Saving money for the future has been reiterated for the longest time, but how do you actually get to start saving your money? First of all, you need to know what it is that you want to achieve, how long it will take and the steps you need to undertake to achieve it.

After establishing what is important to you, you need to figure out what is achievable in the different time spans by implementing a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely) strategy, coupled with a tight budget to achieve it and then you can start saving religiously.

Given the fact that goals are more deliberate than desires, you cannot rely only on luck when it comes to your finances. They can start off as desires alright, but they have to morph into an action plan that leads to something real.

Here are 8 financial goals that everyone should make a priority;

1. Have a realistic budget

This cannot be emphasized any further as it sets or breaks your financial plan. This is because budgets clearly define the amount of income and fixed expenses you have as well as informing you of your financial limits.

2. Have an emergency fund

This should be everyone’s priority as it has long term financial benefits. Financial experts say three months of liquidity is the minimum standard, but more is better.

An emergency fund will also cushion the blow in the event of an unforeseen emergency such as a job loss or a large medical expense as well as providing you with an intermediate funding source

3. Live below your means

This is self-explanatory. If you spend less than your income, you get savings and if you spend more than you make, you get debts. Work within your budget and maintain the lifestyle you can afford as this means that you’ll have plenty of income for savings, investments as well as debt payment.

4. Get out of debt

Anyone can do this and should be a must do regardless of your source of income or wealth level. And if you want to get the most out of your finances, it’s a requirement that you get out of debt.

Getting out of debt leaves you with more money for savings and investing as well as freeing your mind of the worry and stress that comes with debt because it is difficult to achieve financial freedom if you always have bad debt hanging over your shoulder.

5. Improve your credit score

 In order to get anything that requires a loan, it’s always helpful to qualify for a lower interest rate. Credit scores are risk assessments and markers that allow a financial institution to check your reliability of paying off debt on time hence an improved credit score saves you money by qualifying you for lower interest rates.

6. Plan and save for retirement

When you work towards early retirement, your retirement investment portfolio becomes front loaded and this gives you a larger portfolio early. Planning for retirement is also crucial because poor health could make early retirement a necessity and if you had planned earlier, then you will be ready.

7. Have multiple income streams

Try to always make more than you consume. Find multiple passive incomes to boost and improve your current income as this becomes a form of income insurance. This could be from offering a service, your skill set or starting another side business. The more you have, the better, as you need to know if you are making enough money for all the above money functions.

8. Plan to leave your financial house in order when you die

Death is part of the human experience of life and so it should be expected and planned for accordingly.

Make adequate allocations for those who depend on your financial resources and make sure all your debts are paid as well as set an example of good financial management to your loved ones.

You should also discuss the financial implications of your death with your loved ones, to make sure that they all understand your intentions after you are gone and also iron out any insecurities they may have when you are still around.