In order to achieve your financial goals, you first have to set them. Setting goals is proven to be an essential factor in finding success, and this is something that applies to all aspects of life.
One of the most important of those aspects is your financial success. Whether it’s to make an extra $10,000 this year or start investing, nearly everyone sets a money goal every year. Every high achiever and success guru does this. Warren Buffett, Tony Robbins, and my friend Brian Tracy will all tell you that goal setting is a huge part of their success.
The key to setting goals is to make a habit of setting them and revising them. I set new goals every year, every month, and every week. Heck, I even look at my goals every day and review what it is I want to achieve.
And when it comes to your finances, it is important that you get in the habit of setting annual goals. Spend time every year, before the new year to determine what you want to focus on in the coming year.
To get your finances on the right path in 2021 here are 7 financial goals you should consider setting for yourself.
1. Get Your Credit in Check
First, plan to get your credit in check. Get a handle on what your credit score is and the factors that are affecting it. If your credit score ends up being lower than you would like it to be, begin taking steps to improve it, such as paying off debt and keeping the balances on your credit cards low.
2. Get Your Taxes Done Early
Like it or not, tax season is coming up quick. Each year, far too many people make the mistake of waiting until the last minute to get all of their necessary documents together. Avoid the stress and hassle that comes with waiting until the last minute and set a goal to have your tax documents fully prepared as soon as possible.
3. Set a Budget
Regardless of whether you are living paycheck to paycheck or have plenty of money left that you funnel into savings, setting a budget is still essential. Setting a budget allows you to exercise discipline when it comes to how much of your money is going to necessities, how much is going to recreational expenses, and how much is going to savings and investments.
By setting a budget – and sticking to it – you’ll be able to better control how you are able to reach your other financial goals.
4. Make a Savings Goal for Yourself
Once you’ve set a budget, it’s time to set a savings goal for this year. Obviously, your savings goal should be attainable, but it should also be as large as you can manage.
Remember, the more you save now, the more that money will multiply or compound as time goes on. It’s also important to note that once you’ve set a savings goal and divided out how much money you need to put aside from each paycheck to reach that goal, you should put that money aside first and foremost.
If your savings are the first part of your budget you pay, they’ll be much less likely to get left out.
5. Pay Off Bad Debts
The only financial goal more important than saving and investing is paying off bad debts. High interest, bad debts such as credit card debts and personal loans act exactly the opposite of good investments, decreasing your worth at a compounding rate, rather than growing it.
Paying off debts such as these should be your first priority, and this year is as good a time as any to become debt-free.
6. Research New Companies to Invest In
Take some time to research companies to invest in. Using the principles of Rule #1 investing to find great companies to invest in takes a little time and patience.
While you will have plenty of opportunities to buy great companies at a great price, it still isn’t extremely often that the market puts high-value companies on sale. This makes it important to start now on researching the companies that you would like to invest in so that when these companies do go on sale you’ll be ready.
2021 might just be an amazing year to get amazing deals on wonderful companies that you wouldn’t be able to get any other time. That’s why saving and getting your finances in order is so important. When the market plummets, we want to be ready to take advantage of the fire sale on wonderful companies.
7. Use a Financial Planner
You are 42% more likely to complete your promises to yourself if you write them down.
There is a reason that I am a firm believer in making yourself promises, instead of setting goals.
Beyond that, writing these promises down or looking at them daily or even weekly leads to increased motivation. If you’ve ever heard, “Where your focus goes, your energy flows,” it’s completely true, and you can prove it to yourself this year.
Make it easier for yourself with this 12 Month Financial Planner that I’ve created for you. By reviewing the clear benchmarks, reviewing the monthly list of promises, adding your own, and completing challenges. Celebrate each win, no matter how big or how small, and you’ll notice how much more fun it becomes to do something that you initially thought would be ‘work’.
Whether you start this in January or put the planner into use halfway through the year, the promises and challenges will work for you and help get you focused on the financial success you’ve been striving for.
By the way:
If you really want to hit your financial goals this year, here are a few investing resources you should review.
- Looking for the best way to invest 10,000 dollars?
- Want to learn more from the great Warren Buffett?
- Check out his famous investing quotes here.
- Trying to double your money every 7 years with compound interest?
Editor’s Note: This blog was updated for 2021 with new statistics and tips.
Phil Town is an investment advisor, hedge fund manager, 3x NY Times Best-Selling Author, ex-Grand Canyon river guide, and former Lieutenant in the US Army Special Forces. He and his wife, Melissa, share a passion for horses, polo, and eventing. Phil’s goal is to help you learn how to invest and achieve financial independence.