First of all, let me encourage you and remind you that even the most successful people you see today, have likely failed before they got to where they are now. If you don’t believe me, read Dave Ramsey’s story and what his journey looked like.
I personally come from a regular family, I didn’t learn how to manage my finances in school, and never even thought about my finances until I started managing my own and I promised myself and my parents that no matter how long it takes and how difficult it will be, I will become financially independent and not struggle for money or constantly worry about whether I have enough or not. Of course, I’m not there yet, but I’ve started my personal journey, I’ve set my goals and I’ve started to also see some results. I’m not where I want to be yet but I am surely working hard to achieve my goals and become financially independent one day (hopefully sooner than later).
When I became determined about where I want to be in life and what kind of lifestyle I want to have, I had to take some practical steps and be willing to make sacrifices in order to get there. Before I go into it, let me just specify that my goal is to be financially independent, not filthy rich for the sake of it. I do not and will never worship the god of money because it’s a dangerous path to go down to. But I do want to be able to build a solid foundation for my future family and give them everything they need, I want to give back to my parents for all the sacrifices they made for me, and I also want to look further than my immediate family and give to those in need and make a difference in this world, no matter how big or small it may be.
Because I know what the why behind my goal is, I’m even more determined to achieve it and work hard for it. So when I got serious about it, here is what I began to do.
4 easy tips to achieve your financial goals
1. HAVE A BUDGET
This is the first and essential step I needed to take in order to begin my journey. Now, I’m not going to write a long section about it because I’ve written a whole blog post on how to create a budget and stick to it. Spoiler alert, there’s a freebie there waiting for you.
2. AVOID GETTING IN DEBT
I never really got into any kind of debt, to be honest (if I ignore the student loan I’ll have to pay back one day, but that had a good reason behind it and it doesn’t affect my credit score). I know that there are certain situations where it may seem like there’s no other way out to pay bills or ensure a roof over your head than to get a loan from somebody, and I don’t want to tell you how you should do it because I’m not a financial advisor and I’m not here to judge others’ decisions in times of need. The kind of debt I’m talking about is that for silly things. Like, I know people that have thousands of pounds to pay back for designer clothes and handbags or people that are willing to damage their credit score only to go on a fancy holiday or buy the latest iPhone. I’m sorry but if you have financial goals you want to achieve, that’s not the way to do it. My motto is: If I can’t afford it, I won’t buy it. Why live beyond my means? To prove to someone that I belong to a certain social status? No, thanks. If I want to do something or buy something, I’ll work hard and save for it, but risking going into debt and damage my credit score as well as having the burden of paying it back, is not on my dream list.
3. BUY WHAT YOU NEED IN BULK
I’m not only talking about starting to meal prep, which you can learn more about in my post. What I mean is buying toiletries and other essential things you may need, in bulk. The reason I chose to do this is because I realised that every time I went to the shop to buy one thing I needed or was buying something online, I ALWAYS ended up buying something else that I didn’t actually need. I don’t know if you do that too or if it’s something in our psychology that makes us do this, but I did that more times than I can remember and spent a lot more than I needed. What I started doing instead, was writing a list of all the things I would need on a monthly-ish basis, like all sorts of toiletries, makeup, skincare products, and other things I regularly use. Then I would go on Amazon Prime or any physical store, and buy everything at once. It may have given me a heart attack the first time, to see all that money leaving my bank account in one transaction, but at least I bought what I needed and I was sorted for months, without having to go to the store often buying useless things I didn’t really need.
4. CREATE A SAVINGS ACCOUNT AND PRETEND IT DOESN’T EXIST
I’m big for saving regularly and as much as my budget allows me to, and a few years ago I opened my first saving account and have always pretended it didn’t exist. Especially because for some accounts there are specific conditions you have to respect, and if you withdraw money from them you have to pay fees or your interest rate may suddenly change to the minimum. So I have standing orders going to my savings accounts, and another emergency fund that has more flexible conditions in case I do really have an emergency, but even then I really avoid taking out any money unless I really need to. Many times I will say that I’m broke, but that means I don’t have a lot of money in my regular account (after paying all my bills and providing for what I need), but my savings accounts are pretty safe, I just ignore them. Mind you, I’m not a millionaire yet but I heard from someone a long time ago that if you want to become wealthy, you have to behave like you are already even if you’re just starting out, and that also means creating and sticking to specific habits.
Remember, achieving your goals, whatever they are, starts from your mindset. In regards to financial goals, if you have a poverty mindset, you don’t take time to educate yourself, set some realistic goals, and be disciplined, the chances of being successful will be slim. You can try to follow these few steps, to begin with, and I also really encourage you to invest in good quality books, financial training, and other resources that will help you to learn more about this field and achieve your goals.
Conclusion of how to set and achieve financial goals
Ultimately, I want to remind you that there is a difference between being rich and being wealthy, and I hope you choose to be the right one. Personally, I aim to be wealthy, not rich, and whatever your goals and your why are, I hope you desire to give back and achieve FI for a bigger reason than just yourself. Whether you have short-term or long-term financial goals, I hope you can follow these steps and that they will help you to reach your goals.