Setting financial goals starts with your life goals--things you want to do, places you want to visit, and things you want to accomplish in the next few years are some goals you might want to think about. How much money will these goals take to accomplish? Can you afford the things you want and need to do? Another life event you will want to consider is the expenses that occur between the time you graduate from college and get a job.
Short, medium and long-term goals are necessary for financial success.
- Short Term- Save $50 by next month to buy a pair of shoes.
- Intermediate Term- Save money from an on-campus job to buy a business suit for a job interview.
- Long term- Save $2,500 from a summer job over the next 3 years for a down payment on a first house.
All goals should be SMART goals...
(S)pecific (M)easureable (A)ttainable (R)ealistic and (T)ime Bound.
- Example of a SMART goal- I will pay a $1,000 credit card balance off by the end of the school year in 10 months.
Pay credit card balance (Specific); $1,000 balance to a $0 balance (Measureable); Currently employed and I am capable of saving (Attainable); The amount of money I plan on paying is within my budget (Realistic); 10 months will be plenty of time for me to pay off my credit card (Time Bound)
Think about your goals and the financial obligations associated with them. Write down a short, medium, and long term goal! Share your goals with a friend or family member. Sharing goals with others gives additional accountability and you'll have a network of individuals supporting you in achieving your goals.