Securing your financial well-being is one of the most valuable gifts you can give yourself and your family. Fortunately, it’s not as hard as you may think. All you need to do is learn some basics, set your goals, and stick with your plan. No matter how much, or little, money you have, it’s important to educate yourself about your opportunities. Let’s start with setting your goals.
Setting Financial Goals:
Make a list of your goals and put them in order of most important to least important. Some examples of financial goals include saving for:
- Your retirement
- A house
- Your children’s college tuition
- A new washer and dryer
- A second car
Decide how many years you have to meet each specific goal, because when you save or invest, you’ll need to find an option that fits your time frame. See Stock, Bonds, and More and Investment Strategies to learn about appropriate investments.
Make Your Goals SMART
- Specific: “I want to save money” is not specific. “I want to save for a new TV” is specific.
- Measurable: Set a specific amount, so that you can monitor your progress. “I want to save $3000 to buy a new TV.”
- Achievable: Can you really save $3000 for a TV? If so, great! If not, don’t set yourself up for failure. Rewrite your goal such that it fits your budget. “I want to save $1500 to buy a new TV.”
- Relevant: While you may have an attainable goal, is it rewarding or fulfilling? Does it fit with your overall financial and life goals?
- Trackable: Set milestones and schedules for your goals. “I want to save $100 a month for 15 months to buy a new TV.” Set a definite ending date with intermittent targets.
Tips & Resources - Setting Financial Goals
- Download a copy of CPG's Tips for Researching a Financial Advisor
- Be sure to include saving for your financial goals in your budget.
- Life happens. Understand that your progress may be slower than expected or you may not meet a goal. Celebrate how far you have come, reset the goal and begin again!
- Goals can be fluid and may change as your needs change. Review and revise your goals as your situation changes.
This material is for informational purposes only and is not intended as investment, tax, financial, legal or other advice. Your personal decisions should be based on the recommendations of your own professional advisors.