Start an ‘opportunity fund’ for goals that will bring you happiness, experts say. Here’s why

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1.  Treat money as a tool

Start by getting clear on what you want to achieve and when . From there, start to identify what kind of contributions you may need to help achieve your goals.

“Money is just a tool to help you achieve success, however you define it .

2. Match your investments to your goals

The time horizon you identify for what you want to achieve should help guide where you save or invest the money to pay for those items on your to-do list.

That may include creating a separate strategy for three- to five-year goals apart from emergency or retirement funds, which may include high-yield savings accounts or bonds

However, McClanahan said it can be OK to keep liquid funds for both emergencies or near-term life goals together.

For goals less than five years away, there’s no reason to invest that in the stock market

3. Celebrate small wins

Regardless of your financial goal, making progress can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. That makes it important to regularly celebrate small wins

For example, if you have credit card debt and put all of your free cash flow toward paying those balances down, it will feel very much like a diet.

“It’s going to be emotionally straining,” ..“You’ll probably relapse in three months and go back to your old ways.”

Instead, if you allocate a certain amount of funds to ways to celebrate your progress — say by buying dinner out after paying down a credit card balance — you will still be able to enjoy your money while working toward your goals.

“Your mindset matters,” .. “If we focus only on the money part of life, and we forget about our mindset and our psychology, we’re never going to start creating the change or success that we want to see.”

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