and celebrate your progress
Rivera suggests looking back at how you got closer to reaching your goals, but also acknowledging why your progress was slower than you expected. “Maybe there were other obligations or unexpected events,” she says.Prices of many consumer goods rise groceriesfor example, straining many people’s budgets and making savings difficult.
If you overspend in one month, you can get back on track by spending less in other areas the next month to make up for it, Kiel said. “It’s easy to get stuck in individual categories, but sometimes a broader approach can help. All you have to worry about is taking your savings off the top,” he says. This means prioritizing savings before allocating remaining spending to other needs.
When you reach your goals, it’s a good idea to celebrate them. “If he’s paying off $10,000 in credit card debt, it could be a really nice dinner. Or, if he’s saving $100,000 on his 401(k), it could be a great trip.” No,” he says. He suggests keeping celebration-related spending to less than his 1% of the value achieved.
Then select the next goal.
This article was written by NerdWallet and originally published by The Associated Press.