Setting financial goals is an essential part of managing your money and creating a secure future. Whether you want to save for a down payment on a house, pay off debt, or invest in your retirement, having clear financial goals can help you stay focused and motivated. However, achieving these goals can be a challenge, especially if you’re prone to making common money mistakes. In this article, we will discuss six of the most common financial mistakes that can sabotage your money goals and provide tips on how to avoid them.
Firstly, we’ll explore the dangers of not having a budget and how it can prevent you from reaching your financial goals. Next, we’ll delve into the risks of carrying high-interest debt and how it can hinder your ability to save and invest. We’ll also discuss the importance of understanding your investment portfolio and avoiding costly mistakes such as panic-selling during market downturns. Additionally, we’ll highlight the impact of lifestyle inflation and how it can lead to overspending and prevent you from achieving your long-term financial objectives. We’ll also cover the pitfalls of procrastination and how delaying important financial decisions can cost you time, money, and peace of mind. Lastly, we’ll examine the dangers of ignoring your credit score and how it can limit your financial options and opportunities.
By avoiding these common financial mistakes, you can set yourself up for success and achieve your money goals with confidence and ease. So, let’s get started on the journey toward financial wellness and avoid these pitfalls together.
1. Ignoring the small goals
Think saving $10 a week or paying $50 to your credit card this month is a blip not worth tracking? As small as those small goals might seem, they matter so make them, track them, and celebrate them when you achieve them.
They can add up to major progress over time. Here are some specific examples of financial goals (and how to set them) that you can leverage.
2. Focusing solely on long-term goals
Yup! You read that right. Having long-term goals is essential to defining your big picture. We all love those yearly goals.
However, if you don’t break these goals down into smaller chunks that you track on a daily, weekly monthly, or quarterly basis, then it’s easy to get overwhelmed. As a result, you’ll end up feeling like you are making no progress at all.
3. Lack of accountability
When you have no personal accountability, there’s no one to motivate you, remind you, or keep you focused on what you are trying to accomplish.
As a result, you might start getting complacent, putting things off, and finding yourself in the perpetual state of getting things done “later” or worse still, telling yourself you can’t do it. It’s important to adjust your circle of influence if necessary and get the accountability you need.
4. Not checking in on your goals
How do you make progress with what you don’t track? Checking in on your goals is a must. It could simple as creating a schedule to check in on your goals. One great way to do this is to use your phone’s calendar or a physical planner.
5. Dismissing your progress
Just because your progress was small doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile. Celebrate all victories, no matter how big or small. Not everything you do will result in massive strides, but as with point one, it all adds up.
6. Not getting back up after you slip
Don’t settle for a situation because you made a mistake, overspent, or bought something you shouldn’t have. Slip-ups will happen. Give yourself the grace to recognize your error or mistake, remember your why and get back to work!
Tips to ensure you achieve your money goals
No one is perfect, and mistakes happen. Fortunately, it’s easy to change your mindset and continue on your financial journey. Now, here are things you can do today to ensure that you succeed with your finances and achieve your goals.
1. Go way out of your comfort zone
Comfort zones suck, they keep you stuck and get you nowhere — obliterate yours and step all the way out in order to achieve your money goals! Yes, you might hate it at first but the outcome will be so worth it! Check out our list of comfort zone challenges to help you get started!
2. Get sick of mediocre crap in your life
If mediocrity has been your story for the last year or the last several years, now it’s time to do things differently. You are not destined to be broke or to fail or to be bound by your negative family history. You can be the difference, the breakthrough, the success story! But you have to get sick and tired of mediocrity and decide to change your money story.
3. Face your triggers head-on
You probably know who or what causes you to slip up when you find yourself slipping up on your money goals (and if you don’t, then start observing what’s happening each time you slip up). Identify those triggers and then come up with a game plan to avoid them and minimize the slip-ups!
4. Lay those goals out
We talk about this all the time in our newsletter but I just have to reiterate — lay your goals out, break them into chunks, and track your progress.
5. Set yourself up for success
Put your goals where you can see them, automate your savings and bill payments, get your accountability partner on board, find the resources that will help you, and decide that you will succeed!
6. Be okay with failure
Because you will fail, you will fall and you will falter and it’s ok. The silver lining behind it all is the life lessons you will learn. Take the lessons and apply them to your next steps.
7. Rinse and repeat
Once the novelty of goal setting has worn off and you may start feeling blah. As a way to counter that, find this list and rinse and repeat. Lean on your circle of influence, and immerse yourself in some great financial books, and financial courses.
You can achieve your financial goals!
Setting money goals is easy — accomplishing the goals is the hard part. But being aware of what holds people back can help you avoid the same mistakes and move you closer to your goals. Keep your eye on the prize and don’t give up. Remember that it’ll be worth it.