There are some financial goals that could be beneficial for us all.

Americans are notoriously bad with money. We have too much debt, we don’t save enough money, and most of us don’t even have one month’s income saved in case of an emergency. While you may not have a specific financial goal in mind, like saving up for a down payment or for retirement, there are some financial goals that we should all strive to achieve.

#1. Make a budget.

Before you can reach any other financial goals, whether they be to get out of debt or save money, you need to make a budget to figure out how much money you have to work with. Making a budget will also help you to learn where your money is going. Once you make your budget, then comes the really important part: sticking to it. If you have trouble managing your money, you might find more success if you put your credit cards away and use cash instead. Once cash is gone, it’s gone, but when you use a card, it’s a lot easier to overspend.

#2. Identify where you are overspending.

We all have weaknesses that cost us money and prevent us from reaching our greater financial goals. The first step towards trimming your budget and living below your means is to identify the things you can cut down on. For instance, if you always go out to lunch, try preparing your lunch at home and taking it with you to work. Or maybe you are paying for a full cable television package and you only like to watch a few shows. Downgrade your cable package to just the shows you need, or better yet, cancel the entire subscription and sign up for a streaming service instead.

#3. Learn how to manage your money.

There’s a reason why so many Americans struggle with managing their money, and it’s not because it’s overly easy or straightforward. In fact, some of the most notable people in the United States have famously struggled with money. The ability to manage money is not a skill that people are naturally born with, and in order to learn how to manage your money wisely, it’s going to take some effort on your part. But luckily, there are lots of ways to learn how to manage money, including enrolling in a money management class, reading a book on money management, subscribing to a financial blog or newsletter and working with a financial advisor.

#4. Work towards living below your means.

Most Americans live far beyond their means, which is also why most Americans don’t save enough money and are carrying debt. Learning how to live below your means is the only way to start working towards getting ahead by saving money and paying off your debt. If you can learn to live on less, then you’ll feel like you always have plenty of income, even if it’s been a few years since you got a raise.

#5. Build up an emergency fund.

An American Psychological Association poll found that 72 percent of Americans have money-related stress. If you are one of them, you’ll be glad to know that you can help to reduce a bit of that stress by building up an emergency fund. If you don’t have an emergency fund in place, what would happen if you lost your job, got sick, got hurt or experienced some other emergency? Being prepared for the worst can help to ease some of your stress. An emergency fund is a great short term financial goal that can help to build your confidence in reaching bigger, longer term goals in the future.

Download GoalPlus, the best financial planning app available today, and be sure to stay tuned for our next blog to learn about more financial goals everyone could benefit from.