• Monday, March 04, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

What to give up to reach your financial goals

businessday-icon

Every day, you’re presented with an abundance of choices. From the moment you wake up, to the moment you prepare for bed, you make choice after choice. These choices not only affect today, but also your future.

To reach your financial goals, you need to make appropriate daily choices. Life is all about trade-offs. Achieving your financial goals comes from hard work and sacrifices; there are no shortcuts.

Here are a few key actions that will help you reach your financial goals:

Make sacrifices

I have a few big financial goals of my own. The one I’m working on right now is to put $10,000 in my emergency fund.

To reach this goal by the deadline I’ve set, I have to make many sacrifices. For instance, I’ve vowed not to eat out until I reach this goal. I’ve been actively looking for cheap or free entertainment for my daughters and me, and I work on bringing in extra income.

Sacrifices come in many forms. To reach your financial goals, you may have to sacrifice your time, scale down your living arrangements, or give up something you enjoy — such as cable TV or a fancy phone contract.

Ultimately, when it comes to sacrificing, you should do what makes sense for you. There’s no one size fits all.

Work hard

Aside from working my regular 9-5 job, I’ve also picked up several side jobs. Each night, after my kids go to bed, I spend two to three hours working on these jobs. I also spend about 10 hours on the weekend working. To reach my goals, I’m trading in my normal relaxation and sleep time to work on earning more money and building my own business.

For you, this could look different. You might want to work overtime at your current job, find a second job, or become a freelancer.

Nothing in life worth having comes easy. Meeting your goals — whether they’re financial or otherwise — will take hard work.

Celebrate big wins

With all of the hard work and sacrifices, it can be easy to get burnt out and lose motivation. Remember to celebrate your progress.

Celebrating doesn’t mean breaking the bank. You can do something simple like taking your family out to dinner or the movies. Without celebrating milestones and allowing yourself to occasionally spend money, you’ll start to resent your whole situation.

Follow through

Financial goals, such as saving a large amount of money or paying down debt, take time. In some instances, many years.

Know that as long as you’re doing your best to reach your goal, you’re on the right track. You also aren’t alone. There are many others who are working on a goal quite similar to yours. Just keep following through, and eventually, you’ll get to where you want to be.