Setting New Year’s Financial Goals

(Please welcome Amie, our newest contributor! She will be sharing with us on the topic of living frugally and giving generously, and this is her first post! Check out her bio on the contributors page!)

The new year is the time for goal setting, a very admirable thing to do! My friend Jessica has a beautifully written post on the importance of goal setting for our spiritual life, but it is also incredibly important to set financial goals. Financial goals will revolutionize your budget and give you the inspiration you need to keep living frugally and working hard to be responsible with the resources God has given you.

When we sat down to work on goals, my husband and I worked on goals in several different categories; spiritual, physical, parenting, financial, and educational.  When you set your financial goals here are some things you may want to keep in mind.

1-Make goals that move you towards becoming debt free

The most financially sound thing you can do is to become debt free. This enables you to give more freely, it also enables you to be earning interest on your finances instead of paying someone else.  Often we associate debt with credit card debt, but a debt is any money owed. My husband and I have set the goal to completely pay off his school loan and half of mine by the end of the year.  Our financial decisions for the year will be partially driven by this goal.

2-Make goals that help you focus on giving

Finances are an area of life that can keep you focused on yourself, so be sure you are using your finances to give generously as well. Our financial goals inculde a percentage of our finances that we are giving to our church, supporting several missionaries and making a donation evey other month to the local food bank. My kids love coming with me to drop off donations for families in need and often when we are shopping they point out things that we can give to “other kids that need it”.

3- Set practical goals to help you achieve your overall goals

Paying off debt or giving in a certain way are good goals but without a practical plan, they will probably remain as just that, goals, and not reality. Think through some practical things you can do to keep those goals. If you are having trouble thinking of some practical goals where you live for saving money ask those around you/ watch how other people live to get some ideas! Here are a few of our practical goals:

1-pay cash for groceries (it saves us money)

2-Continue baking all our own bread/ making our own laundry and soaps / making our own yogurt

3-Continue monthly meal planning (this saves us soo much money!)

4- Be sure you have lifetime goals as well!

Each year we re-discuss our lifetime financial goals to see if this years goals are moving us toward our end goal. One of our lifetime goals is to be totally debt free (including mortgage) in 12 years. We make sure that each of our yearly goals are moving us toward this bigger goal. Sometimes with finances it seems that you cannot make too much progress in just a year so don’t be discouraged keep the bigger lifetime goals you have set as motivation.

5-Evaluate your goals throughout the year

We evaluate our goals throughout the year by doing a monthly check up. Each month we see how close we are to our goal (for example this month we are at 32% of our goal). This helps give us both a sense of purpose and the desire to continue living in such a way as to meet our goals.

Your turn! Share in the comments your financial goals or ideas you have to practically maintain them this year!

(Post by: Amie)


4 Responses to “Setting New Year’s Financial Goals”

  1. 1 Ashley L January 6, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    Amie, I am so excited that you are sharing with us here!!! One of the things that we’ve been trying to do and are continuing this year is trying to cook more like Russians, or at least with the ingredients that they use. We can find a variety of foreign products here, which are always tempting, but they are always more expensive. Using Russian foods saves us a ton. Also, we stopped drinking juice except for on special occasions this past year because it is expensive and we realized that we can cut a rather large chunk out of our spending by eliminating that one thing. The kids don’t miss it, and it’s healthier for us to drink more water anyway!

  2. 2 Amie January 6, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    What great ideas Ashley! We stopped drinking juice this past year too (at least on a regular basis)…Using foods that are “natural” to your area is a great way to save, here in the states too!

  3. 3 Phyllis January 9, 2010 at 7:07 am

    Thank you! I love to think about goals, too. Financial isn’t really one of the areas I even touch in my mind, though. I mean, yes, we live on what God gives us, but without knowing what that will be, we’ve never done much goal setting or planning ahead of any kind. 🙂

  4. 4 Amie January 19, 2010 at 7:56 am

    It is so hard (almost impossible) to goals set when you don’t have a standard “set income”. Does your family have any goals related to giving Phyllis? How many times a year you want to give to others whether it be in service or financial? I know for our family this is a tangible goal we can set even without knowing what our income will be.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: