Here are some sample short and long-term goals, as well as action steps to take to help you achieve them.
But first – make sure you have a budget in place to help you stay on track toward attaining your financial goals. If you need help starting and sticking with a budget, check out this article, “How to Set Up a Budget,” from The Balance.
A short-term goal takes less than a year to complete. What is something you want to do in 2019? How are you going to get there?
GOAL: Pay my monthly bills on time.
- Set up auto-pay through your bank or credit union, or via an online account with the company.
- Create a bill calendar with a monthly overview of all due dates, including annual bills, too.
- Store copies of bills or receipts in folders labeled “To Be Paid” and “Paid” to stay organized.
GOAL: Build an emergency fund of at least $500.
- Open a savings account with no or low minimum balance.
- Identify one expense to cut back on and another to eliminate to save $40 to $50 a month.
- Set up an automated transfer of that $40 to $50 saved to savings every month.
Typically, long-term goals are a year or longer, usually five to ten years. What do you want your life to look like in 10 years? What can you do now to make that future a reality?
GOAL: Pay off X amount of credit card debt in Y years.
- Create a list of all outstanding debt, including the amounts owed and interest rates.
- Craft a debt repayment plan using the debt avalanche or debt snowball method.
- Pay the minimum on all your credit cards, and pay a little more on the highest priority debt to cut back faster.
GOAL: Save up X amount for a downpayment in Y years.
- Prepare for homeownership by attending a class or doing preliminary research online.
- Open a separate high-yield savings or money market account for these savings.
- Match discretionary spending with a deposit into your designated savings account. If you want to spend $50 on a new sweater, deposit $50 in your savings as well.
All too often it is difficult to get discouraged when working toward goals. Here are some strategies to combat the desire to give up.
- Write down your goal and place it somewhere you will see daily.
- Have a buddy to share your progress with and hold you accountable.
- Set milestones and celebrate small progress throughout the way.
Need more motivation? Follow Exodus Lending on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for more financial tips!
Money Management E-Newsletter: December 2018