Get Specific About your Financial Goalsby Tim Manni
My original idea for this post was to merely compare and contrast the various lists of personal finance resolutions for 2010. Every new year journalists, personal finance experts, and bloggers like to share their ideas of how to achieve financial success in the new year.
The typical (yet practical and effective) suggestions were just about the same this year as any other year — “develop a budget,” “start saving now!,” “borrow sparingly,” etc. Some tips such as “take care of yourself” and “volunteer” were a little more outside the box.
In my continued search for another list to compare against all the others, I stumbled across an interesting “financial health calculator” in the Personal Finance section of CNNMoney.com that made me reconsider the theme of this post.
The digital tool starts off by asking you to fill in your age and gross annual income. After you have entered your age and income, a new screes asks you to enter in seven specific pieces of information, such as your monthly housing payment, monthly debt, amount of emergency savings, and so on. When you’re finished entering in your information, the calculator gives you a financial grade as well as the areas of your finances that you need to improve upon.
I thought, instead of solely reading and re-reading several similar suggestions that someone else created for me to follow, why not get specific about my own finances; identify where my financial weaknesses are, and create my own goals for 2010 that can turn my financial weaknesses into strengths. CNN’s calculator made it easy to do just that.
My point here is this, while the various lists of 2010 financial resolutions are informative and helpful, they’re not necessarily specific to your personal financial situation. Try doing what I did, use a tool like CNN’s calculator to help clarify which areas of your finances need help, then use the advise provided in such lists as Kathy Kristof’s “Money resolutions to make in 2010,” J.D. Roth’s “10 Steps to Financial Success in 2010,” or Knight Kiplinger’s “Eight Keys to Financial Security” to fix any holes in your finances.
We want to know how you made out. What are the financial goals you have set for yourself in 2010?