Say hello to setting financial goals in 2018
Recently, I had the pleasure of working with a lovely couple on their household budget. What I found was that although they were doing a great job of budgeting their monthly expenses and saving some money; there were too many projects and financial goals that they were trying to achieve all at once. Additionally, they didn’t agree on how to prioritize their goals and each had a different opinion about which accomplishments should be tackled first. Throughout our session, we used some tools and effective communication skills to create a new budget that they both felt good about!
If you have financial goals that you want to achieve in 2018, it is critical that you start with an honest budget that clearly defines your income and all your expenses. Yup, ALL of them! My husband laughs when he looks at our budget and notices a line item for “eyelashes.” Well, as most of my friends and family know, I am fond of Miss Dolly Parton and often refer to her as my spirit animal. Yes, I do have eyelash extensions and I LOVE THEM! If I choose to spend money on this “want,” I must account for the expense in my budget. HERE’S THE IMPORTANT PART TO NOTE: Before you spend money on your wants, be sure you pay yourself first!! What do I mean by that? It means after you have accounted for your needs (housing, utilities, food, medications, car payment, insurances, oil, etc.) you determine a specific amount that will be added to your savings account. Then, you are free to spend what is left over on your wants.
After you have a clear, concise budget, you can then start to save for future goals. If you are married or live with someone, it is critical that you both sit and talk about your own financial goals and ones that you’d like to achieve together. There may be times when the conversation gets a bit heated when two people cannot agree on similar goals. Trust me…I’ve had a few of these disagreements throughout my 21 years of marriage. That’s why it is wise to ask someone you trust (who’s not emotionally attached to your budget) to act as a mediator to help prioritize goals. As a member of New Dimensions Federal Credit Union, you can always have our assistance with this – at NO charge!
Lastly, don’t forget about talking to your kids about their own money. It’s never too early to start talking to them about the value of money, how much things cost, needs versus wants, and the importance of SAVING money. If they want new toys, games, clothing, etc., it’s a wise idea to have them save up to buy it. This teaches them good money habits and not to rely on credit cards for instant gratification in the future.
If you need help building your budget or setting financial goals for 2018, please feel free to call me at (207) 872-2771 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I wish all of you a very happy, healthy and prosperous new year!
Until next time!