20 Financial Goals Ideas For The New Year
It’s the beginning of the year (or any day in the year really) and you may be creating or fine-tuning your financial goals or your financial vision board. That’s amazing and I’d love to help! Here are 20 ideas of SMART financial goals for you this year!
SMART Financial Goals
It’s one thing to set goals, but it’s another thing to set goals that are clear and actionable. As you work through your financial goals for the year, make each goal:
S – Specific ,
M – Measurable ,
A – Achievable/Actionable
R – Relevant and
T – Time bound
How exactly do you set SMART goals? The devil is in the details, and details drive execution. For example:
Vague Goal: I want to save more money this year (We don’t know how much, how frequently, or where the savings will come from)
Smart Goal: I want to save $6,000 in my emergency fund this year. I’ll do so by automatically transferring $500 each month all year to my high yield savings account from the excess of my income over my expenses or from my weekend uber gig.
Big Picture Financial Goals
Here are five big picture goals that keep you focused
1. Make a decision and a commitment to do better with your finances.
This is the most important step to take and once this is done, everything else is easier because the biggest battle is in your mind. Making a decision and committing does not guarantee a mistake-proof journey, it just means that even if you make a mistake, you will pick back up and continue where you left off.
2. Calculate your net worth.
Net worth is the value of what you own (assets) minus what you owe (liabilities). It is a useful snapshot of a person or a company’s financial position. If you don’t know your net-worth, today’s a great day to know where you stand.
My first net worth calculation was -$25,000 (yes, that’s a negative net worth) and it was jarring and motivating to see that starting number. Since then, even while making some financial mistakes, I’ve worked my way to a multiple six-figure net worth!!!! Now, I’m working on the long
ass never ending journey to 7-figure net worth.
3. A specific net-worth goal by December 31st
Now that you know your net worth, then it’s time to set a target net worth for the end of the year or five years from now. How do you come up with a target? Don’t just pull a nice round number out of thin air! Think about your income for the year (including side hustles), your expenses, your investments, and savings, and then come up with a number (with some stretch)!
4. Create a financial vision board (dream big)
A financial vision board is a collage of images and words that represent your wishes, dreams, for your finances and serve as inspiration. A financial vision board is a purposeful plan that drives everything else that we execute.
Want to know why and how to create a financial vision board in five steps? Catch up on this Episode of the Rich Immigrant Podcast.
Learning & Community
Like the other aspects of our lives, we cannot go on our financial journey alone, we need people. Technically, you can. However, we go further and faster when we go together and when we commit to learning over time. Here are three financial goals to help you learn and build community.
5. Improve your financial literacy.
Read a personal finance book on a topic you need to learn more about. Topics can be money mindset, investing, relationships, debt payoff, estate planning, and so much more. If books are not your thing, listen to a podcast episode a week (plug for the rich immigrant podcast), research one stock a month, read an article or two per month, watch TV shows like CNTV, or Mad Money.
6. Have Money Conversations With Your Tribe
Now is a great time to start having money conversations with your spouse, partner, and/or friends. The absence of money conversations is costing us a great deal. This cost is not only in lost opportunities due to a lack of awareness but also in broken relationships. Finances are a major cause of divorce and crazy as it may seem, 1 in 3 people do not know how much their spouse makes! If you don’t have a framework, set up a monthly conversation with your partner or spouse, and have money conversations with a friend quarterly.
7. Join a community to hold you accountable to your financial goals
Everyone needs an accountability partner. Your accountability partner can be a spouse, friend, an online friend, or coach. There’s something about having to keep someone apprised of your progress that keeps you motivated. As you set your financial goals for the year, identify an accountability buddy, and agree on how often you’ll meet or keep each other updated.
Getting out of debt is a major goal for many of us. These ideas are for anyone with debt.
8. Make a debt payoff plan and track to it
If you have debt, then a debt payoff plan should definitely be on your list of long-term or short-term financial goals. Decide how much you want to pay off for the current year, and break that into a monthly amount. Determine if you’ll use bonuses or any extra money to pay down debt. Determine a debt payoff date! Are you wondering if you should pay off debt or invest first? This blog post answers the question of paying off debt vs investing.
9. Make a decision to not get into more debt
Truth is, you may not be positioned to pay off debt this year for one reason or another. However, even if you cannot pay down debt right now, you can set a goal to stop incurring any more debt.
Income & Expense Financial Goals
10. Create an additional income source
If there’s anything we’ve learned in the past year, it is that multiple streams of income are a necessity. So as you write down your goals, think about ways to diversify your income streams. Alternative income streams include interest income on savings, dividend income on investments, rental income on a rental property, capital gains on assets sold, digital product revenue, blogging ad revenue, driving Uber/Lyft.
11. Start budgeting and tracking monthly
A budget is a plan for your money. It tells your money where to go, but keeps you in charge! A key to building wealth is having a plan for your money. Budgeting is a key step in your financial journey. I shared a series on budgeting on instangram. Please check it out here : https://www.instagram.com/p/CBbZ6GapgcF/
12. Save For A Big Ticket Item
Weddings, milestone birthday celebrations, a furnace, a downpayment, a girls’ trip, new shows, a new deck, a big trip, you name it. These things happen and they cost money and you can plan a lot of these items in advance. Putting it in your list of goals brings it to the forefront and adds intention to it. Write down the item and indicate how much you’d like to save throughout the year in a sinking fund broken down into monthly payments.
13. Open a high yield savings account
If you have your savings in a brick and mortar bank, then opening a high yield savings account is a great goal for you this year. Brick and mortar banks give you
next to nothing in interest so please do yourself and your coins a favor and open that HYSA this year. I shared a bit about High Yield Savings Accounts here.
Financial Goals On Investing
Saving is a great step towards financial freedom, but unless you have a trust fund or suddenly amass a great amount of wealth, you will need to invest to truly build wealth. Here are four investment financial goals to consider adding to your list this year.
14. Start (or increase your) saving for retirement
Make your 60-year-old future self proud this year by either starting or increasing your retirement investments this year. If you’re new to this, aim to at least contribute enough to get 100% of your employer’s match. If you’re already investing, how about increasing your contribution by 1 or 2% this year? Want to really impress your future self? Max out your retirement vehicles this year!
15. Rollover your old 401k
I know there are many people that NEED this reminder AGAIN and I’m so glad to be that person for you! Call your provider this month and just knock out one of your goals already. How’s that?
16. Open college savings or custodial account for your child
This deserves a blog post and a podcast episode of its own. If you are in a position to begin to build wealth for your child or to save for their college education, this is the year to do that. Even if you don’t have the funds to invest, open the account and let your family and friends know that they can gift your child (that they LOVEEE) contributions towards either account. Your kid(s) will THANK you!
17. Open a Brokerage Account
A brokerage account is a means for investors to invest in the stock market. Perhaps you’ve been investing for retirement and are now ready to make investments in a taxable brokerage account, this might be another great financial goal to add to your list.
Financial Goals That Build a Legacy
One of the best things about building wealth is the privilege to leave a legacy, to do things that will outlive you. Here are three financial goals that will help you leave a legacy of impact for your loved ones, and for causes that matter to you.
18. Reassess your insurance policy
Life insurance is one of those things that’s pushed off until ‘next time.’ If you have anyone that depends on you or a family that would need support in the case of your untimely departure, you’ve got to prioritize life insurance this year. This post helps you determine the best term life insurance for you.
19. Increase your giving
One of my biggest reasons for wanting to build wealth is to be able to support people and causes that matter to me. I want to support them financially now in my lifetime. Each year, I set a goal to give more, as I am blessed. Perhaps this is the year you assess you giving and make giving or increased giving a goal.
20. Create an estate plan
Estate planning is not just for the old, rich, or retired. Estate planning involves designating who gets what assets and handles what responsibilities after your death or incapacitation. Admittedly, many immigrant communities fall short in appropriately planning their estate. Estate plans ease stress on loved ones, and can also ensure minimize estate tax, gift tax, income tax, and other taxes for loved ones.
There we have it, 20 ideas of financial goals to kick start your year. There are at least 3-5 goals for everyone. Which of these goals will you be adding to your list this year?