It’s easy to fall into worry and anxiety especially at this point in time when planning long-term seems to be a notion that’s a little bit farfetched. While we’re almost a year into the “new normal”, in reality, some of us have had different levels of adjustment. But this is no time to just throw caution at the wind. Moreover, we believe that this is the perfect time to make plans and goals.
Right now this pandemic affords us a different kind of perspective, refreshing even. The most important things come into view and priorities are straight and in order. Perhaps you’re starting to realize now how crucial it is to plan financially. If this is the case, let us help you with setting goals that you can stick to–in good times and bad.
 Begin with an End in Mind. A plan without a clear objective is nothing more than a wish. This goes the same for setting goals, especially financial ones.
Are you planning for your children’s education? Marriage? Business? House and car? Retirement? Write them down then begin working on them with what you have, giving yourself ample margin for personal growth in the coming days.
Put a corresponding monetary value on those goals. This is important so you can always be reminded of what you’re working for when you get distracted or if you need motivation.
 Compartmentalize Your Goals According to a Timeline. Try to picture out what it is you’re planning for then set a time frame to meet them. It could be for the next year, five years, ten years, even twenty years.
Any plan that you want to be achieved in the immediate future, beginning today until the next five years is considered short-term goals. Anything longer than that is considered as a long-term goal. Compartmentalizing your financial goals helps you find the right opportunities to prepare for or choose.
Is there a business opportunity that could help you realize your goals within the next five years? Then take it. Preparing for retirement? Perhaps variable universal life insurance (VUL) might make more sense for you.
 Make Your Goals as Realistic as Possible. By now you might be starting to visualize all your dreams coming true. That’s good, but be careful not to drift too far ahead. Being optimistic is helpful in this pandemic and in setting financial goals, but in only in spurts. Because sometimes you can get carried away making unrealistic objectives that will end up disappointing you in the end.
You must always keep a realistic view of your situation, so you can make achievable goals. Making small continuous progress that gets you to where you need to be is healthier for your heart and mind than making big leaps where you can come up short.
 Nothing Is Certain; Except Death, Taxes, and Inflation. The most overlooked fact of life when it comes to setting financial goals is inflation. If unaccounted for, it can mess up your long-term financial decisions.
Inflation is the reason why things seem a lot cheaper back in the day. The same frappe you order at Starbucks used to be just a dollar. Now it’s closer to $5 or ₱200. Imagine if you save up for your kid’s college tuition now. In 15 years, that would not be enough if you don’t account for inflation.
For the past few years, the inflation rate fluctuates between 3-5% a year. A good rule of thumb is to find an investment opportunity, one that yields compounding interest that beats the inflation rate so your money keeps its value.
 Save, Save, Save. This goes beyond just putting aside money for when the rainy days come. It’s good to always have an emergency fund to get you by during tough times. However, it’s in the small details where you truly can find opportunities to accumulate savings down the stretch.
For example, if you’re going to spend on anything, always find a better deal for it. Check out exclusive deals for your debit/credit card when you eat out or shop. Travel during the off-season. Sign up for cash back or coupons. Drop by the discounted aisle when you buy groceries.
They say that we should save for the rainy day. We believe that we should save for both rainy and sunny days. That way, you’re not depriving yourself of the good things in life.
 Take Notes of Your Cashflow. Tracking your cash flow helps to see your progress in achieving your financial goals. If you see that you have a substantial amount of money coming in, you can use this pump up your investments or savings. Inversely, when you see a lot of expenses leaking our, you can cut down unnecessary spendings without dipping into your savings. That should be a final option,
 Surround Yourself with Like-Minded People. This is an underrated tip that not a lot of people take to heart, even those financially savvy ones. By surrounding yourself with people who plan smart with their finances, you have a chance to learn from them. Not only that, you can also receive good advice in successes and failures.
Find mentors who have been through your situation and overcame the odds. Nobody went to the top of their field without people helping them up. This goes the same with realizing your financial goals.
 Recognize patterns and take advantage of them.
Recognizing patterns, which investment opportunities are hot, and which ones to stay away from can mean a world of difference when it comes to the bottom line. Historical data and current events dictate the ebb and flow of investments–whether it be dealing with stocks or in business.
Learn when to put the pedal to the metal and when to dump and walk away. Sometimes we can get our heads stuck being persistent because our pride will take a hit that we disregard where it hits us the most: our pockets.
If you don’t measure progress regularly, you are selling yourself short of getting closer to your targets. If you don’t have enough knowledge and experience for this, find professionals like financial advisors who can help you and learn from them. Doing your own homework is also beneficial in the long run.
Kevin Joshua Ng is a car enthusiast who has written for In The Garage, a trusted resource for car owners in North America. He is also a contributor for eCompareMo.com, the country’s leading and complete comparison portal intended for Filipinos looking for quick, secure, and complete banking and insurance products in the Philippines.