There’s no denying the power of setting financial goals…any goals, for that matter. Goals keep us motivated. Goals give us something to work towards.
Goals help us measure our success towards the things that matter most. Most people, myself included, set goals at the beginning of the year. There’s nothing like a fresh start!
If you’ve never set financial goals before, I want this to be the year you give it a try.
In case you’re not sure what goals to set, I’m sharing 5 effective financial goals for the new year, or any time, that you can set and work towards. Let this be your starting point to a prosperous financial year!
5 Effective Goals for the New Year
#1 Get your retirement plan in place
Review what you have. Roll over old plans. Assess your contributions. Open an IRA.
That’s the short and sweet version, but let me dive a little deeper! What retirement plans do you currently have in place?
Whether you’re contributing to them or not, you should know where your money is. If you don’t know, let’s start there.
Capitalize is a company that can help you track down old retirement plans and roll them over into your new or current one.
Rolling over old retirement plans is critical to maxing out your earning potential. Not sure where to start? Reach out to Capitalize. They help customers roll over old plans at no cost to the customer.
Once you have all of your retirement money in one place, assess your contribution rate. Can you up your retirement percentage?
At minimum, you should be contributing what your employer will match. However, if you can afford to contribute more, make it a goal to do so. You can also open an IRA and contribute more that way!
#2 Finally give investing a try
Open a brokerage account. Add stocks to your watchlist. Transfer $10/month. Read charts.
Diving deeper again, an effective financial goal to set is to get started with investing. If you’re saving for retirement, you’re already an investor. Doesn’t that feel good?
Take it up a notch and open a brokerage account. There’s no upfront cost to do so. This will allow you to get used to the platform.
Once you’re comfortable with the brokerage account and platform, start adding stocks to your “watchlist.”
Most platforms allow users to have lists of stocks they want to watch. This allows you to keep an eye on stocks and see how they perform over time. When you’re ready to invest, start small. $10/month is not a lot to ask for, but it does allow you to get started!
Invest in a stock or 2 from your watchlist and watch what happens! Read the charts of each stock, so you can get accustomed to what you’re looking at.
#3 Track your spending
Never tracked your spending? Try it for 1 month straight. Tracked before? Take a deep dive into your results.
Tracking your spending is one of the best ways to figure out if your budget is actually working. When you track your spending, you’re able to see exactly what’s happening with your money.
You can use this information to course correct before things get worse. You can also use it to help you see if you can reach your goals faster.
If you already track your spending, start analyzing what the information is telling you. Do you constantly overspend in a particular category? How can you fix this?
Maybe you need more allocated to the category. Take time to dive deep into your results and use the findings to help you pave a path forward.
#4 Get a savings account portfolio in place
Get organized with all your savings and investing accounts – create a single resource/spreadsheet to track locations and balances.
Financial organization is important for plenty of reasons. First, it allows you to have a quick pulse on all of your assets, including their worth and where they are located.
Second, it gives you the ability to focus on building wealth, instead of wondering what your current wealth situation looks like. Create a spreadsheet, document or listing of all your asset accounts.
Asset accounts include checking accounts, savings accounts, retirement accounts, investment accounts and any other assets (529, annuities, pensions, etc.).
In your document, at minimum you’ll want to track the location of the account, and the balance.
You can take the document a few steps further by documenting interest rates, rates of return, transfer amounts and the goal for each account.
This will take some time, but you’ll feel so accomplished when it’s done – such an effective financial goal!
#5 Start working with a coach or advisor
Need to manage your money or budget? Work with a coach. Ready to build wealth? Work with an advisor.
Want to make the best move for your money situation? Work with a coach or advisor! Depending on where you are in your finances depends on which you should work with.
If you struggle with money management, budgeting and spending control, start with a coach. A financial coach, like me, can help you take control of your day-to-day financial activity.
Once you have a handle on your money and you’re ready to build wealth through investing, you can start working with a financial advisor.
They can be found at a variety of financial institutions and can help you manage your investments to help you get the best rate of return.
I’m not saying you can’t do either on your own but having the help of others will take your efforts up a few notches. We’re all about working smarter, not harder…right?!
Related: 5 Money Goals to Set for the New Year
As you can see, there are layers to each of the goals listed above. Assess where you are with each goal and take the proper next steps to level up.
What goals do you plan to work on? Which of the financial goals listed above scares you? Post a comment below to share your game plan!