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Too Many Financial New Year’s Goals for 2011? Just Pick One

A New Year is supposed to be about a fresh beginning. You set goals and renew your efforts to improve yourself. Inevitably, this list of goals includes those have to do with finances. Unfortunately, as we list out goal after goal, it starts to become overwhelming. This is especially true as we begin to think of all the things we’d like to do with our finances.

For 2011, though, you might be able to simplify things significantly if you set one financial goal to work on. Goals like pay down debt, build an emergency fund and learn to invest are all great, but they can be overwhelming – and vague. Instead of trying to do everything all at once, you can determine what your most important financial goal should be for the coming year, and focus on that.

This doesn’t mean that you neglect other aspects of your personal finances; you should still manage your money prudently. If you have been putting money into a retirement account each month, you should keep doing that. There are many reasons to be optimistic about money matters in 2011, so I simply suggest that you find a way to work on a specific “big” financial goal in 2011, improving your situation.

Breaking it Down

When you choose one financial goal to work on in the new year, you can break it down into something more manageable. Evaluate your finances (be brutally honest about where you stand – and what could be different) and base your goal on something that is achievable in your financial situation. This can be paying down $10,000 worth of debt, or beefing up your emergency fund to hold six months of expenses.

No matter your goal, it is important to create a plan that can help you achieve it. Identify the steps you need to take to reach your goal over the next 12 months, and then create an action plan to make it happen. By focusing on one major financial overhaul this year, you are more likely to meet your goals, improving your finances in the process.

If you had to pick one goal for 2011 to get your finances in better shape, what would it be?

Photography courtesy of iUnique Fx ©

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