Step 8: Personal Budget Planning
Action 2: Set Your Goals

Time to set your goals. Once you know exactly how to set goals and put your personal goals list in place, you will be well on your way to reaching whatever destination you have in mind.

Here are some important tips on setting goals and personal budget planning:

1. Work Together To Set Your Goals

It is important here to work with your spouse or partner, if you have one, to begin creating a family budget and family goals. You will get further if you are both committed to your spending plan and objectives.

You may think that planning for annual vacations is most important, while your spouse may be looking more closely at an education fund for the kids. Setting goals together helps you resolve these conflicts.

2. Make Your Personal Goals List

Identify what is important for you to achieve. Buying a home, setting aside money to educate your children, a retirement plan, and vacations are all things to plan ahead. Write them all down. Here is a good personal goals list to start with. Print it out and change to suit your family. We have also prepared three free budget worksheets to help you set your goals.

3. What Goals Are Most Important?

Once you have an idea of what goals you want to work toward, determine which ones are most important or urgent. For example, getting rid of credit card debt may be more important than that new car right now. Work on your most important goals first.

4. Get Started

As soon as you have set your goals and identified what you are going to work toward first, get started immediately. Work your goals into your monthly budget or spending plan. If you don't actually plan to save or pay off debt you will be surprised at how easily it gets put aside.

5. Start Your Financial Freedom Plan Early

Another reason to set your goals right away, no matter what your age, is that the more time you have to save and work towards your goals, the more goals you will be able to reach.

Money that you invest and save now will grow into a bigger and bigger nest egg the longer you are able to leave it there. Plus, it is never too early to begin saving for retirement. Start now and you will have the joy of choice in later years.

6. Be Realistic As You Set Your Goals

Always dream big, but be realistic about what you can accomplish given your income and age. We can't change our age. But, if you have big goals, starting now and looking for ways to increase your income can make a huge difference in what you will be able to accomplish. Look here for our ideas on ways to earn extra income.

7. Prioritize Carefully When You Set Your Goals

When prioritizing your goals and deciding which goals to reach for first, it is important to look at things like financial security and peace of mind. Working to pay off debt, establishing a savings plan or an education fund for your children can instill a sense of financial security.

Feeling happy and fulfilled are important too, so look at your list and see which of your goals will do that for you. Remember, few of us can ever reach all of our goals so dream big and work on the goals that will give you a sense of accomplishment first.

8. Stay on Course With Your Financial Plan

Once you have set your goals and established your monthly household budget, (that's the next step) keep track of your progress and make sure you are staying on course. It is easy to get sidetracked or forget the important work you are doing for yourself here. When you are tempted to make a large purchase, ask yourself if it is helping you reach your goals or keeping you from them.

9. Be Prepared for Change

If there is one thing that is a constant in our lives it is change. Our priorities and needs adjust over the course of our lives, so once you have set your goals, go over them at least once every 5 years to make sure they are still in line with your life ambitions and dreams.

10. Don't Forget to Have Fun!

Our last tip is one of the most important. Setting goals and working toward them is so important to what you can and will achieve in your life, but life is about the journey too. Don't forget to have fun and laugh.

If you are on a strict budget because you are working hard to pay off debt, your fun may have to be of the low cost variety for a while, but that doesn't mean that life has to be sour. Enjoy the ride, every minute of it. You are doing something wonderful for yourself here and you will thank yourself over and over in the years to come that you did this. So have fun along the way!

Now that you have set your goals, look here for information on creating a household budget to help you reach them.

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quote open People with goals succeed because they know where they are going... It's as simple as that.quote close
~ Earl Nightingale

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