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Planning for the Future

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Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?  Are you managing your own business?  Starting a family? Buying a new house?  Whatever is taking place in your life during 2027, it is important to set goals to get you there and help you continue to achieve long-term.  The following will provide you with steps to help prioritize and create a financial plan that makes your goals become a reality.

Know Yourself.  It is essential to have a clear sense of where your values stand as these will keep you on track even when life brings uncertainties.  Knowing what is import provides you with insights on what you can or cannot compromise in your decision making.  For example, you might place more weight to intrinsic values such as change and variety in the workplace compared to extrinsic values which might include monetary rewards.  Lifestyle values such as saving money and the location you live in also influence the decisions that you make.

Be Honest About Your Financial Situation. In order to achieve your financial goal, you need to understand what position your finances are in.  Are you currently in too much debt? Do not try to convince yourself that it will magically disappear.  Instead, look at it from the perspective of how you can improve your situation through being diligent and working hard at personal budgeting.  Mobile apps such as Mint and LearnVest can help you keep track of your daily spending, stay on top of your savings goals, and reveal financial blind spots you might be falling into.

See the Big Picture.  When you are in a lot of debt or do not have much in savings, it can feel like a battle that cannot be won.  On the flipside, when your finances are in order you might find yourself designing a more luxurious life.  If you have the dream of becoming a homeowner, start by developing a five-year savings plan and utilize the services available to you through a CES loan officer who can sit down and discuss mortgage options with you.  At CES, our personalized services can help you reach your end goal while guiding you on a path of financial success long-term. 

Break It Down.   Looking at your goals from a long-term perspective can be extremely intimidating and make them feel unreachable.  That is why it is important to develop SMART goals so that they are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.  Giving your goals these characteristics makes them manageable and allows you to accomplish what you have set forth for yourself.  For example, rather than saying, “Wouldn’t it be great to save $8,000 this year?” take the time to figure out exactly how you would need to do this by setting objectives on a two to three month basis.  This will help ensure you are staying on track and if you are not, adjustments can be made to your strategy so goals can still be met in time.

Have Check-In Meetings with Yourself.  Set aside time to have self-reflection and evaluate how you have been doing to reach your goals.  Reflecting on your goals can impact the success you have.  Depending on the longevity of your goals, you can make this reflection time monthly, quarterly, or even yearly.

Be Flexible.  More than likely your situation is going to change somewhere along the way.  A new job opportunity might come up or there could be an obstacle that requires you to spend money you did not budget for.  However, do not let this stop you from applying smart budgeting strategies and sticking to the goals you have developed.  When situations change, keep an open mind and adjust accordingly.

By following these six steps, you will have a great start on planning for the 2027 version of yourself.  You will put yourself in a position to achieve and turn your dreams into a reality.  While obstacles might arise, continue to check in on your progress, stay flexible, and you will surely achieve what you have worked hard for.  Stay focused while standing strong on your values and great things will be in store for your future.

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