12 Examples of Short-Term Financial Goals
Your short-term financial goals are like the individual stepping stones that comprise a path. The stepping stones don’t seem significant by themselves, but together, they lead you in the direction of something great — a comfortable lifestyle with lasting security. Of course, reaching your destination takes work.
With that in mind, here’s an accessible list of short-term financial goals with 12 examples to guide you forward. When you concentrate on completing these goals one stepping stone at a time, you’ll develop a robust financial plan and eventually achieve your long-term aspirations.
1. Create an Emergency Fund
You can’t see into the future, but you can plan for it. When you set aside a small percentage of your monthly budget for an emergency fund, you’ll pre-empt problems and remain secure in times of financial instability. The sum you save will differ depending on your set of circumstances.
2. Prioritize Rent Payments
Your rent represents a financial goal you have to meet on a monthly basis. Of all the recurring payments you have to make, it’s one of the most important, and you should allocate your budget accordingly. Remember the 50/30/20 rule of thumb as you determine the percentage.
3. Make Your Insurance Payments on Time
Insurance is often expensive, but you have a number of strategies for reducing your monthly payments. If you intend to meet your other financial goals, you should consider taking the highest deductible you can on your health insurance, making up the difference with your emergency fund.
4. Pay Off Credit Card Debt
Before you allocate a percentage of your budget toward savings, you should focus your efforts on paying off your existing debt. It’s a heavy weight that is dragging you down, and unless you address it, you’ll have difficulty reaching your other financial goals. Your credit cards are an excellent place to start.
5. Maintain a Strong Credit History
On the subject of credit cards, you should try to obtain at least three of them by the time you’re 25. Use your credit cards often and make regular payments to demonstrate your debt management skills. In doing so, you’ll establish a positive credit history that will help you with future purchases.
6. Eliminate Student Loan Payments
As stated earlier, your debt is a weight you have to carry around. With the pressure of student loan payments, you have far fewer options in how you can spend and save your money. Give thought to these payments and how you might efficiently reduce your debt in the shortest amount of time.
7. Save for Transportation Expenses
If you need a car for work, you may find the associated costs are eating into your budget. With maintenance, insurance, registration fees and similar expenses, the financial burden of ownership can feel overwhelming. Even so, you should only give 10% of your income to transportation costs if you’re financing.
8. Minimize Recreation Funds
In your free time, you may like to shop, see a movie or visit a local restaurant with friends. Naturally, you should prepare for these recreation-related expenses by including them in your budget as a separate category. In terms of your savings, you should reserve a small amount and make changes if necessary.
9. Include Personal Funds in Your Budget
Personal funds are separate from recreation funds, though they appear similar at first glance. Unlike your recreation fund, your personal fund will cover haircuts, toiletries and similar self-care services and products. Adjust your percentage if you find you’re saving too much or too little.
10. Budget for Grocery Costs
An overdependence on takeout and fast food can have long-term consequences — and not only for your health. The comparatively low cost of a hamburger may not seem like much on its own, but when you compound it over time, the expenses add up. Consider groceries and meal prep instead.
11. Calculate Your Pet Care Costs
This suggestion may or may not apply, but if you presently own an animal, you should allocate a part of your budget for pet care. It should account for their food and other necessities — anything you need to keep them happy and healthy. You might need to alter your budget percentages to make room for this category.
12. Remember Your Retirement Savings
If you haven’t started a retirement fund, you should make it a priority. It’s best to begin saving while you’re young so you have enough saved for your golden years. Concerning your other financial tools, if you still need to create a budget, you have resources that offer guidelines on successful budgeting.
Stride With Confidence
Each goal on this list is a stepping stone, and step by step, you’re learning how to balance. Soon enough, you’ll stride with confidence, secure in your mastery of money management. With that in mind, look through the short-term financial goals above and see how these 12 examples fit into your financial plans.
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