In the previous post, I discussed about having a vision for your finances. I hope you have put this into practice because as my pastor says "you cannot arrive at a destination that you have not defined". If my financial vision gives me an idea of where I want to be, setting goals are the vehicles to take me there.
goal:the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; (Dictionary.com). The definition of a goal carries with it the implication that it's something I think about before I actually achieve it. Getting my finances in order is not going to just happen to me, I need to work towards getting to where I want to be.
Financial goals must be specific, If my vision is to save more this financial year, my goals ask the question, how much more? How will I save? My financial vision for 2009 includes getting the maximum amount of money I can into my ISA. If you live in the UK and you don't know what an ISA is well, one of your goals could be to find out what it is lol! That's about £3,600, my goal therefore is to divert £300 per month into my ISA, preferably by Direct Debit as I might not have the discipline to faithfully take it out each month so let the bank work for me a little.
Financial goals should be measurable, setting time dates by which time such and such should have happened will enable you make progress. I'm not so strong on this one but I know I shall get better. My financial vision includes increasing my financial literacy by reading at least two books on finances per quarter, so far I've read half, so I'm lagging behind but I wouldn't know that if I wasn't measuring.
Financial goals should be attainable and realistic. I believe in the area of our finances, our only limit is our financial education. Sorry to say, but I'm tired of an attitude that keeps waiting for someone to show up at the door with £xxx by someone sent by God to bless me, in itself I have no problem with it but why can't I be the someone that will be the blessing as opposed to the one waiting. So while I can say, I would like to save £1,000,000 from my salary it is very unlikely that my job will be paying me that amount any time soon so I set realistic and attainable goals. Setting goals and attaining them gives me strength to keep on pressing forward. I believe in a God of miracles who can open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing, pressed down, shaken together and running over but into what container will he put it? Are you ready to receive the blessing that He wants to give you? When Jesus was in Peter's boat, there was so much fish that the net began to break, to me that means if he had a bigger net, he would have more fish so he couldn't receive beyond his capacity.
Financial goals should be timely, this is closely linked to measurable in that setting specific times by which you would have achieved the goals that have been set. I will need to review my vision and goals by the end of the month to see where I'm succeeding and where I'm lagging behind. Remember to review your goals regularly. This is usually where I have a problem, I write things down but do not take time to review and ask myself how I'm doing on the journey, sometimes some goals may need to be changed, scrapped or stretched but you'll never know if you don't review them.
In one of the earlier posts on this blog, I discussed about the motivation we each have for creating wealth. This is very important because this is what will keep us focused. I need money to do a lot of things, believe me even if you're going to be a missionary, your ability to go depends on someone giving the money that will support you while you are there. In these days when we realise that a 'credit crunch' is not actually a type of cereal, it is even more important to remain keyed in to why and how important it is as people (more especially as women..) to have our finances in order.
So what are your financial goals? Do you believe in setting goals specifically for your finances? Please leave a comment. My financial goals for 2009 should be appearing in the side bar soon.
Remain blessed and highly favoured.