It is necessary to take a look into the future and see where you want to be before you can get there. Families set their financial goals based on their values. One family’s goal list will be different from another family. Here’s are some examples of goals:
Think About Your Goals
A listing of goals could go on and on. It just depends on your family’s needs, wants and desires. Financial goals are the specific things you want to do with your money within a certain period of time. They will give you a purpose for the way you will spend your money today and tomorrow. You should plan for goals that are:
- Short Term Goals: Things that can be done soon. Perhaps in a week, or a few months, but no more than a year. E.g., buy new clothes, save for a vacation.
- Intermediate Term Goals: Things that can be accomplished in 1-5 years. E.g., Buy a new car, pay off debts.
- Long Term Goals: Things you would hope to achieve in 5-10 years. E.g., buy a house, put children through University.
As you set your financial goals, remember these three basic ideas:
- Set realistic goals. Ones that are set too high may frustrate you and cause you to abandon your plans. Maybe it is impossible to save $100 a month right now. Why not try for $25?
- Be specific. State your objectives concisely. If goals are vague, they may never be met by you, and others in your family may have a different idea of what the goal really is. An example might be: ” If we save $100 a month for the next 12 months, we can afford new carpeting for the living room.”
- Be flexible. Plans may require adjustments as your income and life cycle change. Don’t be so rigid that you have to start over with an entirely new plan. For example: An unexpected expense comes up. You can’t save the entire $100 that month. Don’t let that get you off track. Continue to set aside something towards your goal no matter how little it might be.
To avoid debt in the Future
Make a weekly or monthly spending plan. As part of this budget, identify your basic costs and potential extra expenses. Don’t forget to include your savings. Avoid impulse spending. Try to limit your purchases to necessities. If you have credit card bills, do your best to pay the bills in full each month. Do your research before you buy anything. You can save money if you know where or how to get the best deal.
There has never been a bigger need than there is today for families and individuals to establish personal budgets. In the long run, increased life expectancies have raised the average levels of retirement income that is now needed to survive. This translates into a need for increased retirement savings at a time when many people are living paycheque to paycheque. In the short run there is a greatly increased temptation to become ensnared in a trap of easily accessible credit card debt. The best way handle both of these factors (as well as many others) is through the establishment of an effective personal budget.