What Are You Willing to Give Up to Reach Your Financial Goals?

by Alexa Mason · 11 comments

Every day, you’re presented with an abundance of choices. From the moment you wake up, to the moment you prepare for bed, you make choice after choice. These choices not only affect today, but also your future.

To reach your financial goals, you need to make appropriate daily choices. Life is all about trade-offs. Achieving your financial goals comes from hard work and sacrifices; there are no shortcuts.

Here are a few key actions that will help you reach your financial goals:

Make Sacrifices

I have a few big financial goals of my own. The one I’m working on right now is to put ten thousand dollars in my emergency fund.

To reach this goal by the deadline I’ve set, I have to make many sacrifices. For instance, I’ve vowed not to eat out until I reach this goal. I’ve been actively looking for cheap or free entertainment for my daughters and me, and I work on bringing in extra income.

Sacrifices come in many forms. To reach your financial goals, you may have to sacrifice your time, scale down your living arrangements, or give up something you enjoy — such as cable TV or a fancy phone contract.

Ultimately, when it comes to sacrificing, you should do what makes sense for you. There’s no one size fits all.

Work Hard

Aside from working my regular 9-5 job, I’ve also picked up several side jobs. Each night, after my kids go to bed, I spend two to three hours working on these jobs. I also spend about ten hours on the weekend working. To reach my goals, I’m trading in my normal relaxation and sleep time to work on earning more money and building my own business.

For you, this could look different. You might want to work overtime at your current job, find a second job, or become a freelancer.

Nothing in life worth having comes easy. Meeting your goals — whether they’re financial or otherwise — will take hard work.

Celebrate Big Wins

With all of the hard work and sacrifices, it can be easy to get burnt out and lose motivation. Remember to celebrate your progress.

Celebrating doesn’t mean breaking the bank. You can do something simple like taking your family out to dinner or the movies. Without celebrating milestones and allowing yourself to occasionally spend money, you’ll start to resent your whole situation.

Follow Through

Financial goals, such as saving a large amount of money or paying down debt, take time. In some instances, many years.

Know that as long as you’re doing your best to reach your goal, you’re on the right track. You also aren’t alone. There are many others who are working on a goal quite similar to yours. Just keep following through, and eventually, you’ll get to where you want to be.

What financial goals are you working towards right now?

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle August 28, 2013 at 7:03 am

Great post! I have been working a ton over the past couple of years in order to pay off student loan debt and do what I want in life. Couldn’t be happier!

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Simon @ Modest Money August 28, 2013 at 8:04 am

There are things I would give up in pursuit of financial goals and then there are those I wouldn’t. Looking at it, there are more things to life than just finances.
For example, I do not think I would sacrifice family time to reach some financial goals additionally, I would ensure that my health is not suffering for it.
That said, there are no short cuts and hardwork as you pointed out is key…make that smart hard work :)

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John S @ Frugal Rules August 28, 2013 at 9:43 am

Good post Alexa! We worked hard to get to the point where we could start our business and have enough in the bank to be comfortable enough to take the plunge. Our goal now really isn’t financial, per se, in nature, but it’s geared towards continuing to grow our business.

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Renee August 28, 2013 at 9:47 am

Nice! I really feel motivated after reading your post. Right now my goal is to clear off my credit card debt. It has been following me around for a few years now. :(

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Vicky August 28, 2013 at 11:17 am

Eighteen months ago I set about trying to pay off the remaining 9 years of my mortgage in 2 years. It’s been hard – sometimes very hard – but I’m 6 months or so away now and I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Posts like yours have kept me going, especially over the last 6 months when I was starting to feel a little fatigued with it all!

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jim August 28, 2013 at 6:52 pm

Yay for you Vicki!!!!!! We’re on a similar path. If we really stick to this plan (and it is not easy) we should be mortgage free 2 years from now. Hang in there – the worst part is behind you. You are now on the final stretch and if you don’t concentrate too much on it (as difficult as that will be now that you can see the finish line) 6 months will pass in the blink of an eye. Congrats!

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Vicky August 29, 2013 at 11:19 pm

Thanks Jim! To ‘not concentrate too much’ on this final stretch is actually really good advice. I think there is a danger of getting too obsessed and making these last months feel like forever. I just need to keep doing what I’ve been doing and it will be here in no time. Good luck with your own goals!

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Josie August 29, 2013 at 8:40 am

I am working on the same 10K E.F. goal…I was able to save a similar amount of money to get me a car last year and I know I can do it. Like you say sacrificing is part of it and I am also taking freelance jobs and eating at home a lot. It has been awesome because I didn’t realize how entertaining is to make food together with music in the background :D ….In November my debt will be paid off and after that I will put everything that was going to the debt for the E.F…right now I am not sending as much as I would like to but at least is is growing little by little. Hopefully I make more freelancing money so I can get to my goal even faster!

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AJ August 31, 2013 at 3:06 pm

I love all these posts. Its great to hear like-minded people, its encouraging.

As for the original question, what am I sacrificing for financial goals? Nothing!! I’m gaining peace of mind by not stressing living beyond my means. I’m not stressing during a relatively major setback like a car dies. I’m finding joy in finding ways to make things, grow food and meet like minded people learning from and trading tips without spending a lot of wasted money socializing at restaurants. You haven’t had fun till you’ve milked a goat and fed a calf! -AJ

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Property Marbella September 1, 2013 at 4:29 am

The most important thing is not to earn as much as possible without being able to conserve money instead. Have a good budget and follow it all the time.

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Marcelina September 6, 2013 at 12:06 pm

I admire your goal to save a set amount for an emergency fund and especially that you’ve given yourself a deadline. Seven years ago my husband and I started automatically depositing small amounts monthly into an emergency fund. It came in handy this month when we received an $8,000 special assessment notice to make a repair at our condo building. If it hadn’t been for the emergency fund, I’d be awake at night worrying. Stick to your goal and your future self will thank you!

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