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  • Alex Casella

New Years Resolutions? Pick a Number, Pick a Date and Create a Plan.

Updated: Jul 12, 2021

Over the past week I've been hearing advertisements on TV and on the radio about how 2019 is "your" year! You know, the gym ads telling you to get back to the gym and the financial institutions saying you'll save more, spend less, pay off debt? Yea, those all sound like wonderful things but the reality is if you're serious about a New Year's Resolution and starting fresh, you need to sit down and set a REALISTIC goal, come up with a plan and begin working toward attaining that goal.

I've had a few conversations recently with individuals and when I ask about their financial goal their responses are very general. "I want to get out of debt" or "I want to save up for a down payment on a home." The reality is that those goals most-likely will not be obtained because they're not specific.

How much debt are we talking about paying off? Any idea how much debt you have? When do you want the balances to be paid off by? Do you earn enough income every month to put extra money toward debt? The same goes for savings. How big of a home are you looking to buy? How much of a down payment do you want to put on this home? And when do you plan to start looking for this home to buy? Is there extra money in your budget to put toward this expense? These are some of the questions you need to be asking yourself when developing your financial goals for 2019.

Define your goal. I've found it's best to understand and define the dollar amount you're trying to achieve. Is the savings, or debt paid off goal $5,000, $10,000, more? With that number you can look at your monthly cash flow and see how much extra money is available to put toward this goal (this may be the amount of money you are spending on lattes or going out every weekend).

Cash Flow. Subtract your monthly expenses from your monthly income. Is there money left over? If there isn't you'll need to go through and review your expenses and decide which expenses to eliminate. If there is additional money available (meaning you are cash flow positive), figure out that number over 12 months and there's a solution toward how much debt you can pay down, or how much you can save in one year. (For example if there's $100 extra per month available. $100 x 12 = $1,200/year toward saving/debt).

Ask for help. I truly enjoy doing this type of work with individuals. I am happy to take the time to sit down and work through this with anyone who wants to learn ,and is eager to achieve their goals.

Feel free to reach out to me about your questions with regard to financial goal setting! Best of luck this year!

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