What motivates you to reach your financial goal?
Why stay with it when the accomplishment can seem so far off into the future?
I think about these question a lot, because I regularly struggle with the answers. It can be so easy to set a budget but to go over it just by a little bit here and little bit there. I can be easy to dream about owning a car and justify it by ‘everyone has one’.
But personal finance is a long game!
I’ve only been really thinking about my own financial goals since November of 2012 there are absolutely dips in my financial motivation.
To keep me motivated to reach my goals, especially the ones that will take years to reach, I have a variety of strategies. It’s a good idea for you have a variety of strategies so when the personal finance poo-poo-ers start taking up extra time in your mind you have a lot of weapons to counter them!
How to stay motivated to reach your financial goals
1. Ensure at first you have a good goal! As we all remember from high school, a good goal is SMART.
2. Regularly check in with your goal. Every time you get paid, or on the same day of every month, go over your financials and think ‘how am I making progress towards this goal’
3. To ensure you are regularly checking in, make some kind of physical or visual progress bar. I have a bar graph that compares the amount of money I need with the amount of money I currently have for that goal. I also do this with my debt, as the total debt is the amount of money I need and the total amount of I’ve paid off is the amount of money I’ve put towards this goal.
4. Read about people who are actively working towards their goal and writing about it- aka personal finance blogs! I am a secret huge fan and rarely comment, but I basically read Gail Vaz Oxlade, Girl Meets Debt, Give me Back My Five Bucks, Money after Graduation, Blonde on a Budget, Young and Thrifty and My Alternative Life . . .everyday. You could start with my blog too 🙂
5. Watching shows about money also keeps it on your mind! Gail Vaz Oxlade’s multiple shows: Till Debt Do Us Part and Princess are just great. Very informative and a great negative incentive- very much watch this show to think about who you don’t want to become! You can also stream these shows for free on the Slice website in Canada.
What do you do to stay motivated for your financial goals?