Have you ever set a financial goal but were unable to obtain it due to other financial obligations? If so, you are not alone. My boyfriend has a passion for the homeless and desires to one-day start a uniquely operated homeless shelter. Unfortunately, there is one problem. He does not have the funds to begin this operation. As a recent college graduate, he is responsible to pay for other expenses including a car payment, rent, utilities, various insurances, gasoline, food, tithing, retirement, and other miscellaneous expenses. In addition to those payments, he also pays for most of our dates. All of those expenses hinder him from saving for his long-term goal of founding a new nonprofit.
On September 29, 2017, I made a decision to eliminate myself from his long-list of payments during the month of October. I requested that he refrain from paying for any of my meals or activities and asked that he put our “date money” toward his financial goal. The objective to this strange request was as follows:
Implement a habitual savings routine. Statistics suggest it takes 21 days to develop a new habit; therefore, my hope was that this request would create a satisfactory response in 31 days in order to encourage the behavior of saving for his passion beyond the month of October.
Develop accountability. I believe we are called to encourage and assist our brothers and sisters in Christ to reach their goals. Below are a variety of Bible verses emphasizing the importance of accountability.
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” – Proverbs 27:17
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will life up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to life him up! Again, if two live together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him – a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” – Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Throughout the thirty-one days in October, my boyfriend’s savings account has slightly increased, but his motivation has risen substantially. Prior to October, my boyfriend would go out to eat at least four times a week, but when I challenged him to save our date money, he not only saved our date money but cut back on self-spending as well. This small exercise demonstrated that all goals face an opportunity cost; and to my boyfriend, his opportunity to accomplish this goal of starting a nonprofit far outweighs his alternatives.
If you have a financial goal that you would like to accomplish but feel it is unattainable then (1) set short-term goals that coincides with your long-term goal and (2) seek out an accountability partner. In addition to those two steps, use the guidelines below to help you complete your financial goals:
Step 1: Set specific goals you can control.
Step 2: Set clearly defined goals.
Step 3: Only set goals that you are passionate about pursuing.
Step 4: Understand and pursue “end goals” through the use of “means goals.”
Step 5: Use goals to harvest the benefit from focusing on the right things.
Step 6: Set goals that do not harm other areas in life.
Remember, all goals face an opportunity cost, but short-term discipline could be the stepping stone in establishing long-term satisfaction. A quote by Jim Rohn illustrates, “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment”. Best of luck as you pursue your financial goals!
R3 Coaching. (n.d.). Retrieved October 25, 2017, from http://right3.com/