Keeping good records, setting goals in new year

Published 4:50 am Wednesday, January 14, 2004

By Staff
Records are very important. There are many instances that records are needed, however, they are no where to be found.
Don't be caught off guard in 2004. Get organized. Stop by the County Extension office (behind Southern Pine) in Brewton and the Atmore Public Library, Central Farm Supply, also in Atmore and pick up your free copies of the following pamphlets:
The 2004 Money Management Calendars
The calendars will assist you in planning and controlling your family's expenses.
Records and Important Papers
This pamphlet will help you keep an inventory of all your important records in one handy place. Don't forget to pick up extra copies for family and friends.
Six Steps to Financial Security (Goal Setting)
Most individuals and families are seeking financial security. But financial security is a vague term. We all put a different price tag on it. For some people to be financially secure it would require a large nest egg stashed away some place, for others it might require a debt free existence, and yet for others money to send their children to college.
Researchers from the University of Missouri found that perceived adequacy of family income contributed more to satisfaction with life than did the family's actual income.
Whatever your definition of financial security the following six steps can help you reach it.
Step 1: Fix in your mind exactly what it will take to make you financially secure. If you will write out what is needed for you to be financially secure, you are on the way toward achieving your goal.
Step 2: Determine exactly what you are willing to give up in return for your desired goal of financial security.
Step 3: Set a specific date for reaching your financial goal. Picture in your mind that date and see yourself having achieved financial security as you defined it. Talk about your goal to a few selected people who will encourage you as you work to achieve it.
Step 4: Develop a plan for reaching your financial goal. Break your plan in to small pieces. For instance if your goal is to accumulate a $100,000 nest egg, you will need to set smaller goals. This year you may be able to accumulate $500 to $1,000 toward your goal. Invest this money then next year accumulate another $500 to $1,000.
Your goal might be a college degree or an advanced degree. A first step would be to review colleges or university catalogs and apply for admission to the institution of your choice.
Then follow that step by enrolling for a course. Once you have made a plan, act on it immediately. Begin saving money for your nest egg or begin collecting information on colleges. There will never be a better time to start than now.
Step 5: Write out your goal. Write a clear concise statement of what you intend to accomplish and by what date you intend to do it. Write out your plan in small steps. You will save X amount by December 2004 or by December 2004 you will have been admitted to the college or university of your choice.
Step 6: Read the statement of your goal at least once each day and check your progress. What have you done today to move you toward accomplishing your goal? As you read it, see yourself having achieved it. What you repeat to yourself you will soon learn to believe, and believing you can do it is half of the battle.
Remember a winning attitude is an important part of obtaining any goal.

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