Goal Action Ideas for Finance Goals

Today we're continuing our Goal Action Ideas series with a Finance edition, supplying you with a bank of ideas for your Tending Lists on that topic. Like all overwhelming things, cultivating a stronger, more streamlined financial life is done through embracing little by little progress, and digging in even when things seem messy. I'd love to hear YOUR ideas, so please drop them in the comments! (In fact, many of the ideas in this post came from awesome PowerSheets users in our Facebook group!)

Though I've loved all of the topics we've covered in this series, I most definitely have a soft spot for today's. First, because I am extremely passionate about the freedom that comes from having your financial house in order, and therefore so happy to be your enthusiastic tour guide in this world. Second, because finances can just be an icky subject–one that feels too complicated, too stuck, too hopeless to make any progress on.

There is SO much hope here, though, friends! As with everything, little by little progress is the name of the game–sometimes with a few big leaps along the way. I've compiled our best action ideas for finance goals below, and I hope it encourages you to dig in where you are!

Monthly Goals:

  • Do a comprehensive review of your finances and set a goal to work toward
  • Sign up for Financial Peace University or a similar personal finance course (PS users suggested Wallet Win!)
  • Read a personal finance book (try Total Money Makeover, The Financial Diet, Love Your Life Not Theirs, or The Millionaire Next Door - or tell us your favorite in the comments!)
  • Make a budget (see our tips here)
  • Choose a way to track your budget (more ideas here - consider an app like YNAB, Mint, Good Budget, or Every Dollar Counts)
  • Set up an initial review meeting with a financial planner (either in person or an online option like Learnvest)
  • Set up a retirement account (either a 401k if offered through your work or an IRA)
  • Total all of your debt, especially if you have multiple sources (this will give you a goal to work toward!)
  • Choose a financial mantra to keep you motivated and post it somewhere you'll see it every day (we suggest your refrigerator)
  • Similarly, choose a picture that represents your biggest financial goal and post it somewhere you'll see it every day
  • Increase your retirement contribution
  • Comb through your expenses from the last month and look for areas where you can cut back
  • Create a visual countdown of your debt and post it prominently where the whole family can see it (more paying down debt tips here)
  • Open a charitable giving account (donor-advised fund) to streamline and maximize your generosity
  • Open an account designated as an emergency fund and seed it with an initial deposit
  • Make a plan to fully fund an emergency fund (most experts recommend three to six months of expenses)
  • Purge your social media accounts: unfollow accounts that contribute to feelings of lack or make you want to spend money!
  • Take our friend Nancy's Contentment Challenge

Weekly Goals:

  • Listen to an episode of a personal finance podcast (Cultivate readers suggested Entreeleadership and Matrimoney!)
  • Sit down with your significant other (or yourself!) and review the week's budget and spending
  • Purge a room of your house (this helps identify waste, cultivate contentment, and curb spending)
  • Update your budget
  • Pay bills
  • Unsubscribe from sales emails
  • Sell something (and put the money toward debt or a savings goal)

Daily Goals:

  • No spending
  • Express gratitude

These are just a few suggestions for items to add to your PowerSheets Tending List each month to make progress on your finance goals for the year!

If you are looking for another great resource for getting started on your financial goals, please allow us to introduce our Finance Goal Guide!

We'd love to hear from you: what else would you add to this list?

Show Comments (9)
  1. Carley

    This is a big goal for me in 2018! I'll be sticking to a 0 dollar budget, using the envelope system and the app Goodbudget to keep track. I have my emergency savings in a different bank with no checking account/debit card connected. I also opened savings accounts in my regular bank for gifts/holidays funds, personal growth funds (bible studies, simplified planner, powersheets, conferences), and vacation funds so that I can deposit monthly amounts through out the year and not have to scrape up money when I need it. I take an annual cabin trip with friends every New Years, so instead of having to find that money in fall to book, I can save up little by little through out the year! I am also planning to start the contentment challenge in January! I have learned that telling myself that I can't buy anything extra doesn't work, I need to cultivate a love and gratitude for the things I already own. Thanks for sharing!

    • Emily

      I love all of these ideas, Carley! Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Kelly

      These are awesome Carley! Cheering you on!!

  2. Liz

    I LOVE THIS!! Replacing my discontent and careless spending habits with careful budgeted choices and gratitude is so so key. It’s totally mindset first for me! Put off, put on. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  3. Kelly

    I love your finance posts Emily! I’m continually rereading your insight on your personal blog all the time. This is an area as a young professional in my first year of work I feel I can make some strides on. These posts always keep me going. Thanks for the suggestions!! I’ll be working toward saving for future goals, such as a home :)

  4. Grace

    Emily your advice is always on point and laid out clearly. I’m doing the contentment challenge as well as looking for a job. Selling things is always a good thing to do.

  5. Anna Barnes
    Anna Barnes

    Has anyone else found even the idea of finances and following a budget stressful? I know I have! However, lately I have been reminding myself of how great both my husband and I have handled our finances in the past when we were studying and also when we had our babies and were on one income. We CAN do it! I truly believe that it all begins with a heart of gratitude, contentment and generosity. Whilst we can have all of the budgeting tools and resources available to keep us on track (and these are all great, and a wonderful idea to keep you accountable), I truly believe that the first step is cultivating a heart that finds contentment in the now, gratitude for what we already have and an abundance of generosity from what we steward well. This will be my first step in 2018 for cultivating a life of less and of giving more.

  6. Ashley Ziegler
    Ashley Ziegler

    This is such a helpful post! My husband and I are really attacking our debt & finances in 2018!

  7. Monica Anderson
    Monica Anderson

    This is my biggest goal next to growing my faith. I have always allowed others to manage my finances, my husband, my mother. Now it is time for me to manage my own finances, better understand credit, plan and save to open my business, invest in real estate. The activities that are list in this post are my first steps and I’m really nervous to start on this journey.

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