This past year, I’ve made some good headway towards my 2010 goals, mainly with paying down debt and increasing my credit score. Yet I’ve found that one of my primary goals, increase my savings, got lost throughout the year. The biggest reason this goal failed was that I didn’t set specific enough mini-goals with strategies to accomplish them. I’ll be breaking down my goals in parts with a wrap-up article scheduled as a guest post at another site later in January (I’ll share that link then).
Breaking down goals into bite-sized chunks seems to work well, at least for me. So for my first 2011 goal, increase my savings, I’ll structure it to make it more manageable and make myself accountable.
- Boost my savings accounts (there are a total of 3 of them)
- Label my savings accounts accordingly: Big-Purchases, Wealth Building, Emergency Fund
- Automate my savings amounts so it’s less likely I’ll spend the money. The amounts are as follows: $400/month into the big-purchase fund, $270/month into the wealth building fund, and $80/month into my emergency fund. This increases my monthly savings by $200. It also assumes that I’ll be saving a little over 13% of my income providing my income remains stable (that seems to be my biggest hurdle).
- Create quarterly goals for each account – I need this goal mainly because my income is erratic: By March 31st I should have increased my big-purchase fund by $1,200, wealth building fund by $810, and emergency fund by $240.
To make this plan work, I’ll be posting the next 4 parts of this year’s goals throughout the next couple of weeks. The biggest factor for increasing my savings account is to find out where in my monthly budget I can scrounge up that extra $200. I know it’s there; at least that’s what my Quickbooks reports are saying. I recently renamed my three major accounts, thanks to my husband’s input, and may need to switch the monthly savings amounts around a bit. But the total amount saved each month will hopefully remain the same. Stay tuned for the specific strategies that are going to help me meet this primary goal.
What goals are you looking to accomplish this year? Do you have a strategy to accomplish them?