Having financial goals is a great way to help you learn to be responsible with your money. It's a useful way to not only manage your own personal finance goals in the present but also be prepared for the future. From retirement plans to being prepared for an emergency expense, read on to learn some examples of what financial goals can look like, and why good personal finance habits are so important.
Your financial goals are unique to your life and circumstances. However, some of the most common ones are:
Not all debt is necessarily bad, like student loan debt from college or graduate school. Credit card debt can build up quickly and be difficult to pay off, especially if you're not careful about how often you use your card and what you're using it for.
It may be hard to imagine retirement now when you're still young and still working, but one day you may not work anymore -- then what? Where will you live? What sort of care might you need? These are good questions to consider in the present, even if you're not ready for it yet.
You can't always prepare for emergencies, but they happen: your car could break down, the air conditioning unit falls apart, a pipe bursts and needs immediate repair. It can take insurance companies weeks to reimburse for certain claims, so in the meantime, it's good to have some money saved to cover unexpected incidents.
A home is one of the most significant purchases you will ever make in your lifetime. It's more than just a safe dwelling space for your family and belongings, but a hearty investment. From the initial down payment to regular mortgage payments, you will need to have a good amount saved up beforehand, as well as good personal finance habits in place to get approved for a mortgage from your bank.
We all need some time off every now and then. Maybe there's a place you've always wanted to visit, and you want to spend a significant amount of time exploring. From the cost of plane tickets, hotels or Airbnbs, food, and souvenirs, a good vacation doesn't have to be expensive -- but it does involve a good deal of financial planning.
Many businesses are able to get funding, but there's usually a start-up cost involved. Before you see your business idea come to life, you'll likely have to make an upfront investment for the storefront property, the merchandise, advertising, and more.
Think about the things that are important to you as you consider your financial goals. It's okay to have more than one, and it's also natural for them to change over time, since life tends to do that.
Maybe you're unsure of which goals to work toward at the moment. In the meantime, you can focus on creating a budget to help you spend your money responsibly. None of your financial goals will come to fruition without solid budgeting skills in the present. Consider all the payments that you owe every month: your rent or mortgage, your car payments, gas, food, utilities, etc. You'll need enough money to cover these expenses, plus some left over for going out or for entertainment.
Your budget plan can be used to review your financial achievements and progress (as well as setbacks) just like athletes keep records of their workouts, or dieters keep track of calories. If you notice any places you can improve, or places where you're doing well, you can make adjustments to your budget plan as needed. Having a budget and sticking to it can help give you a sense of control as well as confidence about your future.
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Many people struggle with money management. It can be tough to figure out the best way to utilize money, especially for Millennials on a tight budget.
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