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Over the weekend I was working with a client. We were working on how to achieve his financial goals.
During that session, I realized that most of us know what we want. That is, we have everything covered when it comes to the theory part of financial goals. And other goals in general.
However, when it comes to the execution or practical part we often get lazy. Therefore, today we are going to go through a step by step plan on how to achieve your financial goals.
1. Define your financial goals.
This part is by far the easiest step. Most ,if not everyone, have this step covered. Right?
Know which financial goals you want to achieve. For example, buying a house, a car, saving up for your masters or Ph.D., And so on.
Now, this point wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention setting SMART goals.
T- timely or time-bound
2. Write the financial goal(s) down.
Don’t ignore this. write them goals down. Yes, take a piece of paper and pen and write the financial goals down. This is a very important step. Don’t skip it.
3. Give your financial goals a timeline.
Remember SMART goals.? Yes, well give your goals a time-frame.
For instance, to save ksh.5 million in three years.
Know that a financial goal without a timeline is simply a wish.
Your timeline should be based on how long it will take to plan, save, and execute the plan.
The timeline should also be based on your current financial status.
There is no need of saying that you want to save ksh. 5 million in 3 years. Yet you aren’t in a financial position to save ksh.100,000 in a month. Be realistic.
4. Create a savings strategy.
In order to achieve your financial goals, you’ll need money saved up.
This will act as fuel for your financial plan and goals. So how do you create a savings strategy?
a) Step one, understand your current spending habits.
This means that you will need to track your expenditure.
b) Step two
After knowing where your money goes, plan where to save to grow your savings and income.
This may lead you to decide on saving in a Sacco, fixed deposits, and so on. Don’t forget to consider your timeline.
5. Write a budget.
Now I have to say this. A budget is not a restriction. It is simply telling your money where to go.
Nonetheless, you can’t do this if you don’t know where your money goes in the first place. Therefore write that budget down.
I found that my client just like many of us out here are too scared to write a budget.
Why? Because it is a clear picture of our relationship with money.
But this shouldn’t be the case. Because in order to achieve your financial goals you have to have and follow a budget.
How do you create a tailor-made budget? That is a budget that is just right for you?
Simply create a budget based on your current savings and spending habits and then adjust it to meet your financial goals.
This might lead you to increase your income by starting a side hustle or leveraging on both financial and non-financial assets like your skills.
Or decreasing your expenses by investing in long term solutions to reduce expenses.
Learn more about budgeting here
6. Create an investment strategy
Now I have to outline the difference between Saving and investing. Because many people use these terms interchangeably.
Saving is keeping your money somewhere to be used later.
Whereas investing is placing your money somewhere for it to grow or multiply. Now, this does not include get rich quick schemes.
Know your risk tolerance when creating your investment strategy. That is how much you are willing to risk.
It is also advisable to seek the help of a financial consultant when creating your investment strategy.
learn more about investing here
7. Track your progress.
I personally use traditional methods like paper and pen to track progress.
Tracking your progress will help you stay on target. It also helps you decide what isn’t working so you can do away with it.
These were the 7 tips to help you create an effective financial plan to achieve those financial goals.
In conclusion, with proper planning and action we can achieve our financial goals. Happy goal hunting dear reader.