In our previous blog post, we discussed the importance of crystallising your money goals for the year ahead (i.e., identifying and writing them down), the next step is to figure out the actions you need to take to help you achieve those goals.
“Remember, a dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.” (Greg Reid).
If you have not yet identified or written down your goals for the year, then the chances of a lack of progress may be high on the cards. As Robin Sharma says, do not live the same year 75 times and call it a life. If you like many others are unhappy with your financial progress, then you need to take different actions and that begins with making different decisions. So, if you have not yet identified your money goals, then stop right now, yes right now, and identify one goal, just one goal you wish to achieve by the end of 2022.
Next, we will brainstorm some ideas to help you to achieve your goals. Let us look at an example of how you can do this.
Assume your goal is to spend Christmas in Knysna with your family. Take a few minutes to visualise what this will look like. Visualisation is an essential part of goal setting, and we will explore additional ways on how you can apply this. Spend a few minutes every day when you wake up, go to sleep, or even during meditation thinking visualising your goal. Keep a journal to write down the details of your goal as this will help to make it a reality.
Some questions to consider:
- Who will join you on your holiday? List the names of those accompanying you as well as the ages of children accompanying you.
- How many nights will your holiday consist of? What are the planned dates for your holiday?
- Will you stay in a holiday home, hotel or make use of Airbnb?
- How many rooms are required?
- Will you fly or drive? If you are flying, which airlines do you prefer? If you are driving, how many tanks of petrol are required? Will you stop over and stay somewhere?
- What do you estimate your total holiday budget to be?
- Are there any specific activities you would like to participate in during your stay? (e.g., Yacht cruise, snorkeling, spa, golf)
- Do you need to buy specific items for your holiday? (e.g., Swimming gear, sunscreen)
- If you are staying at a self-catering apartment, what is your budget for groceries?
- If eating out, what average will u spend?
- Are there any minors that you need to provide a holiday allowance?
- Will Christmas be spent at a restaurant, hotel, or holiday home? What costs will be incurred?
Whilst this is not an exhaustive list, it will help to plan your holiday and identify the costs that may be incurred. If we estimate the total cost of your holiday to be R30 000, the next step is to figure out what needs to be done to save up that amount. Identify timelines as to when flights and accommodation need to be booked. The earlier you book, the more you may be able to save.
Calculate the monthly amount you will need to save. If this is R3000 over the next 10 months, consider if this is manageable.
- Can you afford to put aside R3000 each month? If yes, where will you save this money? If not, what changes do you need to make to your budget to allow you to save?
- Is there a side hustle that you can start to fund your holiday?
- Will you be disciplined enough to follow through?
- Can you avoid using credit to fund your holiday?
- Are there any trade-offs you will be required to make in lieu of your holiday? E.g., use credit to pay for school fees.
- If you cannot afford to save R3000 each month, are there any changes you can make to your holiday to reduce the costs
- Will you be able to stay within your planned holiday budget? If not, how will this be funded?
- How do you get other family members on board to help make this holiday a reality?
These questions will help make your dream a reality and enable you to stay focused on your goal. You will also be better prepared for any challenges that may arise. Create a holiday vision board with your family and place it somewhere visible to remind you and your family about the goal. This helps young children to set goals and stick to them too. Create a chart with the target amount required with deadlines. Each month color in the amount reached. This builds up to the excitement of saving for and reaching your goal.
Regardless of the type of goal, the right actions and appropriate efforts will help you to achieve those goals. If there are any challenges along the way, try to pre-empt them so that you know upfront how to deal with them. And if for some reason you do not reach your goal in time, do not be disappointed. Life does not always happen the way we plan. You can always move the goal post to a more suitable time frame. Remember, saving is never a wasted attempt. The money can always be used towards paying off a debt or towards a future goal.