As an ambitious, action taking women, you may have ideas about what you want out of life – your hopes, dreams, and big scary goals. You may also have no idea and you’re just figuring it out along the way, and that’s okay too. I’ve been in both places at different points in my life.
Wherever you are on your own journey with setting financial goals, how about sharing and setting goals with your spouse? This is goal setting on a whole other level! Adding in another person’s opinions and beliefs isn’t always a piece of cake.
But think about it – when’s the last time you took a step back from the day to day and talked about the big picture with your spouse? Through my own experiences and those of my clients, I’ve learned that this is such an important part of financial planning because it helps inform how you set up and manage your finances.
Having that clarity around your desired outcome will help you to create strategies, systems, and habits that will work for YOU so that you can live your best and most authentic life.
I’m going to share some exercises that I’ve used personally and with my clients, and that you can use with your spouse to get the financial goal setting conversation flowing:
Envision your life in ____ years.
This is a great exercise for helping open your mind to big picture thinking. Start long term, 20 years, for example. What does your life look like in 20 years? Who are you with, where are you, what are you doing, what does career, family, and fun life look life?
Take the time to write your answers down, whatever comes to mind! This exercise is meant to express your dreams and ideal scenario, so even if you feel like something isn’t possible, I don’t care, write it down anyway.
Repeat this exercise for 10 years, 5 years, this year. Write down all your answers and have your spouse do the same. When you’re done, share your answers and talk about them together.
Make a bucket list
This is another goodie and is especially helpful in thinking about all the fun experiences you want to have in life. You can make your own bucket list and a bucket list that you share with your spouse. Don’t overthink this, just ‘stream of conscious’ write down all of the things you want to accomplish in your lifetime.
So what came to mind?! Make sure to share and discuss your list with your spouse.
Do a core values exercise
I loveeee all things core values. Knowing my top 5 values helps me to stay true to what is truly important in life. This is the exercise I did. My top 5 values are: freedom, close relationships, growth, service, and playfulness.
It takes about 15 minutes. After you’re done, share with your spouse. Talk about how these values relate to your finances and your life. How are you living in your values currently? Are there things you want to be doing to live a more values-driven life? How does all this apply to your finances?
Make your goals financial
Now that you have done some big picture thinking, it’s time to take your hopes and dreams and turn them into a financial goal. A good financial goal includes 2 components: a time frame in which you’d like to accomplish your goal, and a dollar amount of how much it will cost to meet your goal.
For example, maybe your goal is to travel. Well, how often do you want to travel, and how much does it cost?
How often? Annually, obviously.
How much? Well, I want to take an international trip and 3 domestic trips, and I estimate that will cost $6,000 per year, for example.
Make your goals actionable
Some of your goals may still feel too big. If this is the case, it’s time to break it down, sister.
Think about the first small and easy step to take action on a goal. Make it as simple and easy as possible.
For example, maybe you want to have $20,000 saved for cash reserves. Make your first step to set up a separate savings account so that money isn’t in your checking account, where you’re tempted to spend it. Again, something simple and easy. Make sense?!
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If you’re finding these exercises difficult, you’re in need of a mediator between yourself and your spouse, or you just want some accountability to make sure you’re making progress on your financial goals, I am here for you. You don’t have to do this alone. Schedule a 30 minute money chat with me, and we can talk this through!