Unless you’re one of those rare people that gets a natural high off of the act of saving for nothing in particular, chances are you’re going to need some motivation to get you started on your financial journey. This is where goals come in. They can be as simple or as lofty as you’d like, but writing something down on paper will allow you to truly assess what you want your money to buy you (physically and emotionally) and provide a point to start working toward.
Let’s start with the fun part… the fantasizing! Your goals can be whatever you can dream, but let’s set a few ground rules for our goals. They should be specific, measurable, and have a specific time range associated with their completion by dividing them into three categories: short-term, medium-term, and long-term.
- Short-term goals should be things that you want to accomplish in one year or less.
- Mid-term goals are goals that you strive to complete in more than one year, but less than five years.
- Long-term goals are any goals you hope to accomplish in more than five years.
Here’s an example of what our financial goals template looks like:
Click here to download your own copy of Budget Babble’s goal setting template.
Remember to revisit your goals at least once a year. Make sure to give yourself credit for the goals you achieve and let that feeling carry you onto your next goal. Be forgiving if you fall short on a goal and reassess if that particular goal is still important to you. Life changes quickly, and we have to be able to roll with the punches. It’s very normal to change your goals as you and your life are in the process of changing. I'm pretty sure my goals change multiple times a year based on whatever crazy idea I may have that month. It’s a lifelong journey so give yourself the room to grow.
Written by: Lindsay Dell Cook
Lindsay Dell Cook is an accountant, turned writer and founder of Budget Babble. She lives in Philadelphia with her uber supportive husband, and enjoys taking their adorable mutt for walks or reading a good book while buried under a pile of cats.