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4 Tips for Setting & Achieving Financial Goals

Jul 29, 2016

Achieving financial success doesn't always come easy, but it is possible for anyone willing to put in the work. A practical plan will give you a greater chance for success.

Setting & Achieving Your Financial Goals

Here are some tips to help you set and achieve your financial goals:

  1. Set a reasonable bar. All too often, people will plan a financial goal that is too far out of the realm of possibility. Don't set yourself up for failure from the get-go. For example, paying down debt is a great goal, but be sure to consider all angles such as the need to cover regular day-to-day costs. If you focus the majority of your attention toward paying down debt all at once, you might end up having to take on additional debt to cover housing, grocery or other living expenses.

    While it's great to be motivated, you don't want to be overenthusiastic. Be sure to set your ambitions at a reasonable level in order to increase your likelihood of success.

  2. Clarity is key. Consider the following statement: "I want to save more this year." What direction does this give? What does more actually mean? It's much more efficient to declare an objective that is clear, defined and measurable. A better way to phrase it might be: "I will have $500 in my savings account by January of next year." Now that you've clearly established what, when, and how much, you can build out your plan from there. In this example, if you know you only have five months left until January, it's easier to recognize that putting away $100 monthly will guarantee that you will hit your target.

    To stay on track, it can be helpful to physically write down your goal and post it on your bathroom mirror. Seeing it every day is a nice way to stay focused.

  3. Celebrate mile markers. It might take months or even years to get where you want to be financially. While the end might seem far out of sight, it's nice to check on your progress and realize how far you've come. Knowing you're a quarter or halfway to your end-goal can feel rewarding and give you the strength and determination to keep going. Be sure to celebrate each milestone and be proud of how far you've come. Before you know it, you'll eventually be able to finish what you started.

  4. Avoid potential setbacks. Delays and setbacks could happen, but don't let it discourage you. If possible, avoid potential setbacks by anticipating the problem before it happens. Do you tend to miss payment deadlines that result in late-fees? It might help to use services such as PFCU's Electronic Bill Payer to make the process easier every month. Not only will you save on unnecessary fees, but you'll prevent missed payments from having a negative impact on your credit.

Next Steps

Interested in free tools, classes, and guidance to help you set and attain your financial goals? Check out our collection of additional financial education resources.


Erin Ellis
Accredited Financial Counselor
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