As promised, today we start our deep dive into personal finance.
Most of us don’t just walk into an airport and get on the first plane with an open seat. First, we need to identify a destination. The same is true of your financial journey. The first step is setting your short-, medium, and long-term financial goals. What do you hope to achieve financially this year? In the next few years? In the next ten years? Obviously, your financial goals will depend on your current state in life, your age, your income. If you are 18, working part-time for minimum wage, buying a boat probably isn’t a short-term goal, but saving enough for a security deposit might be. If you are older, like me, maybe paying off the mortgage is a medium-term goal. Your goals are your goals.
But once you’ve identified your goals (I STRONGLY suggest actually writing them down), you need to ask yourself if they are realistic. If you have consumer debt of $250,000 and you make $60,000 a year, getting out of debt in the next three to five years is unlikely without a significant change in your circumstances. I once had a conversation with a financial planner. A 47 year-old man came into his office and the planner asked him for his financial goals. The man said, “I want to retire at 50. ” “Awesome goal! How much do you have saved so far?” “Well, nothing. that’s why I came to you.” “The convenience store on the corner sells lottery tickets. That’s probably your best statistical chance of retiring in 3 years!”
Don’t mean that man! Make your goals realistic. An unrealistic goal is frustrating and depressing since it sets you up for failure. A realistic goal empowers you to move forward and make things happen.
So, set your goals and on Friday, we’ll start taking the first steps to achieve them.