Having specific financial goals is an important step to becoming financially secure. Though not all financial goals are the same, and therefore they cannot be treated the same. Setting priorities and timeframes are elements to solid financial goal setting.
Short-term financial goals address your immediate expenses―things you will spend money on in the next few months or coming year. Short-term financial goals include paying for:
- Living expenses, like rent and necessary insurance.
- Saving an adequate emergency fund.
- Wants or luxury purchases, like a new camera or piece of furniture.
- Saving for a vacation or wedding.
- Paying down debt, like student loans.
Long-term financial goals are your big-picture costs and will typically take several years or decades to reach. Long-term financial goals include:
- Paying off your mortgage.
- Saving for retirement.
- Saving for your child’s college tuition.
Some financial goals will take longer to reach than typical short-term goals but can be achieved more quickly than larger, more expensive long-term goals. These mid-term financial goals will vary by person but may include buying a new car outright or putting down a significant car down payment, saving for a house down payment, or saving a nest egg to start a business.
Setting Priorities and Timeframes
There are certain financial goals that are simply more important than others. Meeting your immediate needs, having emergency savings, saving for retirement, and paying off debt are top priorities.
Once you’ve determined what your short and long-term financial goals are, it is important to then prioritize those goals. When your financial goals will be met will depend on your budget. Based on your budget you should know exactly what you plan to save each month. While unexpected expenses may arise occasionally, that should not throw your budget out the window (especially when you have emergency savings to draw from to cover unexpected emergency expenses).
Reaching a milestone financial goal is a rewarding experience. Following a budget isn’t always easy. Saving when you want a new phone, running shoes, and a $5 latte isn’t always easy. But living debt-free, paying for your new couch outright, and knowing that your retirement will be fully-funded makes the commitment to budgeting worth it. Stay focused on your goals.
We hope you found this guidance on financial goal setting helpful as you begin your journey to becoming a savvy saver!
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The Law Office of Barbara B. Braziel helps people get out of debt. We offer free consultations to people of Savannah, GA and the surrounding areas, including Richmond Hill, Hinesville, Pooler, Port Wentworth, Tybee Island, Clyo, Ellabel, Midway, Ludowici, Springfield, Pembroke, Brooklet, and Garden City.
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