As we look forward to 2023, this is a great time to set financial goals that will set you on a path to living the life that you want.
What is a financial goal?
A financial goal is a plan that you have for your money, both long- and short-term. Setting specific goals helps you create peace of mind and the future you want.
How should you set a financial goal?
You need to be strategic about the way you set financial goals to optimize your success.
1) Clarify your values
If you don’t know your values, you can use a deck or a free online quiz to identify your top values. My top three are spirituality, growth, and contribution. Yours might be solo time, health, justice, or freedom.
2) With your values in mind, picture what you want your life to look like, both long- and short-term
If adventure and trying new experiences is important to you, then maybe you want to be able to travel abroad for a few weeks out of the year. Or if independence and creativity are important to you, maybe you want to start your own business.
Whatever your values are, think about what it would look like to live in alignment with those values.
3) Set long- and short-term financial goals to live in alignment with your values
If you want to travel more, then you’ll want to set a goal for saving enough money for airfare, a place to stay, and being able to take time off of work.
If you value personal achievement and success, maybe a long-term goal is getting a promotion at your company, in that case, you might want a master’s degree, which will require saving and financial planning.
4) Make your goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound)
Specific: be clear on what you want to accomplish and how you’re going to accomplish it.
For instance, instead of, “I’m going to work on my finances,” say, “Every Wednesday morning, I’m going to make a cup of coffee, sit down on the back porch, and spend an hour reviewing my spending habits, looking at my bank accounts, and tracking my financial habits and progress.”
Measurable: set a number so you can determine whether you hit the goal or not (for example, “I want to save $3,000 for a vacation”).
Attainable: make sure you have the necessary skills and resources to accomplish this goal.
Relevant: a relevant goal can answer “yes” to the following questions:
- Does this seem worthwhile?
- Is this the right time?
- Does this align with my other values and other goals?
Time-bound: set a deadline.
For New Years resolutions, typically, you want to accomplish your goals by the end of the year.
For big goals, like paying off student loans, you may want to aim for five years from now, or whatever is reasonable based on your debt and income.
5) Write down your goals, how you’re going to achieve them, AND how you’re going to celebrate once you do
Example: Given my value of freedom, my goal is to pay off my student loans by December 2024. To do so, I am going to save $1,000 each month. Once I pay them off, I am going to take myself to Hawaii for vacation for less than $1,000.
You want to make sure your celebratory reward is also in line with your values and financial goals, which is why I gave it a budget in this case.
6) Automate as much as possible
For example, if you have a goal to save, set up your bank account so that a certain percentage of your paycheck goes straight into savings. The less hands-on work you have to do, the more likely you are to reach your financial goals.
Financial Goals for 2023
Here are some specific financial goals that will set you up for financial success in 2023 and beyond.
1) Improve your money relationship
All of us have subconscious beliefs and emotions around money. It could be things we picked up in childhood; we saw the greedy villains in animated movies and assumed that wanting money is bad.
Or maybe – like many of us – you grew up in an environment where the man was expected to take care of the money. As a result, no one educated you about personal finance. Since you don’t understand finance, you feel stressed and intimidated by money.
It’s important to uncover your subconscious beliefs and emotions and how they’re affecting your financial decisions to this day. For example, if you have a subconscious belief that you’re irresponsible with money, you’re going to feel guilty every time you buy something – and you don’t need to!
2) Pay down high-interest rate debt
This is one of the most important things you can do to help yourself financially succeed this year. In fact, you won’t be able to gain financial freedom until you’ve paid off high-interest rate debt.
“High-interest rate debt” refers to any debt with an interest rate above 7%, like credit card debt.
The reason why paying off your high-interest debt is important is because you need to pay it off before you can start investing.
On average, stocks have an annual return of about 8%, whereas your credit cards are charging you 20-30% in interest. If you try to invest while you still have debt, you’re basically throwing away money. So instead, put everything towards your debt first. Then once you’re credit card debt-free, we can talk about investing.
3) Create multiple income streams
Once you’ve paid off your high-interest rate debt, it’s time to put your money to work.
Unfortunately, the only income stream a lot of people have is “earned income” – the money they make from working at their job.
But adding more streams of income not only allows you to make money, but it allows you to make money without having to do hands-on work for it. That means you have more time to spend with friends and family or explore other interests or just take life a little easier.
There are a lot of ways you can add more income streams to your life. You can own a rental property. You can create a digital product. Or you can do our favorite thing – invest.
Investing in stocks is one of the best ways to build wealth, so if you aren’t already invested, make it a priority to start this year. You can check out our free masterclass, Think Like an Investor, where we teach you the tried-and-true principles of successful investors or watch the videos we’ve made on investing for beginners.
4) Be generous
Think back to the last time you gave. Maybe you gave a loved one a Christmas gift this year that they LOVED. Maybe you donated your time to a homeless shelter or money toward helping abuse survivors. How did that giving make you feel?
If it didn’t make you feel good, that’s fine, but for a lot of people, giving makes you feel good, and it’s actually linked to life satisfaction, self-worth, happiness, lower rates of depression, and it will even make you live longer.
Depending on your life and financial situation, you may not be in a place where giving – especially financially – is realistic, and I don’t want to make you feel bad if that’s not something you can afford right now.
But it is a good goal to set for the future – maybe once you’ve paid off your debt or maximized your monthly income.
After all, a big part of why building wealth is important is so you have the power to create the future you want. And giving to causes and charities you care about can be a huge contributor to that future.
5) Embrace minimalism
To me, minimalism is all about intentionality. You don’t need to do anything crazy, like wear only one outfit or move in to a tiny house. Just be more deliberate with how you spend your money. Choose to spend your money on things that will last a long time and are fully aligned with your core values.
6) Ask for a raise
Have you ever asked for a raise? Most women haven’t!
If it’s been a while since you’ve received a raise, make it a goal to be proactive about it. Talk to your boss about getting a raise or what you would have to do in order to get one.
7) Treat personal finance like self-care
When I think about self-care, I think of taking baths, doing face masks, and having quiet “me time.”
But taking care of your finances is one of the highest forms of self-care there is. Think about it. If your finances are a mess, you’re likely going to be stressed, overwhelmed, or have trouble sleeping - that doesn’t exactly sound like you’re taking care of yourself.
Not only does taking care of your finances reduce your stress and give you peace of mind, it also means you can buy the things you want to amplify your traditional self care routines - like organic produce or your favorite overpriced body oil. (Just me?)
8) Invest in yourself and your financial education
Whether your goal this year is to pay off debt, improve your credit score, save for retirement, or improve your spending habits, investing your time into understanding personal finance will be a game-changer for you.
There are a lot of ways you can do this. You can read books, watch personal finance YouTube videos, or subscribe to the Dow Janes newsletter, but the critical piece to investing in yourself is that you aren’t just absorbing the information, you are actually taking ACTION.
And we built a program with just that in mind. Laurie-Anne and I created the Million Dollar Year to take people from feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or lost to taking bite sized action every week to change their financial lives.
We’re experts at creating motivational videos, easy to follow workbooks, and building in accountability to get you to actually do it.
So if you were going to do ONE thing to make 2023 your best financial year yet, it would be to sign up for the Million Dollar Year.
It’s your one stop shop for financial wellness. We have step-by-step video courses on things like setting up an emergency fund, paying off credit card debt, and increasing your income. And the best part is - we tell you exactly what to do, in what order, based on where you’re starting from. Plus, you can drop in on office hours with our financial coaches to get your questions answered or pop in to the community for some motivational pep talks. It is full of wrap-around support and accountability so that you actually take financial action and change your life.
We help women at all different points in life – recovering from divorce, managing finances as a couple, paying off debt, saving for retirement – and we’ve seen them take action that gives them hope for their financial future, often for the first time in their lives. It’s pretty incredible.
So, like I said, if you’re ready to make 2023 your best money year yet, look no further than the Million Dollar Year.
Don’t let this year go by without taking one step in the direction of more abundance, financial peace of mind, and living the life you’ve dreamed of. I want that for you.
Best of luck in the new year! I’m rooting for you!
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