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Easy Steps for Setting Financial Goals

by Chris O’Shea

Financial goals are a must. Think of them as a pathway to obtaining the things or experiences you truly value. If you don’t map out your goals, it can be pretty tough to ever arrive at the destination. Here are some ways to set—and achieve—short and long-term money goals.

Short Term Goals

• Set a Budget. Make sure you have a solid budget in place. It’s hard to obtain any financial stability if you don’t know how much money is coming and how much is going. If you have a budget already, make it a habit to review it every six months.

• Pay Down Debt. Create a plan to pay down your debts. While we recommend the avalanche method (paying down the higher-interest debt first), use whatever works best for you.

• Create an Emergency Fund. Set up a savings account for emergency expenses. You want to save at least six months’ worth of fixed expenses.

Long Term Goals

• Consider Your Values. When setting your long-term goals, consider what truly matters to you the most. Once you have that in mind, you can funnel your savings toward those goals.

• Increase Retirement Savings. Make sure you are stocking away as much as possible for retirement. If there are ways to increase your contributions, do it.

• Downsize if Needed. Once you get near retirement, consider downsizing your home. Homeownership can be expensive, and if you don’t need a big house anymore, moving could help free up money for retirement savings.

Do One Thing:

Revise your budget so that your short-term goals pave the way for your long-term goals.

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