Break Down Your Money Goals into Doable Challenges

This week in our private group Thriving Families, I asked what step have people taken towards their 2019 money goals.

And guess what?

So far, no answers.

Which if you know our group is weird. We love to talk! ?

It’s only been a day, so maybe things will pick up this weekend, but I mention this because it’s something that I’ve seen through writing about personal finance as well as in our own personal lives.

Making big goals  –

Following up on them –  

I totally get it.

It’s really easy to get swept up with big goals. They’re exciting, bold, and can change EVERYTHING (or at least they seem to).

The problem is not breaking those big goals into smaller, tinier steps usually means that audacious and wonderful thing you want to do get put off.

And then again. And Again. Until you’re in the middle of the year (who knows, maybe sooner) and you quit.

I know because I’ve done it in the past. (I cannot tell you how many times I had tried to pay off my credit cards!)

But through the years, as we paid off our debts, we’ve been developing habits (and just as important, systems) to help us achieve those goals.

Breaking Down Our Goals

This year’s big financial goal – $11,000 extra going towards the mortgage – is definitely one of those goals we HAVE TO BREAK DOWN.

Yes, even though we have already paid off credit cards, got rid of our car loan, and knocked out our student loans.

We’re not immune to quitting. We need a system to help us stay on track.

So here’s how we’re tackling this beast of a goal. To have $11,000 saved means we have to set aside $916 a month.

The good news is since we paid off those previous debts we have about $500/month ‘free’ now that we can redirect to our goal. #DebtFree4thewin


We still need to come up with $416/month (or about $106/week0 to make up that difference.

So here’s what we’re doing.

First, each month this year we’re doing a money challenge. Basically, we’re going to make a game out of saving. We’ve done several in the past and love them.

Doing something different for 30 days keeps us on our toes and gives us a fresh perspective on our spending.

This month is the Zero Day Challenge.

You simply track your expenses and count the days when you spend – you guessed it – $0. That’s it.

May sound ridiculous, but it’s made us more aware of our spending. That awareness gives us a chance to honestly review those expenses.

Is this necessary? Is this a wise use of our money? Did this bring us joy? Answering those questions helps us to be more conscious of our spending.

(If you’re curious about how it works, you can read my post about it here or see how we did last week on Instagram.)

Second, we’re switching our spring vacation plans. No, we’re not skipping it. (I consider vacations a form of family self-care and sanity-saving!)

We are, however, going up to NY and splitting costs with another family. We usually spend $1,000 or so between hotels, food, and car rental, so splitting these would be significant savings.

From Mountain to Molehill (Kind of)

Now, of course, things can come up and we’ll adjust as needed,  but breaking down the goals for just these first few months helps us tremendously.

This huge number now becomes a doable challenge. Not a cake walk, but something we can knock out together.

So if you haven’t already, spend some time this weekend and break down your big money goal into monthly ‘bites’.

Thoughts on Tackling Big Goals

So that's our plan for the year. I'd love to hear from you. What are you tackling in 2019?

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