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How to Set Financial Goals That You’ll Achieve

These tips for setting financial goals will help you get rid of debt and organize your future finances. It’s time to get on the right track, isn’t it?

“When a goal matters enough to a person, that person will find a way to accomplish what at first seemed impossible.” ~ Nido Qubein.

There’s nothing less motivating than trying to achieve other people’s goals – even if those goals could make you rich! Setting financial goals (or any life goal) involves digging deep into yourself and figuring out what you want out of your life. The odds of achieving your goals are much higher if you pursue what you really want. If you simply aren’t making enough money, read 10 Highest Paying Jobs for College Students.

If you’re struggling with debt or budgets, read The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness. And, here are five tips for financial goal planning…

1. Set financial goals that matter to you

I think this is the most difficult part of goal setting: figuring out the goals that matter to you without being influenced by what other people think and want.

For instance, most people want to buy their own houses or own their own land. That’s never been a big thing to me; I could care less if I’m paying rent or paying a mortgage! I understand the financial benefits of paying off a mortgage, but I’d rather be free to travel and work at a job I love (blogging!). When you’re goal planning, be honest about your financial dreams. Don’t chase society’s goals, your parents’ goals, or even your partner goals.

2. Spell it out

Maybe your financial goal is to retire early. That’s my goal for my husband (I never want to retire from writing and blogging!). But, early retirement is an unachievable goal until it becomes more specific.

When you’re setting financial goals, you need to be specific: “I want to put $500,000 in my RRSP or 401K within the next ten years.” Or, “I want to retire by age 50, which means I need to save $25,000 a year.” Or, “I want to save $100 a month from each paycheck.” Goal planning is about being as specific as possible. If you’re new to setting and achieving financial goals, learn how to set SMART goals.

3. Figure out what you need to achieve your financial goals

One of my short-term financial goals is to earn $100 a day from my “Quips and Tips” blogs within the next four months. Setting that goal is just the first step: achieving that goal is about figuring out what I actually have to do.

Right now, I’m earning about $50 a day from my blogs. To double my income, I need to know which advertisements work and which don’t. I need to figure out which articles are popular and which aren’t. I need to learn more about how to make money blogging, and then apply what I learn to my blogs. Achieving financial goals is about breaking a lofty goal down into specific action steps.

4. Surround yourself with the right people

My husband is my strongest source of practical and emotional support. He doesn’t write my articles or run my blogs (but I secretly hope he’ll be my business manager one day!). Without him, I could never have created five “Quips and Tips” blogs, much less make money blogging. I didn’t even realize how much of a support he was until he started talking about my “writing career” when I first started freelancing for magazines.

how to set financial goalsWhat about you — who can help you achieve your goals? It doesn’t have to be a spouse or best friend – and you don’t necessarily need to hire a financial planner to help you set financial goals. A coworker, supportive neighbor, or even a Meetup group can give you the motivation you need.

For tips on setting financial goals for women, read Why Are Women Bad With Money? 7 Money Mistakes Women Make.

5. Hunker down for the long haul

If you’re looking to make a quick buck or achieve your financial goals in a month or even a year, you’ll probably be disappointed. Financial prosperity – whatever that means to you – isn’t about buying a lottery ticket, reading your horoscope, and hoping for the best!

Like anything worthwhile, setting and achieving your financial goals takes time, dedication, and patience. The cool thing about working hard to achieve your goals is that it feels so great when you succeed.

And succeed you will.

I welcome your thoughts on setting and achieving financial goals below….


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6 thoughts on “How to Set Financial Goals That You’ll Achieve”

  1. These are some great tips. If you take a look at my blog, there is a good guide to setting financial goals. I hope this helps!! 🙂

  2. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hi Alex,

    Thanks; I appreciate your comments! I like the title of your article about not settting goals or achieving them 🙂

    For me, setting financial goals is the best way to achieve my financial goals…so I must keep setting them.


  3. Laurie–
    Nice post. I liked point number 4, especially. A lot of the energy and thoughts we have about ourselves are reflections of the people we keep around us.

    Often times the difference between accomplishing a goal– financial or otherwise– lies in having the right support system.

    Alex Work

  4. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hi Bruce,

    Hmmm…I haven’t heard of managing your finances being compared to maintaining a garden before! Interesting.

    I’m really bad at setting financial goals that don’t have to do with my business. That is, I’m good at goal planning for my blogs (my primary source of income), but not for investments or my retirement.

    Good thing I have a husband who likes doing that sort of thing! 🙂


  5. I enjoy tracking my financial goals often so I see where I am succeeding and where I need to improve. It gives me a feeling of being in control. Like maintaining a garden, managing your finances takes time and patience but you will be rewarded if you try.