For a large number of Americans, budgeting and personal finance are difficult. According to some recent surveys and statistics, 1/3 or more of Americans don’t keep a budget, and over half have less than $1,000 in the bank. It’s hard to achieve your financial goals and life dreams, without good fiscal planning.

Fortunately, there are ways for people to learn good budgeting and financial planning. Personal budgeting software has come a long way, offering numerous ways to understand your spending, stick to a budget, and plan for the future.

How You Can Achieve Your Dreams with The Help of Personal Budgeting Software

1. Have concrete goals

What would define “success” for you? A large family? A luxurious lifestyle? A more moderate, sustainable life? Having clear long-term goals will motivate and guide you.

2. Know your current financial situation

Every journey begins with a first step. Add up your income, savings, and major assets (like home, car, stocks, etc.) to understand your current situation. Doing so will help you realistically plan for the future.

3. Know the costs of your goals

Even if exact prices will change over time, you can still set ballpark estimates of what your major goals will cost. Use these as guidelines in your planning.

4. Break your goals down into smaller steps

Large long-term goals can seem imposing, and sometimes “impossible” to achieve.  The trick is to break those goals down into smaller, manageable milestones. For example, if you want a big family, you’ll want a big house. To get a big house, you need to save for a down payment. To get a down payment, you need to save money month-to-month. Now that big goal is broken down into monthly steps. Be as detailed in your breakdowns as you can.

5. Be S.M.A.R.T!

SMART stands for goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic/Relevant and Time-Bound. In other words, pick goals that are concrete, well-defined, realistically obtainable, and achievable within a reasonable time frame.  Looking at goals this way can help you tell the difference between pipe dreams (“going to the Moon”) and honestly achievable life goals (“owning my own home.”)

6. Share your plans to get motivation

Don’t keep your dreams and goals to yourself. Sharing them with friends and family can provide you a source of motivation when times get tough.

7. Seek help from qualified planners

You don’t have to go it alone. Through a combination of personal budgeting software and direct consultation with experts, almost anyone can achieve their life goals.

Our Personal Budgeting Software Can Help

To learn more about CalendarBudget and to get started with planning your budget, sign up to begin your free 30-day trial.