How to Accomplish a Financial Goal

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Many people have a clear sense of where they want to be financially.  Perhaps you would like to be able to pay off debt, live off of one income, retire early, quit your day job, or travel for a year.  But how do you transition from financial goals to actually enjoying that reality?

Tips for Accomplishing a Financial Goal

Financial Focus

You can do so many things and accomplish nothing, right?  Have you ever spent a day in the office where you devoted some time to five different projects and felt like you did nothing?  Compare that to the feeling when you choose one task and complete that task by the end of the day. 

In order for you to accomplish your financial goals, you need to move from goals to a specific financial focus point.  This is the place where all of your available dollars will be directed.  For the couple trying to work for one spouse to stay home, they should focus on building up their savings.  For the individual trying to retire early, he should focus on increasing his retirement savings. 

Put Reminder Notes Around the House

Memories can fade, but each time you look at the sticky note on your computer, you’ll remember your financial goal – pay off the debts so I can quit my day job.  Each time you see that reminder, you’ll know that there is a reason for the focus, the effort, and for the sacrifices you are making to accomplish your financial goals.

Start a Budget

Making a budget is just like putting up road signs with arrows.  You are telling your dollars which direction to go so that you can reach your financial goals. 

Make sure your budget is a mirror reflection of your financial goals

Some people say they want to be debt-free more than anything else in the world.  However, in their budget they still allocate several hundred dollars a month to dining out.  What they say they want and how they budget don’t agree.  The budget must be pointing in line with the direction of your financial goals.

Anticipate Challenges to Your Financial Goals

Goals are rarely reached without first overcoming some challenges.  Something will try and get in the way of forward progress.  An emergency fund is one way to anticipate financial challenges.  If you are working towards traveling for a year, you need to be sure that you have some financial margin so that an increase in airfare doesn’t destroy the possibility of accomplishing your goals.

Other challenges may include things more illusive things like opposition from friends and family.  Anticipate those challenges and formulate some good responses. 

Stretch Yourself

In desperation, your creativity is unleashed.  It is amazing how much someone can perform when they are required to.  We’ve probably all had times in our lives where we did something we never thought possible.  In this case, you should cut and cut your budget.  See if you can live on a set dollar amount, and then challenge yourself to cut it by 5%.  For many of us, our standard of living is set by our income.  If we find a way to decrease expenses with the same income, we will reach our goals much faster.

What tips do you have for accomplishing financial goals?


  1. says

    I read about another good place to put sticky notes with your goals on them – in the bathroom mirror. That way, you see it everyday, and you also see yourself at the same time. Something about those two things helps create a sense of focus.

    “In desperation, your creativity is unleashed.” I like that. It reminds me of the saying that necessity is the mother of invention.

    • says

      Good tip. My only concern would be that the less hair you have the less that is true because I don’t look in the mirror as much as I used to.

  2. says

    “In desperation, your creativity is unleashed.” Applies across the board. Usually the most financially smart people are the broke rich people.

    -Marshall Jones Jr.

  3. says

    Nice article Craig. I think it’s very important to do the sticky note thing or something similar. Just keeping the goals fresh really can help avoid slipping away from them…. This works well with all things, not just debt and finance :).

  4. says

    I have done alot of these things before. My problems is staying out of debt. Once I pay off my credit cards, it is so easy to get back into debt because the credit card company keeps increasing my cards. I have started putting my credit cards in my safety deposit box so I really have to know that I am going to spend the money in the best way possible. It has worked for me. I am beginning to see my savings grow.

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