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Setting Financial Goals

Why set financial goals? To achieve financial freedom, of course! Perhaps you will one day want the freedom to send your children to college, continue your own education, buy a home, or take a nice vacation. Or maybe you just want to have the freedom to live comfortably, without having to struggle or worry about where your next mortgage payment will come from. Here are some tips for finding the way to personal financial freedom, whether you're in it alone or with your spouse or partner.

Set financial goals that are both important for you. Don't set a goal because it was someone else's suggestion, make the goal yours so that you'll be motivated to follow through.

State your goal in the positive, and be specific. For example, "I want to buy a house" is much more encouraging and on point than "don't spend money."

Write your list of goals on paper. Place it where you can see it daily, whether that's on your refridgerator, desk, the corner of your computer screen, or on your mirror. One way to reduce credit card spending is by writing your debt amount on a Post-It note and sticking it to your credit card.

Set a date. Many of us are driven by deadlines, so set a realistic date for reaching your goal and write it down. If you miss your date, it was probably too soon, so allow yourself plenty of time.

Stay focused on your goal and take action. If you want to buy a house, start looking at properties and pricing. Set a budget and talk to real estate agents. Most importantly, put aside savings and remind yourself that you're putting money away for your future home.

Review your goal once a month or so. Monitor your savings - are you making progress? If not, you may need to eliminate certain expenses (eating out, extra tv cable packages, purchasing designer clothes, etc.) to put you closer to your goal.