Whether it’s saving for a lavish vacation or getting out of debt, most of us have financial goals. Setting those goals is fairly easy; seeing them through is a bit more difficult. To help achieve your money goals, apply the “gas or brake” test to your everyday spending decisions.
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LearnVest describes this method, as recommended by author Jacob Lund Fisker. When faced with a money decision, imagine you’re driving a car and the destination is your goal. Then, ask yourself: will that money decision drive you closer to your goal (stepping on the gas) or momentarily send you to a halt (hitting the brakes)?
It’s a metaphor for simply asking yourself whether or not a decision will support your overall financial goal. And I don’t think it suggests you should never hit the brakes. For example, if I want to go out to dinner, yes, it takes away from my overall goal to reach financial independence. What’s more important (and realistic) than never enjoying a splurge is being aware of your splurges, budgeting for them, and accounting for it in your goal’s time frame.
Fisker’s method is a really simple one, but I like it for that reason. It makes you stop and think about how your everyday decisions might impact the big picture. Also, it’s helpful to link your abstract, future goals with the present, which feels more concrete. Check out the full post at the link below.