Ways to make your financial dreams come true

Jan. 13 is Make Your Dream Come True Day. Give yourself your best shot at success for financial hopes and dreams. Set doable and meaningful goals, and plan to save.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com.

My millennial daughter and her boyfriend sat down together last weekend and spent most of a day going over their annual wishes, goals, finances and plans. I was impressed by this planning effort! According to a U.S. News poll, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by the first week of February. To make financial dreams come true, focus on best practices to set specific goals and save money.

Vivian Washington wrote about setting SMART goals in her February, 2016 article, Using SMART goals to save money. Setting goals will help you work to make your future better, prioritize spending, measure your progress and take pride in bettering your life, according to the Your Money Your Goals toolkit from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Whether your goal will take a week, a month, or several years to reach, turn your goal into a financial target to set aside money each week or month to reach the goal. Decide the total amount you need for your goal and the number of weeks you have. For example, to have $1000 for an emergency fund in the next 10 months, you need to save $100 per month or about $25 per week. You can revise your goals to what makes sense for your family. Find helpful tools and worksheets at Behind on Bills and MIMoneyHealth.org.

Saving is the secret to success in personal finance. Those with “a savings plan with specific goals” save more successfully than those without a plan, according to the 2016 America Saves Survey . The 7 Secrets of Super Savers, according to a Personal Finance textbook by Garman and Forgue, are worth restating. In addition to setting goals, they focus on their needs instead of impulses and wants, avoid debt if they do not have the money, cut back on spending for expensive items, use mindful spending choices for everyday items, track their spending, and make savings automatic in their employer’s retirement plan and into savings accounts.

America Saves Week is an annual event in late February to encourage more saving activities. You can find tips, challenges, pledges, and other tools to achieve your success as a Super Saver and stay on track with your financial dreams.

Setting goals and planning to save are best practices to help make your financial hopes and dreams come true. The rule of thumb recommendation is 10 percent of your gross monthly income, if you can, by Paying Yourself First. Having a spending plan shows your sense of control and willingness to set aside now for the future. As you build savings, you build peace of mind knowing that you are setting aside money for your goals. And you will save money by avoiding the interest costs from borrowing on credit. Financial planning takes time, patience, and discipline. Find more information about the reasons for and ways to save at MIMoneyHealth.org.

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