Have you set your financial goals for 2011? I find that if I set my goals before the New Year arrives, I feel like I am “ahead” somehow. Being ahead is a good thing for me, especially since, like many of us, I feel like I am always “behind” or trying to “catch up”. I’m not sure how I came to live my life feeling ahead or behind, but that’s a topic for another day.
You can make the process of creating financial goals a fun one, because you are giving your money management the attention it deserves. If you are consistently doing this, then it is probably growing, and it’s always nice to see those numbers increasing when you update your net worth statement or your own and owe statement, as I like to call it. Beyond the initial task of finding the time and doing some minimal accounting involved with money monitoring and projections, a certain peace comes from acting responsibly and simply feeling more in control of your money. If you haven’t done your financial goals for 2011, this is the time.
Start with where you are now. Don’t think about whether you had more three years ago, if that’s the case; let the past go. What I catch myself saying over and over again is that investing your money is like everything else in life. You’ve already realized the importance of living in the present, I’m sure, so do that with your money and figure out what you have right now. Then put some realistic projections to those numbers with your money invested to the best of your ability, whether that involves hiring the right fund manager or financial advisor, or implementing a simple index fund strategy yourself.
Maybe 2011 will be the year you decide to start your own business or invest in real estate. (If the mention of an asset class such as real estate conjures up feeling of hate, then it may be time to take another look at investing in it!) Explore your options, and put some money to your ideas on paper for now. Most of all, take the time to look at your big money picture; make a commitment to learn what you need to implement your plan to reach your financial goals, and then follow through to completion.