How to create practical financial goals in the midst of a pandemic
When you are in the middle of a difficult time, it will seem like it's impossible to create goals and reach them. Do you relate? Setting goals at the beginning of a new year is easy. It's how well you stick to your plan, even in tough times, which will determine how successful you are. The good news is, it's never too late to pick up where you left off, or even to start over.
If you're not sure where to start, consider going back to basics. Here are some of the basics for creating practical financial goals in the midst of a pandemic.
- What do you value?
This question is important in helping you to be realistic. By knowing the answer to this question, you're able to create a financial goal that is in line with what you value and what motivates you. Grab a piece of paper and write down the top 3 things that you care about — these should be things that get you excited and motivated. Creating a practical goal is about getting rid of any distractions so that you can focus on what you truly value.
- Less is more
Pick one small goal and one big goal to focus on for a start. Often, we can't realise our goals because we might have too many. Sometimes, the goal is too big or unrealistic and, because we don't have much experience, we end up losing our way. Look at the list of things you value, and choose two goals that align with what you want. Once you see yourself achieving each small goal, you'll gain the momentum and motivation to set and achieve even bigger ones. The goal here is: one small step at a time.
- Review your finances
Knowing where you stand financially is a great way to start setting realistic goals and work towards reaching them. As hard as it might be to thoroughly go through your financial status, it's a process that will give you the best picture of your financial decisions so far, where you can turn things around, and the goals that are most realistic considering your budget. The key here is: be honest with yourself as you review your finances. Ask yourself some tough questions and know where you stand. At the end, you’ll be able to know whether your goals are sustainable or not.
- Create SMART Goals
These are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Timely. If your goal is to save R 10 000 by the end of the year, for example, you can break up that number into smaller parts and give yourself steps each month to cut costs and save.
- Back yourself
Nobody is in a better position than you to make your dreams come true. Make a commitment to yourself to follow good saving tips and be dedicated about putting money away each month until you have enough to grab your dream. Keep your eye on the prize and keep backing yourself to stick to your savings plan.