3 Ways to Stay Motivated to Meet Your Money Goals
Saving money and paying off debt are two important goals that are hard to achieve, but as with any difficult goal, the end result is worth the effort. Keep that and these other three tips in mind to help stay motivated.
Picture Your Goal
One tactic to lose weight is to keep a picture of yourself at a weight you were happy with on your refrigerator to deter you from making poor food choices or to make you think before you eat. This same tactic can work for savings, too. Keep a picture of the destination for your dream vacation, your next car or your next house in your purse or wallet or by your computer to stoke your motivation to save money.
Keep a Budget
Have you ever met a financial goal without having a budget? That's like going on a road trip without getting directions to your destination. A budget provides a roadmap for you to reach those goals and keeps you accountable. If you can incorporate a graph into your budget, that's even better. It provides visual representation of your progress, which motivates you to reach your goals. Not too savvy with tools like Excel that can create these graphs? There are free budget planning tools online that can create them for you.
Setbacks Don't Mean Failure
Goals like saving for a house, car or vacation are usually long-term goals, and even the best planners can experience setbacks when saving for a long-term goal. If you go over your budget one month, don't beat yourself up over it. That only makes the goal seem harder to reach. Instead, note the mistake and commit to doing better next month. Besides, you probably did a lot of other things right during the month, like making your coffee every day instead of buying it or taking your lunch to work instead of going out. Don't forget those changes! They were probably difficult to make, so staying consistent with them is no small feat.
For most of us, financial goals are among the most difficult to achieve, and take the most amount of time. Keep your eyes on the prize, track your progress and don't view setbacks as failures and you will be on the road to success.