Working toward a financial goal can be challenging. It often involves making changes to the way you manage money in order to save more for a specific purpose or pay off debt.
The best part of reaching your financial goals, of course, is the celebration, but it takes time to get there. The day-to-day process is where most people lose motivation and fall off track. It’s easy to start, but it’s harder to develop better habits and make consistent progress each day.
Motivation is key if you want to reach your financial goals. This is especially true if you have a long-term goal like retirement or need to take a few years to pay off your debt.
Here are a few helpful ways to find the motivation to reach your financial goals.
Create a Visual
Saying your goals out loud is one thing, but creating a visual can take your motivation to a whole new level. I like to create vision boards each year because it allows me to visualize my goals better. I add a lot of my financial goals to my vision board to motivate me to see them through.
I’ve added pictures of places I want to travel to once I pay off debt and save enough money. I also write down my business income goal for the year and how I want my life to look once I’ve reached my financial goals.
Using something like a vision boards helps me realize that money is a tool to help me live the life I truly want. Seeing a glimpse of the results each day motivates me to keep going.
I’ve seen other people use coloring sheets to symbolize their goal and shade in sections as they get closer and closer. Others write their goal out in prominent places in their home in order to see it throughout the day for motivation.
Break Down Your Goals
Huge financial goals can be exciting to think about in the beginning but they can actually cause you to lose motivation as time goes on. For example, I’d love to pay off my mortgage early but looking at my current balance is pretty overwhelming. Plus, I have other financial goals to work on first.
I find it best to prioritize my financial goals so I know which ones I want to work on first. Then, I break that goal down into smaller chunks so it’s more attainable. One year, my goal may be saving while another year it’s debt payoff.
If I wanted to prioritize paying off my mortgage early, I may break down the goal by trying to pay it off in 10 years instead of 30. Ten years is more realistic to me than 2 or 5 years, and knowing this will motivate me to stay on track.
Creatively Cut Out Distractions
What’s distracting you from reaching your financial goals or feeling motivated? It’s easy to lose willpower when you’re distracted or placed in tempting situations. You could ultimately lose focus and fall off the wagon.
Find out what distracts you from staying motivated to reach your financial goals first. Then, you may want to consider avoiding it or cutting it out. Maybe this means not shopping at the mall for some time, paying close attention to discounts, or cutting up your credit cards while you pay off credit card debt.
For others, it can be cooking at home more or driving past the coffee shop and drinking free coffee at home or at work.
Yes, you’ll need to make some sacrifices, but you don’t have to make yourself miserable. If friends invite you out to something you don’t want to spend money on, invite them over on another day instead. Have a potluck or BBQ instead of going out a fancy dinner with friends.
Take your kids to free museum days or use coupons for hobbies and activities you enjoy. I love finding free local entertainment opportunities because I can enjoy myself and still stay motivated to reach my financial goals.
Remember Your Why
Knowing why you’re going after certain financial goals is important. Sure, you probably determine your why right when you set your goal, but it’s easy to lose sight of it after a while.
There has to be a deeper reason why you’re trying to reach your financial goal or you won’t stay motivated in the long run. Maybe your why is to provide a better life for your kids or pay for their college in full. Maybe your why is to travel the world once you’re financially independent. Your why could be to quit your job and start your dream business or pay off your parents’ house.
Whatever your why is, keep it at the forefront of your mind and use it to motivate you. Knowing the why behind your choices will just provide fuel so you can keep pushing forward.
Surround Yourself With Support
Having a solid support system is important when you’re trying to reach your financial goals. Some people may not get what you’re doing, but some will.
You and your spouse need to be on the same page financially so you can support each other while working toward your goals. You can also find support from friends who are on a similar journey or personal finance social media groups or local meetups.
I like reading blogs and have cultivated an online community that supports me reaching my financial goals. You may even want to get an accountability partner either local or online who you can talk to about your progress. This can really help you both stay motivated.
Finding the motivation to reach your financial goals is crucial. Without motivation, the journey will be much more difficult and your chances for success will be slim. So, use these key ways to stay motivated, and focus on embracing and enjoying the journey.
How do you stay motivated when reaching your financial goals?