Setting Goals

It may seem like an esoteric kind of activity to write down financial goals, or any goals for that matter, but goals serve a very valuable function to keep us focused on what is important. Without goals we are prone to making our spending choices based on our feelings or some other emotional response.

Goals don't have to be financial in order to have implications on our spending either. Anything that we are passionate about is going to be reflected in our spending and savings decisions. If I say that raising intelligent, well-balanced children is a goal of mine, then I can't help but see this goal impact my spending decisions.

Goals also serve the purpose of keeping us from making emotional spending choices and allow us to keep the long term vision in front of us rather than falling prey to those short term pressures. For instance, I love diet cherry limeades...I love to stop by and pick one up on a hot day. The problem is that diet cherry limeades and other spontaneous purchases can put leaks in my budget and can thwart my ability to achieve my longer term goals (like save money to purchase a replacement vehicle).

Knowing that goals are important (both short term and long term) lets take an action today. Write down one goal you would like to achieve within a year (doesn't have to be financial) and one goal you would like to achieve in 5 years. Put them on a piece of paper and place them in a location you are going to see them every day. I plan to put mine next to my mirror in my bathroom.

Keeping our goals in front of us we will have greater probability of achieving those goals. Start today!

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