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How to Wisely Set "Money Goals" this 2022

Aside from health, the pandemic also taught us how to be wiser when it comes to managing our finances. Now that another year has passed, you might be reflecting on where did you put your money and what you plan to use it for this new year. Are you satisfied with your past spending practices or not? On what aspects do you think you need to intervene?

You see, setting money goals is important because whether we accept it or not, money plays a big role in our lives. It is through planning our finances wisely that we get to make the most out of what we earn and put them into good use.

What are money goals, anyway? Money goals or financial goals are basically the end results of what we want to do with our money. These are things and points in life that we target to have or be in with respect to the way we spend or make use of our financial resources.

If you want to start taking control of your money, now is the best time. I believe that this year calls us to be more responsible with our finances that is why in this article, we will delve into four core steps you can take as you set your money goals for 2022. Are you ready?

Four Easy Steps to Wisely Set Your Money Goals

1. Make an assessment

2. Set your goals the SMART way

3. Categorize and Prioritize

4. Take control

1. Make an assessment

One thing you should know about your financial goals is that they are dynamic. Your financial goals for every year and every season of your life may differ from one another. How you spend when you are single would be different when you are already building your own family. Therefore, you are allowed to edit and adjust them.

Start your goal-setting agenda by making an assessment of where you've been, where you currently are, and where you wanna be in the future. Your past spending practices will guide you on what aspects you need to improve and focus on at the present. The current season of your life will determine what kind of goals you need to set. Meanwhile, your future plans will help you adjust and align your goals into your desired timeline. Making this kind of assessment will help you navigate your over-all financial plan and work on what you can at present.

2. Set your goals the SMART way

Once you're done assessing your past, present, and future track, you can now start listing down your actual goals. You can do this by yourself or through the help of a financial advisor. But whichever way, it is still best to write them down (using a pen and paper) no matter how old school it may seem. Trust me, taking time to sit down with a pen and paper in front of you will give you a legitimate mood for planning (not that life always end up the way you expect it to).

Setting goals that are SMART entails you to make sure that they are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. A general and idealistic goal can be to desire to own a luxurious property by the beach. However, a SMART goal would sound like aiming to save up 5% of your monthly salary to purchase a beach house in five years time. Your specificity and time-boundness will allow you to track your progress while being realistic will allow you to actually attain your goal.

3. Categorize AND Prioritize

Now that you already have your SMART goals listed down, it's time to put them into their respective groups. Categorizing your goals happen when you classify them as either short-, mid-, or long-term goals. It is up to you on how you define the timeline of these terms but accordingly, short-term goals are those you want to accomplish within a year (or less), mid-term goals are those you want to accomplish in 2-5 years, and long-term goals are those you see yourself achieving beyond that. Doing these will help you track your progress and adjust your timeline.

On the other hand, prioritizing means classifying your goals into either "needs" or "wants". I am enclosing them in quotation marks because your "needs" and "wants" may differ from others and they are definitely up to you to define. Nevertheless, your "needs" should always be your priority especially when you are placed in a situation where you need to choose between two things you have to spend for. 

4. Take control

You are almost done setting your financial goals. This time, you have to condition yourself into a mindset that will help you be consistent in achieving the goals you desire to reach. You have to always remember that it should be you controlling your money and not the other way around. This is very important because when the contrary happens (and it almost always does), we lose track and give in to expenses that are either not that important or not important at all. 

Taking control may also entail you to monitor your progress consistently and be accountable of every step you take into the journey of pursuing your money goals this year. However, don't forget to make rooms for unexpected situations, for mistakes, and for improvements. No matter how strictly we plan things, life still has a way to push its own agenda and we witnessed it during this pandemic. Therefore, take control of things you can, and leave the rest for life to figure itself on its own.

There are a lot of reasons as to why we would want to set goals and be in control of our finances. It could be because we want to have freedom from our debts, be ready in case an emergency happens, or prepare for another season in our lives. But most of the time, people generally want to have goals is to be "rich and successful". However, we have to remember that our goals won't achieve themselves by their own. We have do something in order to achieve them.

The good thing is, doing something does not require you to have a life-changing moment like winning a lottery or spending most of your days "working hard" for money. Sometimes, doing something to eventually get where you want to be just requires you to show up every day and be consistent in your strategy. You can choose to do it the smart way. Besides, being on the right track with respect to your expenses will also help you be in the right track in life.


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