From the first pennies in your piggy bank to the first pennies you give your grandchildren, money will always be a part of your life; that’s why it’s important to set some financial goals.
Finances can be scary to think about, but we all must bite the bullet and do it at some point. Planning ahead and creating financial goals will help you regain control of your life and better your relationship with money.
Rather than thinking about money as something you earn and spend in order to survive, financial goals give the money you earn a greater purpose. Of course, everyone has long-term goals of achieving financial stability or affluence, but what are short-term financial goals?
Short-term financial goals are the things you want to do with your money within the next few months or years. Accomplishing these goals will bring you closer to achieving your long-term goals and creating your dream life.
10 Short-term Financial Goal Examples
Not sure where to start? Here are ten examples of short-term financial goals to get the ball rolling:
#1 Pay Off Your Credit Card Debt
Nobody enjoys the feeling of being in debt, so why not make your next goal be to get out of it? Falling down the rabbit hole of credit card debt sucks, and digging yourself into a deeper hole is easier than you’d hope.
If you’re uncomfortable with the amount of debt you have and really want to change your circumstances, set yourself the goal of paying it off. When you finally overcome your debt, you’ll feel so much better. Create a budget that leaves room for debt repayments and get going.
Depending on how much debt you have and how much money you can put towards payments, this goal might take longer to achieve than others, but the sooner you start, the better.
#2 Start Building an Emergency Fund
Planning for an emergency can be a short-term goal that reaps long-term benefits. Having an emergency fund is vital, on the one hand, for emergencies, and on the other, for peace of mind. Knowing that you’re prepared to handle a crisis can lessen your anxiety and help you feel more liberated.
Imagine you find yourself in a position that makes you miserable; your job, a journey abroad, or your home keep you on the cusp of a mental breakdown 24/7. An emergency fund lets you escape and change your circumstances whenever necessary. If you want to regain control and avoid setbacks, make building an emergency fund your next short-term goal.
#3 Create a Savings Account
A short-term financial goal might include saving more money, in which case, a savings account will come in handy. Even if you don’t plan on saving much, a savings account can help keep you accountable. You can certainly save up money in your regular checking account, but it won’t be the most conducive to achieving your goal.
A savings account is an excellent place to keep your money for three reasons; (1) savings accounts earn interest, (2) you won’t mix up your everyday spending money with your savings, and (3) your money’s safely kept away by an insured bank.
#4 Create and Stick To a Budget
Most of your financial goals will intersect with achieving this one: creating and sticking to a budget. Whether you’re saving for a new car or trying to stop ordering out as much, a budget is a great asset. Sticking to a budget can be just as difficult as sticking to a new diet; it will take some getting used to.
Creating a budget is the first step. Sitting down and taking the time to craft a budget will help you understand your money habits, give you a better idea of your financial status, and clarify your priorities. Creating the budget and sticking to it is an excellent short-term goal that will set you up to achieve your long-term goals.
#5 Buy a High-ticket Item
Financial short-term goals are about more than just saving and planning; they’re also about spending. Everyone desires things that aren’t necessarily “necessary,” and even the most responsible spenders splurge from time to time.
One of your goals should be to buy the high-ticket item you want! It’s important that you use your hard-earned money to buy things that bring you joy. Never push away the thought of you deserving items beyond basic shelter and nourishment; everyone deserves to use their money for fun.
The key to this goal is to keep it as a goal, not something that happens regularly and to your detriment. A high-ticket item should be something you plan for, work for, and ultimately purchase.
#6 Improve Your Financial Literacy
Beyond financial planning, saving, and spending, one of your short-term goals can be knowing; knowing more about finances. Having strong financial literacy is an incredible skill. Not many people know the basics of saving for retirement, calculating a credit score, or the difference between revolving and installment credit. Having better financial literacy can give you a leg up.
The more you know, the better you can lay out your long-term financial goals and start working on them today. It can be hard to understand what your goals should be if you don’t know what you don’t know; that’s why brushing up on your financial literacy is an excellent short-term goal.
#7 Handle Your Student Loans
Paying off your student loans is easier said than done, but it sure is an accomplishment once you’re debt-free. Student loans are a major burden; the sooner you pay them off, the sooner you can comfortably go about other life ventures.
Create a game plan for how you’re going to handle your student loans. Once you’ve figured out your plan of action, you can go with the flow and watch your loan debt slowly but surely disappear.
#8 Start Investing
We understand how intimidating investing can be, but if you’re not doing it yet, we highly recommend adding getting over your investment phobia to your list of goals. Investing doesn’t have to be scary, and it can change your life dramatically if done correctly.
We often hear about the extremes of investing, big wins and even bigger losses, making us hesitant to deal in. You should know that investments work on a much smaller scale more often than not. It’s 2022, and luckily for you, there are tons of well-intentioned, boss-ass, gen-z investors sharing their experiences, tips, and tricks across the internet.
Find an influencer on #Fintok that you connect with, or turn to a more experienced financial advisor and learn all that you can about investing. The sooner you get started, the more opportunity there is for your money to grow.
#9 Quit a Bad Money Habit
We all have bad money habits to work on. You might always throw your change to the bottom of your purse or disregard the cost of Christmas shopping because you “get the money back in gifts anyway.” Well, no more! It’s time to quit a bad habit.
Bad money habits come from your upbringing and experiences, and they might be hard to recognize or overcome. If you’re not quite sure how you can improve your money habits, ask your friends and family about theirs; they might handle their personal finances in a completely different way from you (for better or worse). Try to recognize trends or patterns in your spending and then cut out the ones that aren’t conducive to the lifestyle you want.
#10 Spruce up Your Credit Report
Your credit report and credit score play a significant role in shaping your financial future. An excellent credit score can help you start your own business, buy a house, or even make retiring easier. If you take small yet effective steps to improve your credit, you can change your life.
Sprucing up your credit score is one of the easiest things you can do this year. When you know what goes into a credit report, the rest comes naturally. For all things credit, turn to Extra's blog. We have a collection of blogs that detail what you need to do to accomplish any short-term goal that deals with your credit score.
Accomplish Your Short-Term Financial Goals
Setting goals is the first step to achieving them! When you have a clear idea of where you want to be, it makes the journey easier. Rather than aimlessly navigating your finances, you can put your mind towards accomplishing one goal and actually getting it done.
Working on a million goals at once can be distracting and discouraging, so try to make a list of two to five goals and just focus on those for now. Accomplishing one task will motivate and inspire you to tackle the next one.
Short-term financial goals are what let you achieve your long-term life goals. Never settle for a financial situation you’re unhappy with and always go after what you think you deserve.