And just like that, 2021 is almost over. With less than one month left, you may be thinking about the financial goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year. Have you reached them yet?
No matter if you have or not, there is still time to get back on track. With a few changes, some planning and reflection, you can hit your financial goals before the end of the year. Here’s what you can do:
Look At Your Goals Again
Maybe you need to readjust your goals. Unexpected events and expenses happen, we can be unlucky or too optimistic. Life happens. Goals change. That’s okay.
Take a look at your goals and see which ones are still important and ones you can reach. Focus on these goals until the end of the year. Get rid of goals that no longer make sense. And add new ones later, as your financial situation, experience, and expectations change.
Focus On What Matters
You know better than anyone else what you should and shouldn’t buy. This is not based on our experience at all, but perhaps ordering UberEats 4 times a week, or spending $300 on a Lululemon sale could have been avoided.
We all have weaknesses, recognizing them and creating a plan is the first step in taking back financial control. Maybe you switch to cash only, for categories that you do a lot of spending in (eating out, entertainment, shopping etc.). Maybe you have different bank accounts for different purposes. Choose what works best for you, always trying to be self-aware of where your money comes from and is going.
If you want to reach your financial goals, you’ll need a budget. Break down your monthly spending between necessary expenses (rent, cellphones, etc), discretionary expenses (entertainment, clothes, etc.) and savings (for the future).
If you’ve already been following a budget, that’s great! Continue to do so. If you haven’t been (maybe you stopped a few months into the year), now’s the time to follow one. With less than one month left in the year, it’s important to have a budget in place, and referring back to it regularly will build the skills you need to meet your financial goals.
Track your Spending
Having a budget in place does nothing if you don’t follow it closely by tracking your spending. Luckily, many banks have features that show you your monthly spendings and their categories. Lots of free finance apps will show this to you as well, including Mint, Goodbudget, and PocketGuard.
Tracking your spendings allows you to identify your spending habits, stay within your budget, and make sure you are building towards your financial goals.