How to Set and Achieve Your Financial Goals

The key to achieving your financial goals is breaking them up into short-term, intermediate, and long-term goals. If you’re working toward something specific, you’re going to be more motivated to save your money rather than splurge on unnecessary items—it will help you keep your eyes on the prize, as they say! This is an essential step to feeling financially confident and secure and ensure that you don’t come up short when you need funds for unanticipated bills that pop up, not to mention retirement!

It’s impossible to financially arm yourself against every crisis, as we learned when the pandemic hit and, unfortunately, as many hardworking families learn every month. Week 3 of Financial Literacy Month focuses on taking the time to put together a savings strategy to give you a chance to really work through possible life events and emergencies that could happen to you and your family and you can do your best to prepare.

Financial planning needs to be an ongoing process—life goals and dreams are bound to change, and your financial goals need to change along with them. We recommend revisiting your goals every year so that you review your progress and make any necessary changes.

Short-term goals

Short-term goals take under one year to achieve and because they payoff is relatively quick, completing these goals can give you the confidence and momentum you need to achieve your long-term goals. Some examples of short-term financial goals include:

1. Creating a budget
2. Saving money in an emergency fund 
3. Paying off a specific high-interest debt 

Intermediate goals

Intermediate (or mid-term) goals can’t be achieved right away but should be in your sights in the next couple of years. Some examples of intermediate financial goals include:

1. Paying off student loans
2. Saving to start a family
3. Buying your first home

Long-term goals

Long-term goals take many years to achieve and require a lot of commitment, dedication and usually a significant amount of money. Some examples of long-term financial goals include:

1. Paying off your mortgage
2. Saving for your children’s college tuition 
3. Investing for a comfortable retirement

Write down your goals, use an app to track them, share them with your family so they can keep you accountable, or create a vision board with photos of the goals you’re striving for—whatever works best to motivate you. And don’t forget to celebrate your successes, both big and small!

Once you have your goals set, it’s time to start saving the money you need to accomplish them. Click here to read our top tips on how to save for your financial goals.