Posts Tagged ‘Roadmap to Change’

Goal Setting 101 (Part 2 of 2)

Can you guess what is in the secret sauce?

The secret is in the sauce for Goal Setting 101…

In our last post, we talked about the first three steps to creat clear financial goals. Today, we are going to reveal the last three steps AND the secret sauce ingredient….

Step 4 of  Goal Setting 101 – Add the secret sauce.

Imagine that it is the date that you established in Step 2. You have the amount from Step 3 for your fund named in Step 1. You have achieved YOUR goal. What are three words that describe how you are thinking and feeling? Stop and consider this question carefully. Really get into that vibe. Own it! This is powerful stuff. No room for doubts here.

Step 5 of Goal Setting 101 – Make it visible.

Now that you have all the required elements, write it down and make it visible.

  • I, <your name>, have saved <$$$> by <mm/dd/yy> for my <sexy goal name> Fund. I feel <word #1>, <word #2>, and <word #3> to have achieved my goal.
  • I, Betsy Biggoals, have saved $1,000,000 by 12/31/2055 for my Hasta La Vista Corporate America Fund. I feel proud, grateful and excited to have achieved my goal!

Step 6  of Goal Setting 101 – Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

Congratulations! You have created your first financial goal. Ask yourself if there are any other goals that you want to meet. It is possible to have more than one goal at a time. Once you have created all of your goals, you are ready to crunch the numbers and make any necessary adjustments. For now bask in the sunshine of your success and give yourself a big pat on the back! Well done. Bravo. Hooray!

What? You need a link to do the math? Okay no problem.

Here is one for a spreadsheet.

Here is one for an online calculator.

One other handy tool I’d like to recommend is goalgami. They have a household balance sheet that simplifies the big picture. You can run various what-if scenarios and check on your goal affordability. There is a timeline to show you how your goals stack up and you get a clear picture of your financial future.

Interested in specific tips for specialty goals like college savings and retirement planning? Stay tuned for future posts on these and many other financial topics. Have a burning question? Leave a comment or use the contact page if you prefer not to share your question publicly.



Is Happiness Expensive?

Happiness is Expensive

Is happiness really expensive?

This message has haunted me these last few days. I believe that UNhappiness is expensive. If you are unhappy and use money to chase happiness, it leads to more unhappiness. So you spend more money and the cycle repeats until you are broke or wake up and realize that something has to change.

Happiness is a choice. It is a decision we make. It has nothing to do with the amount of toys we have or the number of zeroes in our bank accounts. Every day we are bombarded with messages that feed this myth. We believe that if we buy that new shiny/pretty, we will be happy. Been there done that and believe me folks, it does not work.

I used to postpone my happiness. I would set goals and when I reached them, I felt hollow. So I set more goals. The more “successful” I became, the less happy I felt. I believed that more money was the answer. I finally decided to stop chasing happy. I gave up the illusion that more money or any other shiny/pretty would make me happy. I decided to be happy NOW.  I sat myself down an looked at my values. I examined my wants and needs and realized that some of my needs were frozen needs. I started thawing them out. At first, I had to fake happy. Then I started to notice that I was not faking it anymore. I was pleasantly surprised at how much peace came with that decision.

There were a few things that helped me along this path and I wanted to share them with you.

1. Turn off the television.

I went hardcore and got rid of mine completely. You may want to start with going a day, week or month without television. Notice what happens and how you spend your time. This gives you some space from marketing messages.

2. Connect with like-minded happy people.

They say birds of a feather flock together. Notice the people around you. Are they always complaining or are they positive people? How do you contribute? Can you decide to be happy together? We cannot control others, however we can make choices about how we spend our time. Do you need to expand your circle and find new friends? Be kind and compassionate with yourself and others as you work this out.

3. Learn to distinguish between wants, needs and frozen needs.

As humans, we all  have basic needs – food, clothing and shelter. We also have emotional needs. Some of our needs were not met as children and so those needs are frozen in time. We can never go back and change the fact that there was a lack. If we try to fill those needs in the present time, we find that we are never satisfied.  Ask yourself what you are hoping to accomplish with a particular want or need. What expectations do you have and are they being met? Are your expectations realistic? Are they based on old hurts? Journaling is a great tool to start sorting this out. If appropriate, seek professional help and guidance if you decide that you do not want to work on this alone.

If you find yourself caught in the spiral of using money to chase happiness, I invite you to sign up for my blog updates and to stay tuned for more tips and suggestions on this topic and others.



Welcome to my Blog!

The name of my blog is Roadmap to Change. I chose this name because as a money mentor coach, I help people create their own financial roadmap so they can get and keep their financial house in order.  Often – this means change. The word change has multiple meanings. Change can mean to replace or remove something. Change can be about becoming or making something different. It also means to convert one currency into another or to exchange money for smaller units. When it comes to your finances, change (action) can lead to change (¢) and over time it all adds up.

Is Change good or bad? Depends on your perspective. Sometimes change feels scary. Change can lead to something different and many of us value the tried and true. Maybe we are not 100% happy with the status quo and yet we are not willing to rock the boat and take a chance on change.  We settle for less because we are afraid of making the wrong choice or losing what we have.  I have found that personally, when I take a chance on change, I am seldom disappointed. Things may not always turn out the way I want and yet somehow more often than not, I end up with something better than what I left behind. When I want something different, I do something different. Sometimes I take baby steps and sometimes I take quantum leaps.

I invite you to join me on this great adventure exploring how to change your money story and open up to a whole new world of possibilities! Stay tuned for more tips and ideas about creating change.