NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County

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What Should Your Money Be Doing for You?

What Should Your Money Be Doing for You?

What do you want your money to do for you in 2014? Money is just a tool we use to accomplish what is important to each of us. Creating goals at the beginning of a new year is a great way to put our money to work accomplishing our dreams.

This January find a warm and comfortable chair, sit down with a hot cup of coffee and spend some time visualizing the coming year and what you would like to accomplish. This is great time for couples and families to dream and plan together. Many of our plans for the future have a money component to them so use this time to create specific goals to help gather the money needed to fund your dreams/goals.

Here are a few tips for creating successful money goals:

- Be specific in your goal making, the more specific the more likely the goal will be accomplished. Instead of saying, “I want to pay off my credit card debt this year.” Restate it something like this, “This year I will increase my monthly credit card payment by $100 until it is paid off.”

- Make realistic goals, don’t set yourself up to fail. It’s okay to sacrifice a bit to attain a goal but don’t squeeze your budget so hard that you become discouraged and give up on your goal.

- Create a timeline for your goals, when will you start, how often will you contribute, when would you like the goal accomplished. Here is an example: “Starting with my first paycheck in January I will save $50 out of each paycheck to create an emergency fund of $1200 by the end of 2014.”

- Write your goals down!  This is very important! We are more likely to accomplish goals that are written down. Place them where you can review them periodically and re-motivate yourself to continue working toward your chosen goals.

- Be flexible, life happens and sometimes our goals need to take a back seat to more important priorities like an illness, or a car breakdown or the furnace going out. But being flexible doesn’t mean not funding a goal because we found the cutest new boots we just have to buy!

- Celebrate your successes. Working toward and accomplishing a goal is a big deal, celebrate! Pat yourself on the back, be proud of your accomplishments!

For more information on money goals and spending plans contact your local NDSU Extension office for a copy of the publication, ‘Family Money Manager’ or find it at http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/money.

 

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