How Realistic Is Your Goal Plan?
After you set your goals and determine what amount you need to save each month to reach them, it is a good idea to consider if you can actually save that much each month. If you goal plan tells you to save $1,500 a month but your income is $1,700 a month, you probably can’t save $1,500 a month. To determine how realistic your goal plan is, start by listing your current income and expenses. (download a budgeting worksheet) If there is not enough money in your budget right now to save what you want for your goals, consider if you can make any changes to your income and/or spending. Can you get a part-time job? Cut back on dining out? Get a cheaper cable package? Spend less on clothing?
If you still fall short after making adjustments to your budget, you may have to rethink your goals. Is there a cheaper alternative available? (For example, you can go to a local amusement park instead of Disney World.) Can you extend the timeframe? Are there any goals that are less important that can be dropped? Maybe you would really love to buy a $5,000 garden gnome to put in your front lawn, but having enough money for retirement is a bigger priority.