Family Finances

Financial goals Road Map

June 15, 2015
5 steps to securing your financial future

 

I used to have concrete goals in place of who I was and where I wanted to go in life. I have really lost my focus in the midst of staying home with my kids, dealing with repeat miscarriages, and barely escaping serious financial trouble. The past 3 years have been more about survival. My only thoughts have been about making it to the next day and finding a way to pay the next bill. I am done with only living on survival mode and only meeting short-term goals. I want to thrive, and I plan on making and meeting big financial goals for my future and the future of my family.

Before sitting down for a finance date with my husband to look at hard numbers, I only had a general idea of what my financial goals were for the future. My only real goal was to be living debt free. Outside of that, it was a big blank question mark. I have dreams about the type of home we will live in someday, but the day-to-day is a fog. Both financially and as a person, where do I seriously see myself in one year? Five years? 20 years?

Without concrete life goals in place, how will you ever reach your financial goals? You won’t, unless you spend a great deal of time and effort thinking about, planning for, and acting on the steps that a goal requires to achieve. These are my 5 steps to help map out my financial future and bring my priorities into focus.

5 Steps to mapping out your Financial Future

Step 1: Write down your extended yearly goals

By writing out an extended financial plan for yourself and your family, you will have a clear road map for actually achieving those goals. Make a list of where you expect to be in one year. How much will you have saved in 5 years? Where do you see yourself in 20  years?

Step 2: Make your budget reflect your financial goals

Saying “I want to save $20,000 in 5 years” is a great goal, but unless you have formed your budget around those goals, they will never happen. You need to make sure that you have a plan in place for where that $20,000 is going to come from. Are you going to cut expenses or get a part-time job? Neither? Both? How are you going to achieve your goals?

Step 3: Live your life honestly

In every step of the process, be true to yourself. Don’t become so single-minded in reaching your financial goals that you lose sight of everything else. Make sure to budget both time and money for pursuing your other dreams and interests. You won’t stay on track with your financial goals if you don’t give yourself time to do those things that bring you joy and fulfillment.

Step 4: Find a financial accountability partner

Entrust your goals to someone who will help you stay on track. Whether it’s your spouse, family member, best friend, or mentor, make sure you have someone to call you out when you diverge from your financial road map. It’s helpful to have someone to talk to openly and honestly. It will help relieve stress when you feel like you can’t do it anymore, and they can give you the motivation you need to stay on track.

Step 5: Getting started

Don’t wait until Sunday, or the next pay check, or until you have paid off your credit card. Stop forming excuses and pushing back your start date and get started today. The time will pass anyway, so don’t let the fear of failing prevent you from ever trying to achieve your financial goals. There is no better day than today to start securing your financial future.

My own long-term goals

My goal for this week is to sit down for another finance date and create a road map for where we see ourselves in the next 20 years, how we will get there, and what our budget will be to reflect those goals. I am tired of just surviving. I want to thrive! I want to live in a way that we have to face only minimal financial obstacles. I’m ready to get started on mapping out my financial future.

What are your long-term financial goals? Do you have a financial road map for your future?

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11 Comments

  • Reply Kirsten June 15, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    My immediate goal is to be able to afford staying home, but I want our college loans paid off in the next 5 years. Then our mortgage 5 years after that. That allows us to comfortably afford college for the girls and massive retirement savings, too. But like you said, I don’t want to be so single minded I ignore everything else. We’d like some travel and fun in there, too!

  • Reply ModerateMuse June 15, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    Those are great goals, Kirsten! Especially if you keep saving the amount you are currently paying toward your debt, your will have more than enough money to invest for retirement.

    Is there anywhere in particular that you have your heart set on traveling to? There are so many places that I would love to go to.

  • Reply Chonce June 15, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    I love these steps! Creating an honest and realistic budget and just being honest with yourself overall and the lifestyle you plan to live makes a big difference. I am big on budgeting and setting financial goals that I strive to maintain and it’s all because I want to become financially independent one day and continue to provide for my child and hopefully not spend the rest of my life working.

    • Reply ModerateMuse June 15, 2015 at 9:08 pm

      I hear you, Chonce! I hate the idea of having to work for the next 50 years. We are lucky though, in that we decided while still young to take charge of our finances and our future.

  • Reply Christina @ Embracing Simple June 16, 2015 at 1:20 am

    I love these step-by-step plan! I really need to sit down with my hubby and create what our financial goals look like both short and long term. We have vague goals but nothing too concrete. Thanks for the inspiration and the kick in the butt I needed!

    • Reply ModerateMuse June 16, 2015 at 1:24 am

      It’s the kick in the butt I needed too! I’m hoping to post my list of goals later this week or early next. I would love to see what you and your husband decide on as goals!

  • Reply Jennifer @ WanderlustWallet June 16, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    I think writing down goals is huge! Setting debt repayment and savings goals and developing a plan have probably been major keys to the financial progress we’ve made over the years. We have a ton of goals to work toward, including saving more for retirement, investing and continuing to travel. Looking forward to seeing your list of goals in a future post!

    • Reply ModerateMuse June 16, 2015 at 8:06 pm

      What is your ultimate travel destination, Jennifer? I wouldn’t even know where to start if I lived in Europe!

      • Reply Jennifer @ WanderlustWallet June 19, 2015 at 7:40 pm

        I guess I don’t have any one ultimate destination — just a very long list of places I’d like to see. Some of the places in Europe toward the top of my wish list currently (which changes all the time) are Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Mykonos, Portugal and Ireland. I’d really love to visit some spots that are a little farther away, particularly Isreal and Egypt, but I feel these might be a little too dangerous currently!

  • Reply Lee June 29, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    I keep thinking I need to create a financial plan, but I never seem to get around to it. “Spend less and stop wasting money” is about as sophisticated as I’ve ever managed. That said, I’ve never had debt problems, thankfully, because we’ve always had good incomes and have been sensible with what we’ve bought. But we should have been able to do better than we have, probably because we haven’t had a good plan behind us.

    I think that needs to change. Thanks for the reminder.
    Lee recently posted…You don’t need to be a pauper to live a simple lifeMy Profile

    • Reply moderatemuseblog June 29, 2015 at 9:13 pm

      “Spend less and stop wasting money” is the most important step! Living within your means is the simplest way to make sure you don’t end up in debt. It is a good idea to make sure you have a plan laid out for the future though.

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