This post was sponsored by Arvest, but all opinions are my own.
I’ve made some pretty big financial goals for myself lately. Some are less exciting, like building up more savings, but also fun ones like a big vacation!
It’s a vacation I’ve been planning for a while. We could go sooner on a budget, but I want to be able to save up enough to go all out. It’s going to be pretty expensive so it’s a big goal but it’s something I’ve been dreaming about for a long time.
This goal is one that I can’t wait for so I’d love to reach it as fast as possible. I’m always looking for ways I can do that and I’d love to share the things that are helping me.
Having financial goals is really important. Goals help motivate us and also give us direction. I use goal setting in my business and personal life all of the time. Over time I’ve picked up a lot of tips to help me set better goals and reach those goals, these are some of my favorites.
Set SMART Goals
SMART goals are a type of goal setting. I learned about it a few years ago in some training for my business. It has totally changed how I goal set and I’m reaching my goals much faster and better because of it.
SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound steps.
- Specific: This is the who, what, why, when, and where of your goals.
- Measurable: How much, how many, and how will I know when I’ve accomplished my goal?
- Attainable: How will I reach my goals and is the goal realistic?
- Realistic: You want to push yourself but also make sure you can reach your goal.
- Time-Bound: Deadlines help us stay motivated.
When you goal set like this instead of just writing down random goals, you are much more likely to meet your goals.
Learn Frugal Skills
Learning how to do a lot of things myself and finding new ways to save on everyday expenses really helps me use my money more wisely and save more.
Recently I shortened some curtains for our bathroom. We could have hired someone to do it but I have a sewing machine so I figured out how to do it myself. Not only does this save money but I feel pretty proud of myself every time I see them. I’m also working on learning how to sew well enough to fix clothing to make it last longer and basic tailoring skills as well.
When something breaks often me or my husband will try and figure out if we can learn to fix it ourselves. I’ve learned how to fix a garbage disposal, some basic plumbing issues, and many other things. My husband learned how to install toilets which ended up saving us a lot of plumbing costs.
There are so many skills you can learn so that you have to hire people a lot less and can save a lot of money! Look at your expenses and see if you are hiring someone to do something you can learn to do yourself.
Related Post: Vintage Homemaking Skills
Keep Track of Your Money
Knowing where your money is going is very important. You can quickly see areas you can save when you do this. For me, I recently noticed I had been spending a lot of money on coffee out.
I enjoy coffee but I can easily make it a lot cheaper at home. I can even make fancy frappes at home. Not only does it save me money to do so but I also use less sugar when I make coffee at home and there is less waste. Since I wasn’t doing it every day, it was easy to lose track of how often it was happening and how much I was spending. By tracking what I spend each month I can see trends like this and make changes.
I have used budget sheets in my planner but this is one thing I find I do better with if I can access it on my phone. I use a basic Numbers (like Excel but for Apple products) and record what I spend throughout the month so I can see places I can save. It’s easy and really useful.
Use Reward Credit Cards
Credit cards can get you in trouble if you don’t use them correctly. Leaving balances on them, spending more than you have, or forgetting to pay them can all lead to big problems. However, when used correctly they can be very beneficial.
Credit Cards that offer rewards can help you get back some of what you are spending and can really help you reach financial goals more quickly. These are some of my tips for using reward credit cards to get the most out of them.
- Pick the right card for you. Cards like the Arvest Credit Card with Arvest Flex Rewards™ have a lot of great benefits. There is no annual fee, $0 balance transfer fee, competitive interest rates, and you can earn bonus points in your first three months and also enjoy other bonus opportunities throughout each year. Plus you get 1 point for each $1 you spend so it can add up quickly.
- Use the card. You won’t get the rewards if you don’t use the card. If your weekly grocery budget is $150 that means 150 points with a program like Arvest Flex Rewards™. That will add up fast and it’s money you are spending anyway.
- Pay off the card each month. To help your credit score and prevent building up debt be sure you pay off your card each month. I pay mine weekly if they have a balance, that way I know I’m staying on top of it.
- Track your spending. Like I said before, keep track of what you are spending on your card. It will help prevent you from overspending and can also help you track your rewards. Use tools like the Arvest Card Manager online portal to see your credit card purchases and rewards points balance.
How you can use reward points is your choice with Arvest Flex Rewards™ you’ll enjoy options like cash back, statement credits, or gift cards. You could even redeem your points towards the trip you may be planning; vacation flights, rental cars, hotels attraction tickets, and more.
I often just use statement credit and put that money I saved into savings. A lot of people like to use rewards for gift cards to save for Christmas to help pay for gifts and other expenses.
The main tip I can give is to pretend the rewards don’t exist so that the money you get back is extra money to use towards your financial goals.
I’m so excited to use all of these tips and rewards to be able to pay for my dream vacation. It’s also great to feel less worried about money because of these financial tips.
Stop by your local Arvest branch in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, or Missouri to learn more about Arvest credit cards and the amazing rewards bonus you can receive!
I’d love to hear about your financial goals and how you would use your rewards from the Arvest Flex Rewards™ program. Share in the comments below.