The first step is to look at all your spending habits. When looking over your receipts, is there anything you feel guilty about? If so, let’s squash it as part of your money challenge. If you would rather not worry so much about spending, you can create a personal money challenge aimed towards earning more money. This is what many call ‘side hustle’ money.
A personal money challenge is very similar to a goal. The following is a goal creation template used by many companies in the Fortune 500. They are aptly named S.M.A.R.T. goals.
First, a goal should be specific. This means goals should be specifically written and easy to define. You want to know exactly what you are setting out to accomplish. This will help you know when you achieved your goal.
Second, a goal should be measurable. It’s important to measure or else you won’t know when you’ve improved! Instead of writing down, “I want to save more money this year.” write, “I will save $5,500 this year which I will place into my Roth IRA.”
‘A’ stands for achievable. Make sure the goal isn’t too outlandish. It’s good to shoot big, but not if there’s no chance of succeeding. Remember, when writing the goal, you must possess the appropriate knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to achieve the goal. Your skills don’t have to be perfect, but you should feel a sense of confidence when writing down your money challenge.
‘R’ means results-focused. This means you’re doing something which is done to better yourself, not to just make noise. Why are you entering a personal money challenge? What do you hope to achieve? Are you looking to fund a trip to Mexico? Are you looking to pay for the first year of college debt free? Make sure there is a very clear reason why you are putting yourself through the challenge. This is helpful to remember when things get tough.
The final letter is ‘T’. ‘T’ stands for time-bound. This is immensely important. If your challenge is to make $10,000 in side income, you need to assign a date! Basically anyone can make $10,000 extra, given enough time. Put your goal on a calendar. Example, by September 30th, 2016, I will have saved $10,000 in extra income.
Extra ways to ensure success in your personal money challenge
After creating a money-oriented S.M.A.R.T. goal, you still should gather some reinforcements. By reinforcements, I mean lots of things. Tell your goal(s) to your friends so they can give support. Share on Facebook if you’d like. There is such a thing as positive peer pressure.
Furthermore, read blogs, books, and listen to podcasts about people who are currently rocking some awesome money challenges. These people will inspire you. Keep your brain in the right mindset. Our minds are a summation of what we’re exposed to. Make sure you’re being influenced by rockstar people, not sitcoms.
Zero Effort Money Saving Hacks
Finally, smartphone application creators have decided to try and make saving easier for us by creating personal finance apps. Digit.co is one of the best savings apps out there. It analyzes your savings balances and automatically withdrawals money to place in your savings account. It is easy to install and activate. Once you’ve done that, Digit takes care of the rest. Check it out at digit.co.
What personal money challenge will you create? How much will you save? How much will you earn? Comment below. We’ll help hold you accountable.