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Rebooting Financial Goals

FRANKLIN LIVING— Have your new year’s financial resolutions fallen by the wayside yet? Believe it or not, we are officially past the midway point of the year. If you haven’t achieved the money goals you set early on, now is a perfect time to kick things back in gear.

Get back to saving – This is the hardest (and most important) money lesson. We all set goals to save “x” amount by a certain date, but that’s a lot easier said than done. Something new to rejuvenate your savings: examine your routine. Changing up a routine can help you break through a savings barrier. Always eat out on Saturday night? Change it up. Make a meal at home instead, one you can have leftovers from the following week. Always go shopping on the weekend? Try planning an inexpensive activity instead, like hiking or exploring a local attraction that’s cheap – or even better, free!

Back to budgeting – You knew it was coming. If you’re trying to get ahead financially, the budget has to be part of your plan. Otherwise, you really don’t know what you’re spending and where you could cut some corners. Having a budget is one thing; putting it into action is another. The hardest part of the budget is actually telling yourself no to spending, especially for what feels like something small. The problem is that over the month, lots of little “small” expenditures add up to a chunk of your budget. In the end, practice makes perfect. Take this mid-year opportunity and seize it to get things back in check.

Think about your future – Whether it’s saving for retirement, buying a car, building a home or opening your own business, your future is up to you. No one else is going to ensure you get where you want to go. Take a look at the kind of future you’re hoping for and start mapping out the steps to get you there. Even setting a small amount aside specifically earmarked for your future plans is a great feeling. These important small steps work to trigger getting to your other financial goals as well.

Just like getting back into a workout routine after we’ve fallen off the wagon, getting back into a financial routine sometimes just takes a little shaking up. Try out some new tactics, do a little research on your goals or download an app to help you budget. We’re only halfway through the year; a lot of headway can be made between now and December!

Emily Mays is vice president/senior marketing director at Community Spirit Bank in Red Bay, working in finance for 13 years. She is an enthusiastic social media marketer, financial literacy advocate and go local supporter. She lives in East Franklin and has one daughter, Lola, 10.