To be successful in the things we set out to do in life, we need to set goals.
When we create a clear strategy, getting what we want becomes easier, because we can reduce the main goal into many small steps to be taken and easier to achieve. Managing our finances is no exception.
To start off on the right foot and simplify your work – making it even more fun – you need a money goal chart.
The Money Goal Thermometer
A savings tracker – also known as a money goal thermometer, o money goal chart – is an integral part of any personal finance management.
A savings tracker helps you motivate yourself
keeping track of your progress, allowing you to stay on course, through the visualization of your milestones and your goals.
Saving becomes like a game, and that is why from an early age you should learn how to create your own money charts.
The thermometer, as I show you in the image, is only a variant.
You can give space to your imagination as you see fit and draw your chart freehand, with special software, by modifying images downloaded from the web … it can be a jar, a piggy bank, you can also use a spreadsheet if the too imaginative or elaborate designs are not for you!
How to Use the Money Goal Chart
The purpose of the tracker is to save you more money, allocating it to specific purposes and dividing the main objective (e.g. buying a new car) into many small, more easily accessible steps.
To create one money goal tracker, you basically need two things:
Establish a goal. First, you need to have a goal in mind, like the example of the new car. Coaching teaches us that the goal must be S.M.A.R.T., i.e. specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and clearly defined over time.
This means you have to answer the questions “Does even a child understand what I want?”, “Can I prove that I have achieved the goal?”, “Is it something I can really achieve?”, “I really care, is it useful to me? “, “By when I intend to reach it, do I have a clear deadline?”
For these reasons, buying A new car is not good, you have to specify WHICH ONE, how much does it cost, how long do you intend to buy it. Will you put your money away every month? Every week? Everyday? You decide!
Set up benchmarks for success. At this point, you can start, dividing the expense by the time you have set. It is always a good idea to also use an image to associate, perhaps cutting it out from a newspaper, because our brain is highly visual and if it often sees an image and knows we like it, being programmed to achieve our goals it will help us enormously to reach them.
Why Create a Saving Tracker?
Raise your hand if you have received a good financial education at home since childhood.
I’m not surprised to see hardly any!
This is why when we become adults we often find ourselves uncomfortable with money, if not really in trouble.
In this regard, a great way to use a savings tracker is precisely to eliminate the debts that you have, through consolidation work that makes them more manageable.
Always remember that we tend to spend money in an emotional way, so having a chart that takes into account what we have to save, how much and when helps us a lot to eliminate the emotional part of money management.
Also, let’s face it, having your own target is fun, stimulating, motivating!
Seeing your result approaching day by day gives you an incredible charge, increases confidence in your abilities, and pushes you, once achieved, to broaden your vision and set more and more ambitious goals, a sure way to success in every area.
Together Is Better Than Alone!
Reaching your savings goals can sometimes be (or seem) too difficult. This can lead you to renounce and give up even before you’ve tried.
But no one said you have to do it all by yourselves!
You can share your money chart with friends and relatives for help by asking them to help you out.
This turns out to be a winning strategy for everyone: how many times have you had to make a gift for an anniversary and don’t know what to give or what budget to use?
In this way, you take people away from any embarrassment and make them happy because they will know that their contribution will surely be appreciated.
Not to mention that everyone, perhaps giving you an envelope with the money, can write you an accompanying note, in which you can often find appreciation, advice and further motivation.
Furthermore, by letting it be known that you are pursuing a particular goal, you not only put yourself in a position to increase your chances of success, but you publicly declare that you are committed.
This is a very important psychological lever, because, as psychologist Robert Cialdini explains, one of the six fundamental principles of persuasion is that of commitment and consistency.
When we declare to someone else what we want to do, we are then tied to the bad idea that others will have of us if we do not keep our word.
Many times this alone is enough to keep us from giving up!
Do you want to give satisfaction to those who have always told you that you can’t accomplish anything? Hell no!
To get results it is important to write down our goals and monitor them over time: to do this, money charts help us.
You can create yours in any way you want: it will help you stay focused and keep motivation high and you can also share it with whoever you want to get help and make a commitment to go all the way.
Have you ever achieved goals thanks to a money thermometer? Let me know in the comments below!