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My girls and I have been doing more talking and counselling each other as we encounter challenges. Last time we spoke it became clear that even though most times we do keep a dream board, most time we are hit with failure when it comes to financial realm. I wondered and tried to see where we could be getting it wrong. I mean this ordeal to me started gnawing me and haunting me in my dreams until I just had to do some thorough research. This is Big!

“Women are the economic engines of their communities; that’s why it’s so important they have tools to ensure success. ‘to know better is to do better’.“Monique Nelson, Chair and CEO, UniWorld Group. I couldn’t have said it any better.

So, dreaming is for everyone but execution is for the achievers. However, this is not some birth right, so, people can learn to achieve. The difference from a dream and a goal is that a goal has a deadline. You heard me, a goal is a dream with a deadline. Financial goals can be a reality and we are going to learn together how we can make them achievable.

In general, goals have distinct traits: they are written, specific, personal, big but attainable, they thus encompass daily objectives, short or long term and are flexible enough to allow adjustments where necessary, Paula Dwywer (2003).Financial goals are no different. Every one’s financial goals are unique hence each of us need to forge our own. We need to make them personal.

Write your financial goals

Although it might seem silly to write what you already know , scribble it down anyway! You could be one of those photographic people who never forget a single thing but, do it for that day when you have got brain frog like most of us mothers. When you write something down, you are making the very first declaration that it is factual. It holds the potential to exist. For Christians, the bible holds: “the Lord… said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry”.Habakkuk 2:2-3

Be specific and personal

Expound on your goals. Pretend it’s a competition and judges have no time to probe about your desires. Give details to the dot.  If you want to be financially free by your early thirties, for example, elaborate what financial freedom means to you. It could mean affording medical health or being able to go on a shopping spree at a whim or travelling for pilgrimage. While at specifying your financial dreams remember this is your goal so make it suitable for you, your lifestyle so that you can easily relate to the tasks tied to your goals’ achievement. In drafting an appropriate goal it may have already downed on you that you need to look at your income streams and see if they need supplementing or not. If not, Develop skills to improve your income. It could mean perusing an additional degree, additional training or responsibility at your job. Or that you  need a mentor, who can provide tips and feedback, or working a part-time job. It could also mean attending conferences and workshops, networking in your profession, taking a class at the public library, anything to acquire more contacts and knowledge.

Since most of us are parents and minders, our children’s’ education is never far from our thought sits always wise to include it as part and parcel of our financial plans. Tuition for university and college is increasing every year as is the cost of living in general. Because financial freedom is lasting if it overflows to future generation, our children’s tone needs to be set and paved by the financial goals of we the parents. In short: include a savings plan for your children’s’ education.

Big and attainable

In laying out our goals, we need to be bold and demand gold giants and money tree orchards. Financial goals can and do have different achievement dates.The best way to reach your financial goals is by making a plan that prioritizes your goals. When you examine your own goals, you’ll discover that some are broad and far-reaching, while others are narrow in scope. Your goals can thus be separated into three time categories. They can be short, medium and long term goals.

The short term are the kind that keep us motivated daily to stay focused on medium and bigger long-term which might seem out of grasp.They can be achieved well within a year. Setting daily objectives geared towards your financial goal  will always ensure that you are actively involved day in and day out in improving your finances. The timing put on goals is only the affirmation we need to gauge  goals against dreams. Every time a task is planned and carried out in the time it was assigned it becomes a fulfilling achievement.

Mid-term financial goals can’t be achieved right away but shouldn’t take too many years to accomplish. Buying a car, or clearing a debt are relatable examples.Long-term financial goals are over the 5 year mark and, as a result, require longer commitments and often more money. Buying a house, saving for a child’s college education, or a comfortable retirement a obvious examples.

Having done all these above considered I am sure you might still feel like it’s a daunting task and wonder how you will ever manage keeping true to your financial goal. Believe me, I found out it easy by keeping 3 ancient rules in mind. These are simple rules that dictate every one should manage their finances in a 3 ways split.

  • From one’s income 10%  always has to first be the deposit for savings no matter what! They decree that no matter the amount of financial plight one is in, the comfort of that self payment will keep them going.
  • Paying ones debts is also crucial as it gives one motivation that you are getting closer to financial freedom. So, then, 20% should be put aside to pay off debts. Besides, a good debt reputation can be key in business should you require joined ventures that invite financiers.
  • With the most important deductions done with, the remaining 70% should be the amount you live within.

This, I have found is what makes financial goals achievable. Some flexibility is ofcourse necessary here and there but at the end of the day deadlines are put for a reason remember.

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