& Simple Steps You Can Take to Achieve Them with a Money Tracker App
by Violet Betters | 7 January 2021
There are so many reasons why you might not have a financial goal yet. For some, it’s daunting or confusing. For others, it might not have crossed their minds as a priority. But notice, I said you might not have a financial goal yet. This is because I’m going to tell you how to do it and by the time you finish reading this you will be well on your way to having a financial goal (or goals)!
We’ll teach you how to look at what you want big and small, prioritize your wants, create a budget, and take strategic steps to achieve your financial goals by asking specific questions and using the best app for managing daily expenses and creating good financial habits.
First, what do you want?
Think big and small. Come up with a wish list ranging from wanting something like a new jacket to a new house. Write everything down. This is your time to brainstorm and dream big. Nothing is set in stone so have a little fun with it! Write down the financial goals that might seem daunting to you, like buying your first home or funding education, and ones that fuel your daydreams, like your ideal vacation.
What are your values?
The way you spend your money can be a good indicator of what is important to you. Try to look back at your spending habits, using bank or credit card statements, and use that to assess where your values lie. If you have tried a money tracker app in the past, take a look at that data too. Any data you have access to represents untapped potential to help you make decisions! All of this information put together will help you understand yourself and your spending as well as any potential goals.
Try to really analyze your money mindset . The way you think about money can have a hand in the way you use it and save it, so as you analyze your past patterns and make goals for the future it can be helpful to have a good mindset.
What are your priorities?
Next step: prioritize. Take the list you made and sort it from most important to least. Which of these dreams and goals are the ones you want to put your efforts into? Don’t shy away from ones that seem really big but do consider which goals are attainable. Some of these goals aren’t ones that will be achieved overnight, so when you set these goals take the time to really think about what you want and are willing to stick with and work towards.
Another category to consider wanting to brainstorm or research is your debt. Do you know how much debt do you have? Is one goal to eventually pay off all that debt? One major step towards achieving good financial habits is having a plan to handle all of that debt stress.
Another way to explore setting financial goals for yourself is through SMART money goals. SMART stands for: Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. All these should contribute to the formulation of your goal. Time frame is an important element because, if you’re setting a long term goal, it will be important to keep that in mind (the long game versus instant gratification) while a short term goal may yield results much quicker.
If you don’t, now is a great time to make one! Having a budget will help give you an idea of what kind of money you have to put towards your goal, and going forward it will help stay on track to hit your financial goals. Awareness and accountability are key when working towards financial goals and good financial habits.
If you do already have a budget, take a look at how you’re using your money. With your goals in mind, see how much money is left every month to put towards your goal. You should also see if there are areas where you could spend less, in order to save more for your goal. To make it easy, the Nav.it app has customizable and automated budgeting to make daily budgeting easy.
Have you automated your savings?
The next step to setting and achieving your financial goals is automating it. Considering setting up a separate saving account for your goal (or goals). You’ll create good financial habits and reduce stress just by automating it. Having a separate account for this goal will make it harder to spend this money on something other than the goal.
After making a goal, check-in and see if you’re continuing to take steps towards accomplishing it. By tracking your progress, you can focus on efforts, monitor progress, and increase your chances of achieving your goal. Make a date and put it in your calendar to do this, or better yet, make it part of your regular budgeting practices.
Make this a new habit! Whether that’s by setting a reminder in your calendar to this, having a friend or partner hold you accountable, or both!
Progress, especially when broken into smaller steps, is exciting and motivating to watch.
Financial goals don’t have to be daunting! Start dreaming, planning, and setting yourself up for success by asking yourself a few questions.
Violet is an intern at Nav.it where she is eagerly learning about both marketing and finance. In May of 2020 she graduated from Lewis & Clark College with a BA in English. While at Lewis & Clark she became involved with many leadership roles including ones in student government. Through those roles and her experiences in school she became passionate about the power and empowering nature of knowledge and education. Violet is excited about Nav.it’s mission to inspire confidence in individuals and change the narrative around money therefore empowering through knowledge.