Financial Fast Day 4 of 21: Having financial goals?

Do you have financial goals? Have you written down your financial goals? Are your goals measurable? These are questions which drove me to participate in a financial fast. I have financial goals to be financially healthy, financially wise and financially prepared.

I am a goal oriented person. For me, goals help me stay in alignment with my future aspirations. Don’t get me wrong, I do stray but without my goals I believe I would just end up lost in a forest called life. So I started doing a goal pyramid which I implemented as part of my financial fast.

Basic Format of a Financial Goal Pyramid
Basic Format of a Financial Goal Pyramid

I began with a long term or annual goal (12 months or longer to achieve). My goal was to save $5000. Why $5000? It seemed like a reasonably emergency fund to have. You never know when you will have an emergency.

From the annual goal, I developed monthly goals. These monthly goals were changes to be made in less than 12 months. My monthly goals were actions I could take a month at a time. For instance, I would pay off or down one of three debts I had remaining. Once paid off I would “snowball” that payment amount into paying off another bill. Example 1: Payoff $800 credit card bill by October 1, 2015. Example 2: Reduce my grocery bill by 60% by May 31, 2015.

My weekly goals were more planning. I utilized my meal plans to not only keep me on track but to reduce my fuel costs. One method for a great gas saving tip was only going to the grocery store once a week or every two weeks. Using the Gasbuddy app to find the most affordable fuel was critical too saving me money too. I only did laundry on the weekends late at night when rates were cheaper. I also ran my dishwasher late at night for the same reason. I participated in a 52 weeks savings challenge wherein I saved my change.

My daily goals were actions I could take today. First goal was cutting off my cable, downgrading my gym membership and not dining out. The cable would save me $55 per month. My gym membership downgrade was $10 per month savings. While the not dining out was $250 per month savings. I would be able to achieve my long term in less than 18 months. Turning off lights in rooms I was not in and turning down my thermostat. Lastly, funneling all my savings to my online savings account was one of the most important goals I achieved.

As you can see the daily goals roll up into the weekly goals. The weekly goals roll up into the monthly goals and the monthly goals roll up into my annual goal. Making small incremental changes to your finances will create a better financial future for you. Do make small changes that give a long lasting impact to reaching your financial goals.

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