3 things to focus on when trying to achieve your goals

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Tiffany Grant, a financial wellness facilitator, joins Yahoo Finance Live to provide tips for anyone trying to set and achieve personal money goals.

Video Transcript

Well the statistics are starting. According to various recent surveys, about 60% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Many don’t have enough funds in their account to cover an emergency bill. But despite higher wages and a washed up market, many are having a hard time saving.

Here with lessons on how to help change some of that is Tiffany Grant, Financial Wellness Facilitator and Money Talk With Tiff. Thank you so much for being here, Tiffany. What do you think are some of the hurdles that keep people from making these savings that they know they really need to?

TIFFANY GRANT: And it is. So the first thing I always love to tell people is money is psychological. I’ve come up with three things that people need to focus on when it comes to setting your financial goals and then also reaching them.

The first one– I’ll just jump right in– is to make sure that you check in with your current values, beliefs, non-financial goals, before you even get started with your financial goals. This is important because you have to make sure that your goals align with who you are as a person in order for you to stick with them.

Second, it’s important to go ahead and prioritize those goals. If you have let’s say five goals, and some of them are immediate, some of them may be five, 10 years down the road, start making a hierarchy of those goals. And also, to go along with that, make sure that if you do have a big stretch goal– because I love stretch goals– make sure that you have smaller goals to lead up to that. So if you have a goal to be debt free, let’s say, and it’s $50,000, that sounds like a lot. But if you break it down into maybe $1,000 here, $1,000 there, next thing you know you look up and you’re done.

The last thing is to make sure that you do your homework. Know what your targets are. A lot of people come to me and they might say, hey, I want to save up for a down payment on a house. That’s an awesome goal, but what kind of house? How much is that house going to cost? What type of down payment do you need?

These are three things to definitely focus on as you’re going into the new year and focusing on those New Year’s resolutions.

And Tiff, something that we’ve been talking about, even with the last guest– it’s so important to keep well mentally and to keep your sanity. We were talking about networking and how to socialize a little bit, but with respect to your financial planning, how do you keep it all together in these times?

TIFFANY GRANT: And it is. The main thing to definitely keep in mind is to not get so overwhelmed. Going back to my second point with the last part, you want to make sure that you’re setting yourself up for success. You don’t want to be in a situation where you’re like, oh my gosh, this is so overwhelming, I can’t do it, and then you break down before you even start. Even if there are obstacles that could potentially get in your way, you want to make sure that you already pre-planned for those things. A lot of what I like to do in practice are money affirmations– being kind to yourself, telling yourself you can do this, and really just getting the mental game down pat, because everything is controlled by your mental– money included.

And then you say you have a savings challenge. Tell us more about that.

TIFFANY GRANT: And it is. Currently I have a savings challenge going on in my Facebook group. And what that tails is just taking little baby steps. So we’re going back to the baby steps. All you have to do– I have some documents listed on the website, but it’s numbers from one to 49 or one to 100. And every day, every week, every two weeks– it doesn’t matter– what you’ re going to do is take a number from that list, go ahead and put that money in an envelope, in a separate savings account, wherever you need to put it so you don’t touch it, and then cross it off the list. And you can’t use that number again.

So it’s a fun way to get people to start saving with as little money as possible. Number one–$1. You can find $1 probably just looking around you right now. So it’s just an easy way to baby step into getting your savings together and making sure that you hit those savings goals if that’s a goal for you.

OKAY. I know one of the biggest obstacles that get in my way is impulse buying, so that’s something I try and steer away from, and then I also used to be very much keep up with the Joneses. I’ve managed to stay away from that. Anyway, we’ll have to leave it there. Thank you so much. Tiffany Grant, Financial Wellness Facilitator, Money Talk With Tiff as well. Thank you, and happy new year to you.