Making Sense of Your Finances - Part 1
Setting Financial Goals
By Loral Langemeier
Getting your financial affairs in order is perhaps the most important and most difficult part of sound money management. This Learn Out Loud lesson is my way of giving you all of the information you will need to get your financial foundation in place.
I will cover four different areas and ask you to do exercises in each.
- Knowing Where You Are Going
- Knowing Where You Are Currently
- Knowing What You Need To Achieve Your Goals
- Knowing Where Your Important Documents Are
You will find that as daunting as these exercise may seem, it will not be that difficult and is critical to creating a solid financial base that will ultimately lead to your financial success.
Before you begin, you will need to gather all of your financial records and information. You will need your monthly bills, checking, savings, and investment account information and all of your other important financial documents. It may also help to have the past Live Out Loud Lesson exercises (Expression of Your Power Workbook, Evolution of Your Wealth Workbook, or various teleseminar workbooks) you have completed around goal setting and conditioning.
Before I get to all of the information that you have gathered I want you to do a quick exercise. Think back over the past year(s) and think forward into the new year. I want you to pick your theme for 2003. I am not asking for a New Years resolution. I am looking for some key words or phrases that will determine what the year is going to be about for you, particularly in the areas of your success and your money.
Some of my personal themes for the year are:
- Profitable Growth
- Invest 10%
- Goal Completion
What are your themes for 2003?
These are the themes I want you to keep in mind as you complete the rest of the exercises in this lesson.
Knowing Where You Are Going
Your Financial Goals
Remember, a well stated goal should be a SMART goal.
Smart Goals are:
- Specific - Contain complete details of the goal to be accomplished.
- Measurable - Include a target such as an, event, dollar figure, etc to measure your progress.
- Achievable - Written in language that can be accomplished that makes completion clear.
- Realistic - You can see achievement for you from where you currently stand.
- Timely - Set a deadline for milestones to hit along the way to create a sense of urgency.
What are your financial goals?
Now you need to evaluate and prioritize your goals taking in to account the length of time you have to reach them, the monetary resources you have readily available, and those that you will have to find along the way.
Level of Importance from 1-10?
When do you want to accomplish this goal?
Current funds available to support this goal?
Estimated funds you will need to accomplish this goal?
Next: Part 2 - Knowing Where You Are Currently
Loral Langemeier draws from her personal experience when guiding others toward prosperity. Loral built her first business in college and soon after started establishing a multi-million-dollar portfolio of properties and stocks. A passionate advocate of helping women master money management, she offers straightforward principles and concepts for achieving financial stability and independence.