Last week on the Young Adults Perspective series, we talked about how to get back on track financially after a major setback. This week, we will continue to talk about the financial future, but with a positive focus of financial goals in mind. One of the best ways to ensure healthy spending practices is to set financial goals. When you have a specific purpose in mind for your money, you can better plan how you want to spend and save it. Knowing you are chipping away at a future expense by saving is an incredibly satisfying feeling. In this post, we will cover goals setting, and explain the differences between long-term and short-term goals, as well as strategies you should use depending on how much time you have to save.
A long-term goal is typically described as any goal that takes more than a year to accomplish. Typically, long-term financial goals are larger, more expensive projects, like purchasing a vehicle or a home, paying for a special event like a wedding, or saving for college. Since they are more costly and take longer to achieve, they are more difficult to save for because, as last week’s post discussed, life can get in the way and throw off a financial plan.
A short-term goal is a something you wish to accomplish within a year of setting it. For the purposes of this post, we will use six months as a typical time frame. When you start planning for short-term goals, having less time means you have less time to save, but it also means that building a plan is easier. There are fewer expenses, both expected and unexpected, to try to work around, which can make planning a budget an easier task. It’s important to note that not all short-term goals will or should take you a full six-months to achieve. Some financial goals can be met in a matter of weeks with a good strategy. Some examples might be buying new clothes and jewelry, a new television, or a nice gift for a family member or friend.
Creating financial goals is simple, though it does require more planning and effort than you think. Here are some key steps:
It may require some changes to your budget and lifestyle, but saving towards financial goals is possible, especially if you are willing to work towards them. The CESI Team is committed to helping you reach your financial goals. If debt keeps you from living the life you dream of, contact us for a free debt analysis today and get started on the road to a brighter future!
Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI) is a non-profit service provider of comprehensive personal financial education and solutions for all life stages and for all of life’s milestones. Our goal is enhanced economic security for everyone we serve.
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