Setting financial objectives, priorities and budgeting are essential to effective money management. Below Are The Basics. Your circumstances, needs and desires will constantly change, so you should regularly reexamine your priorities.
1. Narrow your objectives: You probably won’t be able to achieve every financial goal you’ve ever conceived. Clearly articulate your goals, determine why they matter to you, and decide which are most important. By concentrating your efforts, you have a better chance of achieving what matters most.
2. Focus first on high priority goals: To accomplish primary goals, you will need to put desirable but less important ones on the back burner.
3. Be prepared for conflicts: Goals often conflict with one another. If conflict occurs, determine if one of the conflicting goals is more beneficial than the other? Which goal will have more harmful repercussions if deferred?
4. Make time your ally: Time is your most important ally in reaching your goals. Money stashed in interest-earning savings accounts or invested in stocks and bonds grows and compounds. The more time you have, the more chance you have of success. Younger people (who have more time to build their nest egg) can invest differently than older ones. Generally, younger people can take greater risks than older people, given their longer investment horizon.
5. Choose carefully: When compiling your list of goals, look for things that will help you feel financially secure, happy or fulfilled. Once you have your list together, rank the items in order of importance.
6. Include family members: If you have a spouse or significant other, make sure that person is part of the goal-setting process. They could be detrimental to your goals if they aren’t on board.
7. Start now: The longer you wait to begin working toward your goals, the more difficulty you’ll have reaching them.
8. The big stuff matters: Once you have prioritized your list of goals, keep your spending on course. Before spending, ask yourself: “Is this taking me nearer to my primary goals – or leading me further away from them?” If any action doesn’t get you closer to your goals, try to defer or reduce it.
9. The small stuff doesn’t: Most of life is lived in the here-and-now, and most of what you spend will continue to be for daily expenses . That’s OK – adhere to #8 so you don’t get off course.
10. Be prepared for change.