Money is one of those topics. It can give you guilt, shame, fear. At the same time can provide security, freedom, the ability to buy beautiful things, go to wondrous places, and help people less fortunate than yourself.
Money makes the world go round.
But it isn’t half stressful!
We all have money goals. Ideas of how much we’d like to earn, amounts we need to save, bills we have to pay. Perhaps you dream of affording the big house on the hill or maybe you simply want to get yourself out of debt.
Money goals are as individual as people. There are no rights and wrongs, there is only the knowledge that wherever you want to get to, it’s often a long way from where you are.
Sometimes it seems impossible that you could ever achieve your money goals.
But with the right guidance, you can.
A few words of financial wisdom…
Nothing causes more procrastination than money. We wait for the perfect opportunity, job offer, system, idea, motivation, passion, help, or lottery win. We daydream and get nothing done. The key to making and setting money goals is action.
You must take action in order to decide
- what your money goals will be, and
- how you will achieve them.
You must figure out the steps you need to take in order to reach your money goals, and then you must action those steps.
Don’t wait for the five-figure scheme, the perfect system, or the winning numbers: you’ll never get anywhere.
There is no perfect system.
Whatever system you use will work, as long as you set your intention to achieve your goals, and then actively work towards them.
If you sit around waiting for the perfect system, or the perfect time, the perfect , spreadsheet, or all the information, you will never begin.
You will never achieve. You will never attain.
So, instead of procrastinating, follow these eight steps and you will be hitting your money goals before you know it!
Step One: Know your numbers
Sit down and figure out exactly how much money you need in order to cover all your costs. This is a base line. The amount you need to have each month in order to cover your expenditure.
Cover personal expenditures and business expenditures. Keep them on separate spreadsheets or in separate notebooks, especially if you have a dedicated business bank account. This isn’t about what you’d like to spend, but what you need to spend.
The result should be two itemised lists. One for business, one for personal expenses, and a monthly total for the two combined.
Step Two: Add the bells and whistles (one at a time)
Now that you have a baseline, figure out much extra money you would like, to cover some additional costs. Maybe you’d like to increase your advertising budget, hire an assistant or book a holiday? Perhaps you’ve got your eye on a new car, or a new sofa. This figure should include what you need to cover business and personal costs (the combined figure from Step One), PLUS a reasonable amount to cover extras.
That doesn’t mean throwing in a Porsche, a round-the-world cruise, and a penthouse in Manhattan. Rather, look at your business and personal life and pick something you really want to upgrade.
Don’t try to do everything at once though, it won’t work and it isn’t reasonable.
Pick one thing from each area of your life (business and personal) that you’d like to do a little better. By setting small, incremental goals, you are making it easier for yourself to achieve them.
Step Three: Create your money goals vision board
You have your baseline money goal – the amount you need each month. You also have your upgrade goal – the amount you want each month.
If you’re at all uncomfortable with money goals, or you’re really struggling to pay the essentials at the moment, complete the rest of these steps with your FIRST money goal, the one you need. Once you’ve achieved this you can come back and begin again with your upgraded goal.
Create a dream board around your money goals. Get creative. Use a physical board, or piece of paper or Try Pinterest, or a digital sticky board online. Create an image and use it for your desktop background on your computer or lock screen on your phone.
Write it out and leave it on your desk, or stick it to your fridge. Scrawl it across your mirror in lipstick. Carve it into a candle and place it on your desk. Once your goal has melted, blow out the candle, carve your goals in again, and relight it – use it to reinforce your intentions throughout the day, touching base with your goals and reminding yourself:
This is how much money you need. This is how much money you want. This is going to happen.
If candles aren’t your thing you can still reinforce your goals regularly – update your Pinterest board, study your vision board. Be positive in your thoughts– don’t think in ‘ifs’ and ‘coulds’, but ‘whens’ and ‘wills’. It’s not ‘if I earn XXX I could buy a new car’, but ‘WHEN I earn XXX I WILL buy a new car…’
Step Four: Figure out how much you need to sell
This step is deceptively simple.
- What products do you currently have?
- How much do you charge for them?
- How many do you need to sell in order to raise your money goal each month?
Don’t forget to consider how many you can sell in a month. If you’re selling your time, there is a finite amount of it: you can only sell as many working hours as you have. What about products? How many can you reasonably sell in a month?
Will that number earn you enough to reach your money goal? If not, look at your prices, where can you raise them?
Remember, hourly rates and product prices don’t just include the time you spend working. They also have to cover your overheads, expenses, and a reasonable profit margin.
Even if you work from home, you have overheads! Factor them in!
Step Five: Create a plan for selling that amount
Look at the amount of products/services you need to sell each month, and a create a plan to do it. The most important element of this step is being realistic. People often get caught in a paradox:
- You set a money goal of X amount to pay for advertising
- You create a plan to reach your money that requires Y amount to be spent on advertising.
- You realise you can’t spend Y amount until you’ve hit your money goal, and you can’t hit your money goal until you have Y amount to spend.
It’s a confounding paradox, but easily avoided. When planning how you will sell the amount needed to reach your money goal, look at what you have now. Make a plan based on the time, money, and expertise you currently have to spend. Don’t bank on taking a course and learning something new.
How will you pay for the course? Where will you find the time? What if it doesn’t work?
Use what you have, not what you want, and make a realistic plan to sell what you need in order to hit your goal.
When you get tired, or dejected (and you will) go back to your vision board and remind yourself why you’re doing this: that new car, that cleaner, that nice big advertising budget, or assistant. That will make all this selling so much easier.
Step Six: Know Your Costs
Get your calculator out again. What are the costs you will incur selling all the products/services you need in order to reach your goal? Time, materials, overheads, consumables, delivery, packaging, the list is extensive, make sure you exhaust it!
Once you have this figure, go back to steps one and two and make sure your original figures were accurate.
Are your money goals high enough? Will earning your money goal actually result in you having the amount of money you need after you’ve covered all your costs?
If you underestimated your costs, adjust your figures and tweak the other steps accordingly.
Step Seven: Have Faith
Faith is a powerful thing. Believe in yourself and your ability to meet your goals. Believe that you will reach your money goals and achieve your dreams. Believe that you are good enough, clever enough, strong enough, and that soon you will be doing all of this again, with higher money goals in mind.
Step Eight: Rejoice and Repeat
If you’ve followed these steps correctly and set yourself realistic, incremental goals, and achievable plans, you will soon be knocking your money goals out of the park.
Enjoy the victory. Revel in your achievement. Buy that new car, hire that assistant, dance around in your underwear if you like!Now go back to step one, and start all over again.
You’ve upped your income, increased your expenditure. Your baseline is now higher, and that’s great! But resting on your laurels now won’t do you any good.
You’ve just proven you can do this! So get back to it, and do it again!
Set your new goals. They may be totally different to your last ones, or they may be the next level up for what you’ve already achieved. You might decide you’ve earned enough for yourself for now, and you want to do something for someone else.
Make your next goal a monthly donation to your chosen charity, paying for a cleaner to come in and look after your mum’s house, or helping your sister out with childcare a couple of days a week so she can work on her goals.
It doesn’t matter. They’re your goals, they can be whatever you want. Just remember, dreams don’t work unless you do! Do the work, the rest will take care of itself.