Finances > Debt > 10 Tips for Achieving Financial Goals – Beyond “Use Cash”

10 Tips for Achieving Financial Goals – Beyond “Use Cash”

Do you want to save $100 a month, pay off your mortgage, start a homebased business, or take a dream vacation? No matter what your financial goals are, you have to change your relationship with money so you can move into financial abundance.

As Helen Gurley Brown said, money doesn’t buy happiness, but it lets you be miserable in comfort. And the best way to be miserable in comfort is to achieve your financial goals.

If one of your goals is to make more profitable investments, read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill – it’s one of my favorite books for achieving any type of goal.

Here’s what one reviewer said: “If I was asked to choose the single best book I have ever read on success, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill would be my pick! On the recommendation of the famous Andrew Carnegie, published in the beginning of the 20th century, this book was the first definitive guide for personal achievement. The concepts presented in this book have transformed my thinking and changed my life. Everything shared in this book is based on facts gathered based on the decades of research.”

Think and Grow Rich is a classic, and can change your life by changing how you think.

Figure out what’s holding you back

Are you frustrated because you and your partner have different money personalities (you’re a saver and he’s a spender)? Are you depressed because you and your partner can’t agree on your financial goals? Maybe you feel overwhelmed by credit card or student loan debt that you can’t pay off. The first step to letting go of the things holding you back is to identify the obstacles!

Get strategic about conquering those money obstacles

Whatever the source of your discouragement is, remember that there are ways to overcome it! Different problems have different solutions, but there are some general rules for moving forward in life. For instance, don’t focus on what you lack (eg, a financially compatible partner). Instead, focus on what you want more of in your life (financial harmony, financial freedom, financial security). Be specific about what you want. Avoid getting caught up in the emotion or negativity of what’s holding you back. Take a step back and look at your life with objective eyes.

If investing money is a struggle, read Best Strategies for Investing Money for Long-Term Growth.

Look for the possibilities in your financial problems

In Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell writes, “Sometimes constraints actually create success. Not being able to swim made me run. And running taught me the discipline I needed as a writer.” What are you learning from the obstacles in your life — financial or otherwise? Are the problems leading you in an unexpected direction? The sooner you accept the lessons, the faster you’ll overcome the problems and move towards freedom.

Work with your personal strengths – financial and otherwise

I’m a big fan of “to do” lists and I love checking off each task when I accomplish it. That’s one of my personal strengths, and I use it to pursue my financial goals. For instance, one of my goals is to earn $50,000 a year as a blogger. Part of achieving that goal involves writing two blog posts a day. To stay motivated to write every day, I make a list of the blog posts I need to write at the beginning of each week…and the satisfaction of checking off those “articles to write” makes me feel happy and motivated enough to do it again and again and again!

What are your strengths when it comes to saving money, paying off your debts, or investing? Put them to work for you. What are your weaknesses? Figure out how to use your strengths to downplay your weaknesses.

Ask for help achieving your financial goals

What do you need to save $100 a month, pay off your credit card debt, or retire early? Ask your family, friends, and colleagues for help. Do you need financial advice? Time? Resources? Motivation? Support? Be specific about what you need, identify who can help you, and be clear about what you’d like them to do.

Remember that asking for help isn’t just about talking to other people. Read Money and the Law of Attraction – 4 Ways to Attract Wealth.

Surround yourself with likeminded folk

Who do you admire? Which family member, friend, or colleague is in the position you’d like to be in? To achieve your financial goals, stay connected to people who achieved their goals — even if you don’t know them personally, even if they aren’t alive!  Their attitudes, values, habits, and thoughts will rub off on you. Also, stay away from people who hold you back or aren’t supportive.

Don’t work towards competing goals

If your goal is to earn more more money or break the debt cycle by paying off your credit card debt, don’t set additional goals of writing a bestselling novel or traveling around the world for six months. You can’t earn more money and travel around the world (unless you’re incredibly creative and resourceful!). Focus on achieving one or two financial goals at a time, and make sure they’re compatible.

Expect to put your time in – breaking the debt cycle is hard

Bill Gates programmed computers at university for 10,000 hours before he started his own company. Gates is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in recent history (perhaps of all time) — but he spent 10,000 hours practicing before he took the leap! That’s 416 days of working around the clock. This tip for letting go of what’s holding you back is from Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, and involves practicing your craft. “…[successful people]…simply put in more hours than anyone else,” writes Gladwell.

Revise your financial goals as necessary

Last year, my goal was to earn a $3,500 per month as a freelance writer. This year, it’s to earn the same amount of money with my “Quips and Tips” blogs — which means my earnings as a freelance writer has to decrease. No matter what type of goal you want to achieve, you need to be open to revising as you go. Take your nose off the grindstone every so often…look around…and make sure you’re still on the right track.  Let yourself make revisions whenever you need.

Help people achieve their goals — financial or otherwise

When you encourage or educate or help others achieve their goals, you renew your own dedication, determination, and self-discipline! You feel good about yourself, which increases your motivation and gives you the self-confidence you need to overcome obstacles to your financial goals. It feels great to help people move towards their dreams, and it’s good karma!

“Money isn’t the most important thing in life,

but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the ‘gotta have it’ scale.” 

~ Zig Ziglar.

For more tips on finances and goals, read 6 Ways to Take Control of Your Finances.

What are your financial goals? Write them down – because thoughts become reality.


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5 thoughts on “10 Tips for Achieving Financial Goals – Beyond “Use Cash””

  1. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Sally,

    Whether you can achieve your financial goal depends on more than your income! I think you can save $5,000 a year if you earn $38,000 a year — if your living expenses are low, you don’t have credit card debt, and you’re good with money.

    Have you sat down and made a budget? Not only will a budget on paper (or on the computer) help you become clear on your income and expenses, it’ll keep you focused on achieving your financial goals.

    Let me know how it’s going — I’d love you to come back and tell me you saved $10,000 for a down payment for a house! :-)


  2. My financial goal is to save up $10,000 for a down payment on a house. I’m giving myself two years to do it. I make $38,000 a year. Do you think this is possible?

  3. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks Haider, I’m glad you found these tips for achieving your financial goals helpful!
    .-= Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen´s last blog post …Establish Good Financial Habits – 6 Ways to Make Money Saving Tips Stick =-.