Financial Goals for the Single person in 2016

As we finished up the holidays, people start making their New Year’s resolutions, and many of those resolutions are likely to involve finances. Financial goals are something everyone should have, but they can be as different as each individual on the planet. Some things, though, are standard for everyone when they start thinking about setting financial goals. If you ask most people what their financial goals are at any time, the most popular answers will be to reduce debt, save for retirement or save for a house. No one is just going to hand these to you, you have to work for them, which might mean making some cuts in other areas to reach your more important goals.

First, create a budget and stick to it. Having a budget gives you a map of how you want to spend your money. It tells you how much you are paying for things, or where all your money is going and is the best way to stick to your goals. Something a lot of people forget to do when they create a budget is to make sure they as well as plan for retirement, both extremely important things when talking about goals, because goals involve what we want for the future. Also, try to build a little “play” money into your budget; money you have each pay period that is for you to spend however you want. Feeling deprived is one of the fastest ways to fail at your goals.

Your budget is how you think your money should be spent. Reality is often something very different. When you created your budget, you should have been listing all the things you spend money on, not just the “big” or normal monthly expenses like rent and utilities. If you are still unsure of what I mean, then before you create your budget, spend a week or two keeping track of every penny you spend and what you spend it on, much like people on diets keep a food diary. When that week or two is over (basically for one pay period is a good time to do it), look at your “spending diary.” Chances are you are going to see you spend a good deal of money that you could be saving. Like making coffee at home instead of buying gourmet every day, you could save almost a thousand dollars a year. At the same time, you can use some of that “play money” you put into your budget to treat yourself once or twice a week.

Much depends on the type of person you are. Personally, the minute I’m told I can’t have something, I want it more than anything else, so that’s why I always recommend building in a little “play money” so that on occasion, you can still have some of the things you need to cut to make your goals, just not as frequently. Other people have the willpower to cut out everything and diligently work towards their goals, and there is every level in between. Whichever type you are, you can formulate a plan to reach your financial goals for 2016.