Often times the single thing preventing us from saving for a specific goal is we haven’t taken the time to write out all our income and expenses. In doing so more than half the time you will find out there is extra money left over, however in reality, at the end of each month that money seems to vanish as if it never existed in the first place. This is the bottomless pit of budgeting hell as we call it and it will never be satisfied with the amount of money it consumes! What is this money? It is items we purchased throughout the month which may seem minor at the register but add up into one ugly beast at the end of the month.
To squash this beast, it becomes critical to implement and monitor a budget. Let not a single dollar escape your wallet without allocating that dollar to a pre-set budget. For example, before buying that cup of coffee, have a pre-set coffee budget every month. So when that $2.26 is pulled from your account, you will know that you have a fixed amount left to spend and that a budgeting and/or account monitoring software (we recommend ours of course) is tracking everything on the back end.
Now once you have determined all incomes and expenses, and properly allocated a budget for everything you’ve spent, and yes it is okay to have an “everything else” category, but that too needs to have a dollar limit applied to it, you’re now ready for the fun part. It is time to determine with what is left over what goals you want to save for. Our suggestion, name your goal and put a picture next to it. If the Goal is a New Zealand vacation, then you best to print out a picture of that beautiful countryside and stick it on your wall. This will help you stay motivated as you are tempted by the impulse buys that will assault you every day.
Okay, so I have an understanding of my expenses, I have budgeted everything, and I have created a few goals. Now, what? Good Question! Most people stop here and unfortunately so because by not moving forward to the next step they severely hurt their ability to reach their goals in the most effective and advantageous ways.
So what is that next step? Well it is the missing step! It’s an Investment Goal Plan (We call it IGP for short). Why do we put money in a bank account and earn .01% interest? Perhaps we assume anything else would be too risky or maybe we simply didn’t know there were actual alternatives? Let me just say it, there is! If an IGP is properly established, then taking on risk can be manageable and tolerable. That is what we do at Alphamint. Your IGP is aligned with your goal’s time-horizon, so that way your money is working hard FOR you instead just sitting in the checking or savings account at ABC Bank. With the proper IGP, you are completing one of the most important steps in goal planning. It is critical to goal success! At Alphamint, we develop the IGP for you, and with your approval, we implement, monitor, and update you on its progress. Pretty cool huh?
So if your serious and truly want to MAKE YOUR GOALS HAPPEN™, and we know you do because your goals are awesome, then never forget to complete all the steps of the Goal Planning Process. Partner with Alphamint and we will help you get there!
- List out all your Incomes and Expenses. Here is a template that can help you.
- Create a budget for everything and we mean everything!
- Setup account monitoring software or budget software. We recommend ours but you can also use other greater services like Mint.com.
- Set your goals and how you plan to fund them. Start here.
- Create an Investment Goal Plan (IGP). Available through Alphamint.com when you setup your goals in step four.
- Monitor and adjust if necessary.
See that isn’t so bad. Visit Alphamint.com and allow us to partner with you!
The Alphamint Team