It is not arbitrary that when you google ‘financial goals’ you get a long list – Top 5 Financial Goals, Top 10 Financial Goals, How to Set and Keep Financial Goals, Financial Goals All Men Should Make – and on and on. Most people realize that setting and keeping financial goals is important to their long term financial security and the ‘setting’ part is not that difficult (google financial goals). It is the ‘keeping’ part that thwarts most of us. So instead of starting with a long list, consider starting with one goal. Work on one goal for three months or six months, however long it takes to feel like a habit and then move on to another. Focusing on one goal can help you gain traction and give you a sense of accomplishment that can translate into the next goal and the one after that. Here are some goals to consider starting with.
- Come up with a plan to reduce and eventually get out of debt and implement it. The usual suspects here are credit card debt, auto loans and student loan debt. Come up with a plan to stop accumulating and start paying down and stick to it.
- Start an emergency fund. The general guideline is three to nine months but your situation should dictate what is right for you. Treat this fund like a recurring bill that you pay each month, automatically if possible.
- Live on less than you earn. All of the other goals dovetail into this one. If you can accomplish this, keeping the other goals becomes so much easier.
- Make sure your insurance is adequate for your circumstances. Good casualty insurance (auto, homeowner’s or rental, etc.) is always important but as your life changes so do your needs for other insurance coverages such as life, health, disability, long term care, etc.
- Share your good fortune. There will always be people who are less fortunate than you and in many parts of the world giving even a small monthly amount can make a big difference. Choose a reputable organization and make a commitment.
Don’t care for any of these goals? Google ‘financial goals’ and start a list of your own.