Where To Begin When Setting Financial Goals

Financial Goal Setting

There are just a few basic places to start when you begin setting financial goals. These are the fundamental steps that are essential to identifying what you want to achieve and developing your plan to get there. Taking into consideration these very basic starting points will give you the tools you need to get on your way to achieving your...

Understanding Your Loans: Past, Present, And Future

Financial Goal Setting

Student loans are serious business; for some, they may be the only way to pay for a costly education. For others, these loans are a means to fill out their student finances, combining the amount borrowed with hard earned savings or contributions from family members. Whatever amount you borrow, you need to get a grip from the start on the best way...

How To Set Goals And Reach Them

Financial Goal Setting

Setting your financial goals is so important to securing your financial future. Realizing what you want to accomplish in your steps to financial freedom will help you to keep moving towards achieving them. Once you have your goals and are ready to move forward, there a few simple steps that will really help you stay on track and moving forward...

What are Financial Goals?

Financial Goal Setting

Financial goals are the personal monetary milestones you can set for yourself to help to focus your energy and follow the steps to financial freedom. Financial goals can be bigger picture ideas that have smaller more specific steps beneath them or they can be specific tasks that you wish to complete financially. However you want to define them,...

6 Steps To Make Your Dreams Come True

Financial Goal Setting

While growing up we hopefully receive encouragement from parents, teachers and coaches to pursue worthwhile goals and dreams no matter how big or small they appear to be. This encouragement is important especially during early years as children are just learning how to deal with life’s challenges. Dreams can easily be lost while growing up due to...

What’s Achievable For You?

Financial Goal Setting

It is hard to say what is achievable for you without really taking a good solid look at all the factors that are in your life. Everyone’s circumstances are going to be different, but everyone has an opportunity to achieve their dreams as long as they are willing to take the steps necessary to make them happen. Sure, it may take some a little...

How Much Should I Plan for Retirement Now?

Financial Goal Setting

The earlier you can plan for retirement, the better. If you are in a place where you think that you can realistically start planning for retirement and you are just starting your life after college, congratulations, you are well ahead of the game. Simplify your approach by keeping a long term vision for retirement goals combined with a short term...

Should I Be a Big Dreamer While Financial Goal Setting?

Financial Goal Setting

When you are setting your financial goals, it is hard to figure out if you should dream big or not, or whether your goals are too lofty to be realistic. Generally, the same basic rule applies to setting any type of life goal, including financial goals. The only way to achieve big is to dream big. You just want to be able to look at your list of...

Should I Invest?

Financial Goal Setting

If you are just finishing school and getting started in your first real job, there are a few things that you should consider to figure out whether or not you are truly ready to invest. There may be some loose ends you need to tie up and some items you will want to have in place before you begin your adventure in calculated risk....

How Do I Know if My Financial Goals are Realistic?

Financial Goal Setting

Thank yourself in advance of taking on the challenge of setting financial goals, because you will be in for some worthwhile work. Start by establishing some realistic financial goals that can make an immediate as well as long term positive impact. If you are unsure as how to proceed, take a look at a few factors that can help you to determine...

Financial Goal Setting

Now that you have graduated college, it’s time to face the world and all its very adult issues, such as financial planning. It’s easy enough to say, “oh, I’ll worry about that tomorrow,” or “Why do I need to plan now?” The truth of the matter is that many people don’t plan ahead and that leaves them living paycheck to paycheck well into their forties and fifties. Taking the time to sit down and develop a game plan is something that your future self will thank you for. Here’s how.

Define Your Goals

Set clearly defined goals for yourself. Figure out what financial milestones you want to achieve, say within the next ten years and write them down, writing them down will help you to see them more clearly and determine what is really important. Be realistic and take into consideration all of the circumstances that need to be factored into the equation. You want to push yourself, but you also don’t want to set yourself up for failure by setting lofty goals that will be nearly impossible to achieve.

Some great goals to consider postgrad are:

  • Paying off those student loans
  • Saving for a down payment for a house
  • Paying off any Credit Card debt
  • Creating a retirement plan
  • Invest

Get Specific

It is not enough to say that you want to invest or save for a house, it is a good start, but it is important to be specific when setting your financial goals. Credit Cards and student loans are already specific amounts, but maybe you want to pay $20,000 in 5 years on your loans, break it down to amounts for each goal and the time frame in which you want to achieve them, so you can more easily develop a plan of attack. Do you want to save $10,000 or $20,000 for a house, and how much do you want to have invested over the course of your 10 year period? Knowing answers to these questions will help you to strategize. The more specific you can be with your goals, the better your monthly plan will be and the more likely you will be at achieving what you set out to.

Don’t Forget the Interest

You need to take into consideration any interest that will accumulate in the time it takes you to completely pay off any credit cards or loans and incorporate this information into your plan. You may have to make considerably larger payments up front, but being able to pay off a debt in the least amount of time could save you thousands in the long run. You could end cutting your total sum that you will pay in half by simply doubling your minimum payment each month, that’s quite a savings!

Prioritize

Once you know what each of your goals are and you know exactly what you are striving to do with each, you can take your list and prioritize it. List each goal from most important to least, taking into consideration time frame and interest and any other factors you may want to incorporate. It may be that a credit card is of high priority because it has a relativly low balance and a high interest rate, this may be something that you can knock off the list rather quickly by placing at the top. Retirement and saving for a house may fall towards the bottom until you can eliminate those debts that are accruing interest. You decide for yourself what is most important to you.

Create a Plan of Action

Now comes the fun part, you have done all the hard part. You know what your goals are, the figures for each and how important each one is to you, now you need your plan of attack. This can be as simple as paying X amount towards said goal per month, or you can get more complicated with it by saying for the first 6 months to a year, for example, your goal will be to pay double or triple minimums, thus eliminating the two or three items on your list with the highest interest rates first and most quickly. Whichever strategy you design for yourself, keep in mind that you want to pay as little acumulated interest as possible, so try to eliminate these items first. Make a plan that you can achieve and that will give you a sense of pride as you check things off.