Let’s face it— money sucks. People stress because they don’t have it; people who have too much stress to maintain it. We’re all searching for ways to meet our personal and financial goals. Money is a necessary evil, especially when the economy in America is so challenging. In the SF Bay area, a person must make an average of $80,000 a year to qualify for a one bedroom apartment. As a nation, money has been cited the number one cause of divorce.

Some money situations are challenging, but it can still work. The first step is to remain focused and …

Set a financial goal

How much money do you need or want to make? Whether you’re trying to start a business, live solo because your roommate is driving you crazy, or continue growing your wealth, setting a financial goal is necessary. Make sure it’s one you can reach in a certain amount of time. Be specific when setting your goal. For example, I had a goal when I was 21 to buy my first house at 25. To do that, I had to pay off credit card debt and save around $20,000.00. It was a very boring period where my life was consumed with bills, bills, bills. It had to be done. Whatever your financial goal may be, make a plan on what you have to do to get there.

If you feel you’re in over your head with debt, research some consolidation programs that can help or credit cards with 0% APR where you can transfer a balance. There are options for tackling debt so you have money to save.

If your financial goal is to make $10 million dollars, that’s awesome! It can be done. Just remember that millionaires save their money, not spend it. Especially after learning in their younger years that frivolously spending just leaves you back at the beginning. Sure, you can treat yourself… eventually. If you land a lot of money for the first time, trust that it’s better spent on investments to maintain growth and stability.

Make an investment

To reach your goals, you must make an investment of time and money. My initial investment was the first house I saved for. I wanted to get out of the 9-5, and I knew my goal was to be real estate investor, so I invested in real estate. Maybe your dream is to own a business, or get a degree. Whatever the case, make sure you are building credit. This is a necessity.

Make your dream a reality by getting started on your goal. If you have no credit, get a credit card. Utility bills, rent, and cell phones do not build credit. Starting any business takes capital, which means you’ll need a loan unless you have money waiting on you somewhere. To get a loan you need good credit and a job on the books. That’s it. Once you have those two things, you’ll be on your way.   

Prepare for roadblocks

In any great endeavor, there will be unforeseeable circumstances that will tip you off balance. Life is a series of ups and downs. Sure, you make a plan and expect because things are going great now it’ll always be that way. It’s like the balloon you see floating in the sky. It seems like it’ll float forever, but we know this isn’t true. Sooner or later that balloon’s gonna pop and come crashing back down to earth. 

Taking another direction typically requires more money. And if you’ve lost all your money, that’s a problem. Money in the bank is necessary for when life decides to toss a pin in your balloon just before breaching the atmosphere. There’s no secret to making it around a roadblock: save your money. It makes everything easier.

If you don’t have money, you’ll have to borrow it from someone, which usually causes conflict; or a bank, where you’ll need good credit at minimum. There are loan options for bad credit, but the interest is very high which could lead to more trouble. Sometimes that’s the only way and you have to make it work. If you find yourself at a roadblock, just slow down and prepare to turn.

Always expect for your investment to take longer than you think.

With the roadblocks of life, nothing ever works out exactly as we plan. When we make a goal, it’s good to have a timeline of when you want certain events to happen. It keeps the day to day hustle moving which doubles down your efforts on meeting your goal. But life always happens, and unexpected necessities will pop up, especially if you’re new at something. My first investment took so long, but landed me a quarter million! To the 1%, this is nothing. But to get something bigger and better started, it’s everything. The saying is that the first million is the hardest to make. Be patient and try not to become frustrated when things don’t go as planned. Stay your course and…

Have a backup plan.

The plan B, C, & D are extremely useful when taking the plunge into a new endeavor. Perhaps the most interesting backup plan I’ve ever had was to move to Argentina and become a jazz singer. Guess I wasn’t meant for that life. However wild your plan, it helps to know that if all else fails, there’s something to fall back on. Some people just move back home. This doesn’t mean you’ve failed; failing is giving up completely. No matter the situation, backup plans are there to support continuous movement towards the goal.

Our journeys are unique. Life is easier for some than others, yet the principal remains the same. Focus on the task at hand; make it a priority. Prepare for challenges along the way. And always, always have a back up plan. 

Not ready to invest? Check out The Beginner’s Guide to Financial Security.

What’s your financial goal? Post it below!