Financial Goals: How to Set

May 24, 2023 By Susan Kelly

As you start to think about establishing and maintaining your financial objectives, it is common for you to have feelings of being lost or overwhelmed. First, please answer the following question: how would you describe success? Some people define success as having an opulent lifestyle with a large home and an expensive automobile. For some people, it's having enough financial stability not to worry about their finances. Imagine where you want to be in the future and make goals for yourself that are in line with the values that you hold dear. When formulating a strategy, be careful to provide space for accomplishing short-term objectives. Here is a guide on how to set financial goals.

Find Your Inspiration

Consider what you want to achieve and the reasons behind your desire to do it. Putting your objectives in context and giving yourself a purpose to work towards them will help you stay motivated. Take, for instance:

Create an emergency fund large enough to cover your rent payment if you are laid off.

Pay off your credit card debt so that you may use your money towards paying for your wedding rather than the interest on the bill.

Examine Your Situation

After considering it, you could find that you have many objectives in mind and are unsure what the next step should be. Or maybe you don't have any definite objectives in mind. It's all good. Taking stock of where you are in the here and now may help you go on the right track toward achieving your goals, whether those are short-term, long-term, or not.

First, you should evaluate your income, current tax position, budget, and net worth. Steve Martin says, "Having a knowledge of these four things will help establish goals and help prioritize those goals." The following are some examples of financial objectives that might be pursued, and we advocate tackling them in the following order:

Create a Budget

If you do not already have a budget, you should create one. This may help you achieve your other objectives by stopping you from overpaying and not conserving enough money. The 50/30/20 budgeting technique is one that we recommend using. This implies setting aside fifty percent of your income for essentials, thirty percent for luxuries, and twenty percent for financial security and debt reduction.

Build an Emergency Fund

If you suffer a severe financial setback, such as the loss of your job or an unexpectedly high medical cost, having a solid emergency reserve may serve as a safety net. We strongly suggest you put away at least $500, which should cover your costs for three to six months.

Think 'SMART'

Think about all of the important aspects of the strategy, not just the end result but also the actions that will get you there. According to Quentara Costa, a good foundation for defining any objective is to make sure that it is "SMART":

  • Specific Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Measurable
  • Time-bound

Suppose you want to take a trip following COVID, so you start saving money. Organize the specifics before moving on to the next step: Choose a location, settle on a time frame for your trip, and calculate the associated expenses. Consider your current income, savings, and spending level while making this determination. Is it possible for you to achieve this goal? If the objective seems unattainable, you should try to modify the plan before giving up on it.

It's possible that you won't be able to accumulate enough money for a vacation in the next six months. You may speed up your progress by delaying the completion of your goal by one year, automating your savings, or opening a new savings account that offers a greater interest rate and a bonus for signing up.

Write Them Down

Write out your objectives once you've determined them and given them some thought. This may help keep goals organized, straightforward, and within reach. Use a worksheet, a spreadsheet, or a notepad to record the information. Check in regularly and keep tabs on your progress. After you've achieved one of your objectives, it's time to move on to the next one.

Treat Yourself

Defining one's objectives does not have to be a laborious process. Reward yourself whenever you achieve a goal or make progress towards one. After you've accomplished high-priority goals like establishing an emergency fund, putting money down for retirement, and paying down debt, you can focus on more interesting objectives. These goals might be examples of making more money, investing it, working from home, starting a company, or saving up for a significant purchase such as a laptop, vehicle, or house.

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