Have you set financial goals? Are you following through on them?
If you have ever been coached in most any sport, you have undoubtedly had the term “follow through” beat into your psyche at length. Whether dealing with sports, house projects, political promises, or finances, follow through is an essential lesson to be applied in all aspects of life.
Thanks to recent article by Jeff (@stretchydollar) of Consumerism Commentary on financial goals, I was reminded of a couple tasks I had yet to complete in order to consummate a few of my goals. I had reached most or all of the milestones, but needed to perform important money redistribution tasks to truly finish them!
Specifically, I have been cutting costs & making shoe money all over the place, but had not yet made the necessary adjustments to move my spoils out of my checking account & into a purposed savings location.
Ways you may be missing out…
Have you recently paid off a debt but have not reapportioned the income?
When I began my Debt Free Adventure Mrs Jabs & I had 4 credit cards we were working to pay off. Since we are using a combination of the Debt Snowball method & the High Interest First method I was paying the most on the card with the lowest balance & apportioning the rest to the other 3 based on balance amounts & interest rates. Once I paid off the first card, I reapportioned all the excess to the card with the next lowest balance! Now I’m almost down to two cards; and plan to continue redistributing the same overall payment amount accordingly.
The unwise alternative would be to let that extra amount from paying off the first card swim around purposeless in a checking account.
Have you cut an expense like TV Service lately but have yet to employ the money elsewhere?
If you are a regular DFA reader then you know that my wife & I canceled our satellite TV last month. In short, we watch less TV, have an indoor HDTV digital antenna for local stations, & subscribe to Netflix. The combined effort is saving us $76 every month. Before reading Jeff’s article I had forgotten about the extra money and was just letting it pour into my checking account unaccounted for, but have since added this amount to my Capital One 360 Automatic Savings Plan (ASP).
Are you making shoe money but not really saving it?
Have you made some extra money on the side recently? Are you being faithful to reapportion all of it correctly?
One of the reasons I started Debt Free Adventure was to make extra money. Once the money started trickling in, I noticed that the proceeds were just being diluted in my checking account. Instead of letting the money continue on purposeless I made the commitment to channel every dollar earned into a separate Capital One 360 savings account dubbed “Side Hustle”. Now every time I earn money from one of the multiple income streams, 100% goes into the separate fund… not to be touched. Soon I plan to create an LLC for my online endeavors at which time I will open a business bank account. By separating the money now, it will make it easier on me when I go to move.
Have you recently refinanced your home to a lower rate? Don’t forget to properly employ the monthly savings?
My friend, & fellow blogger “K” has graciously allowed me to share the story of his recent mortgage refinance story. He just refinanced his mortgage from a 6.5% interest rate down to 5.2%. He reduce his monthly mortgage payment by $150. Since he is already used to that money being spent each month, instead of letting that money get lost in translation, K plans to create a new Capital One 360 savings account & fund every month. What he stands to realize is $1,800 every year!
Here is the record of our recent IM chat discussing the matter…
K: sorry just got back from my Refi Closing
Me: awesome, did you get a lower rate?
K: yes sir! 6.5 to 5.25
Me: WOW…sweet, that’ll shave off some money each month
K: yea.. but it doesnt translate much into monthly pymt, 150 tops. But still, that’s money i don’t have to pay
Me: $150 is a lot!
K: hehe yea i guess i was being too greedy
Me: that’s $1,800 a year buddy
K: when i look at it that way, it’s big!
Me: exactly. i have some advice. since you’re used to paying the old number, do this… set up a new fund in Capital One 360 & put the $150 directly into it each month. call it a “Vacation Fund” or something, otherwise the money will just get lost in translation
K: u r right, great idea man!
I told K that he should give me a finders fee of 50% since it was my advice… he just laughed at me. Hey, at least I tried!
Other examples of people properly following through…
These fellow bloggers are beneficially employing their savings from both short and long term goals:
- In order to have a debt free wedding (yay!) Ray started blogging & began teaching on the side. He set all the money from his side gigs apart from his main incomeand was able to pay off his wedding along with some new household items!
- Follow Ray @moneyhighway and check out his blog: Financial Highway
- In an effort to kick start his Emergency Fund & Debt Snowball (love it!) Paul & his wife inventoried their lives to find over $1,000 savings in one month! Some of Paul’s efforts were one time money makers, while others will be paying him back for years to come. Instead of frittering away the residual savings Paul and his wife wisely reapportioned the excesstoward debt repayment & savings!
- Follow Paul @fiscalgeek and check out his blog: FiscalGeek
- Back in 1999 Matt vowed to stop buying CD’s (mp3’s in today’s economy)and save the excess. Instead of letting the small bits of extra money each month dilute back into his checking account to be piddled away, Matt rolled some of it into a savings to be used for college expenses, and the rest into an IRA.
- Follow Matt @Matt_SF and check out his blog: Steadfast Finances
So what about you?
Have you recently made side money, reduced some expenses, or paid off a debt, yet failed to follow through by properly redistributing your savings accordingly? Now’s the time to act!
DFA is passionately dedicated to helping others break the bondage of debt using biblical principles.
In My career I have seen and helped many families set financial goals however a lot of the times they fail to follow through with the plans to reach those goals……there is only so much an outsider can help with the rest is up to you and your willingness and motivation to reach those goals.
Setting financial goals is important but would only work if you follow through with your plan to reach them!
Great examples in this articles! 🙂
Matt Jabs says
I wholeheartedly agree that it takes the individual to change their own mindset, no one can change it for them. However you could try to make the follow through a more focal & necessary part of the process (you probably already have).
It would be sad to see people making positive choices, steps, & sacrifices… only to miss the big picture in the end by not following through.
I think more & more people in our culture are waking up to the reality of debt now-a-days – more so than in many years.
Bible Money Matters says
Great idea. Often we talk about saving money on the personal finance blogs, but forget to talk about what to do with the saved money. If you don’t consciously put that money to use in some way, it will just disappear into the ether!
Paul @ FiscalGeek says
Great post Matt. I have to admit if I have a spare nickel unaccounted for I”m on it directing it to our current goal. It helps that I’m crazy task oriented. So as long as that focus is directed on winning at finances rather than justifying an iPhone we’re good.
Matt Jabs says
Fighting to break free from our culture of temptation is one of the hardest parts of saving money!
Very nice stuff again, Matt – you’re on a roll! Thanks for the mention – keep it up!!
I do the same thing. Anytime a dollar becomes free that was previously for something else, I make sure it finds a home.
I treat it like a game, kind of, but my ING sub accounts are doing great because of it 🙂
Matt Jabs says
I do the same thing! I love watching my savings grow. Nice work MLR.
Having financial goals is good. Unfortunately, even the most ideal objectives are rendered useless if a person can’t control spending. And sadly, many families just can’t control spending.
Matt Jabs says
What do you suggest to help Joe?
I think what you said is true. We each have to have our own “financial epiphany”!