Here’s the truth about budgets: they don’t work unless you set clear budget goals and objectives. Budgeting is a habit and like any habit, it won’t stick if you’re not focused on establishing it. Setting your budget intentions is the first step to building wealth. Here’s why.
Human beings are motivated by goals. When you set budget goals and objectives, you give yourself a tangible reason to manage your money.
A budget without a goal is like a bus without a destination. It’s easy at first, but you’ll eventually run out of motivation, or gas, or with nothing to keep you moving forward. Here are three main budget goals and objectives you can set for yourself to stay motivated:
Your budget goals and objectives don’t need to be complicated. Sometimes, you don’t need any more motivation other than to buy the things you want. Some examples of short-term luxuries include:
Who doesn’t want to travel in luxury? Seeing the world without having to worry about money is enough motivation for millions of people. By budgeting appropriately, you can give yourself an amazing vacation.
You don’t need to break the bank to go on the luxury vacation of your dreams. Check out my article to find out how you can have a luxury vacation on a budget.
Once you taste high-quality food, you’ll never want to eat anything else. This isn’t limited to just world-class dining experiences, but also being able to afford fresher and higher quality ingredients. When you’re financially set, you can have the best of everything.
The biggest short-term luxury that, unfortunately, not everyone can afford is quality time with loved ones. By budgeting effectively, you always have money to set aside for meeting with friends or going on dates.
A comfortable life is a mid-term budget objective. If you’re budgeting correctly, you should be able to accumulate enough wealth to improve your quality of life. Here are some smaller budget goals and objectives that you can work towards:
Maybe you want to move to a different neighborhood, city, state, or even country. Wanting to move to another place, and living there happily, will help motivate you to stick to your budget.
If you just recently moved to a more expensive place, you’ll need to adjust your budget accordingly as well. If you need some help, you should check out my article on moving out with no money saved.
Tired of having to pay rent or monthly car payments? Why not budget towards owning them instead of coughing up funds every month? Permanently removing heavy monthly payments will significantly improve your quality of life.
Take it from me; living in debt is incredibly stressful. If you’re currently in debt, you should be budgeting toward paying it off ASAP. Letting it sit there will only hurt you more over time.
Beating debt is not impossible. In fact, I managed to pay off a six-digit sum of debt in just 20 months! Check out my article to see what I learned during my debt-free journey.
You may be motivated to provide for your family. Building generational wealth is how you can provide for and protect your next of kin, even when you’re not around. This is a long-term financial goal, but you may be motivated by any of the following:
Whether or not you’re providing for a family, budgeting will help you save more money over time. At the very least, you’ll want your money to last through your lifetime. Wanting to save money so that you can live comfortably in your golden years is just as good of a reason as any of the other budget goals and objectives.
By building generational wealth, you can ensure that your children, and maybe even their children, can get the best opportunities. This means being based in safer neighborhoods, having access to higher education, and living overall better lives.
This is just one of the benefits of being an old-money family. If you want to know more about them, check out my article on old money and new money.
Imagine being the matriarch of the family; the one your great-grandchildren know about and look up to. By building monumental wealth, you’ll be remembered for generations. This can only happen if you budget accordingly and live life.
Your budget goals and objectives give you a reason to start budgeting, but do you know how to start? Here are six simple points to remember when you’re budgeting your funds:
This sounds like a straightforward point, but it’s not that simple. You need to set a budget that’s specific to your budget goals and objectives. This means that a cookie-cutter budget template may not be the best way to work towards your financial goals. Instead, you can use templates as guidelines to help you establish one that works for you.
You might try to budget everything with a pen and paper only to end up stressing yourself out. Budgeting can be a challenge, but there are tools that can help make it much easier. If you’re not using them, you’re making life harder for yourself for no reason.
You need to set realistic financial goals, otherwise, you may get discouraged. As I mentioned, we are motivated by positive goals – but failing to meet them can have negative effects. These include getting demotivated, overthinking, and avoiding setting big goals in the future.
Meeting your goals is supposed to be a challenge to yourself as well. If your goals do not challenge you, you may not grow. An easy way to make a goal more challenging is to give yourself a time limit to reach it.
When you’re budgeting toward a financial goal, you need to track your progress. This will help you figure out how much more you have to go. This can also give extra motivation toward reaching your goal.
When you learn something new, like budgeting or saving tip, you’ll be more motivated to try it out. Which is why you should join the money squad! As a member, you’ll receive personal finance tips from me every week. Additionally, signing up takes no time and is completely free. These tips also serve as a healthy reminder to stay focused on those budget goals and objectives! What’re you waiting for? Join today!
Dollars Makes Cents by Shaquana, Financial Coach and Wealth Expert, resources helps professional millennial women of color with the tools and skills they need to eliminate their debt, amplify their savings, and build generational wealth — without having to compromise their lifestyle.
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