Setting achievable personal financial goals is important, but how you set those goals is equally important, writes Roger Wohlner for thestreet.com.
Some examples of financial goals include:
- Paying off credit card debt
- Creating an emergency fund
- Saving for retirement
- Saving for college
- Living below your means
Goals can be highly focused over one to three years, like buying a new car.
They can be thee to 10 years, like a down payment for a house, or paying off student debt.
Long-term goals like saving for retirement can stretch 20 years or more, using funding tools like compound growth and tax deferral.
Here are six steps to help you figure out your goals and achieve them.
1. Decide what’s Important to you financially
This should be the foundation of your longer-term financial goals and should be kept in mind when setting short-term and intermediate-term goals.
2. Be Sure the Goal Is Measurable
How will you know if you’ve reached your goal if there isn’t a number attached to it?
3. Be Sure the Goal Includes a Time Frame
You need to assign yourself an amount of time to achieve your goal.
4. Establish a Budget
How much do you want to spend to achieve your goal? What do you need for monthly living expenses and how much is left over to put toward financial goals?
5. Monitor Your Progress
Keep track of your progress to ensure you’re still on target.
6. Adjust as Needed
Be ready for changes in life. Goals may need to change or other adjustments made to your spending to get back on track.
Just getting a paycheck and spending randomly doesn’t allow you to focus on what’s important to you and your family.
Setting financial goals provides a framework for determining what is important to you financially and what is required to achieve these financial milestones.