5 Ways You Can Set Your Short-Term Financial Goals

Monday, 19 September 2022 07:31

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Financial security is a difficult thing to achieve. There’s always another emergency or some miscalculation, and you find yourself living paycheck to paycheck. Long-term financial security is hard to achieve if your current situation seems insurmountable. This is why you need to learn how to set short-term financial goals.

 

 

Short-term financial goals are the first step to financial maturity. Learning to handle finances day-to-day makes long-term planning easier down the line. There are several ways to do this, but first, let’s establish short-term financial goals.

What Are Short-Term Financial Goals?

These are goals that you want to attain within the next few years. Long-term financial goals include paying off a mortgage or a retirement fund. In contrast, short-term goals include emergency, vacation, rent, and travel funds.

They’re things that you’ll likely be using in your everyday life. These are the priority because living in comfort is essential to reaching your long-term financial goals. If you have no debts, you’re medically insured, and are capable of living comfortably, then that’s when you can start planning long-term stuff. Why? Because you don’t have immediate worries anymore.

Setting Your Goals

Here are some ways to set short-term financial goals for yourself.

Track Your Spending

Having some perspective on how you handle your finances every month is essential. This is the baseline for figuring out what needs fixing and what is doing fine. There are plenty of ways to track your budget. The best way nowadays is to use a budgeting app. These apps are built to be adaptable to any lifestyle. A few seconds on your phone lets you track your spending in real-time.

Once the app is set up, be consistent in using it. It’s essential not to miss anything, even the “small stuff”. Oftentimes, it’s the small stuff that gets you in trouble. For example, food is one of the biggest culprits of expenses. All those sneaked-away snacks stack up quickly. Learning your spending habits is the essential first step to financial success.

Pay Off Your Debts

Debt is a necessary part of your financial life, and you must remain debt-free. Make sure a portion of your paycheck goes to taxes, student loan debts, and credit card debts. Many people get careless about debt, especially when it’s small. People treat credit cards like extra money instead of the financial tool it is.

Always pay your debts well before the deadline. Make a point of paying for debts at least a week before you’re supposed to. This ensures that you never suffer any excessive interest rates. Not to mention, paying off debts quickly always looks good to banks and makes long-term goals like applying for a mortgage easier in the long run.

Be More Frugal

This is cliche advice, but it bears mentioning because it’s so underlooked. People just assume they’re being frugal because they keep hearing the advice. It’s important to understand that being frugal means knowing the difference between wants and needs. It’s not so much about spending less but knowing what you should be spending on.

Once you know what you should spend on, saving money becomes a consequence. Necessities are surprisingly affordable once you have everything settled. Instead of expensive outings, try to keep yourself engaged with virtual activities with friends. You could also just hang out with people without being “showy” about it.

Be Realistic

While taking your financial planning seriously is essential, it’s important not to lose perspective. Many people give up on their financial planning because they overexert themselves. They think it can be accomplished quickly or that they can be consistent in savings. You’ll miss out on a payment here or there. You’ll go over budget for some weeks. That’s perfectly fine.

Don’t beat yourself up over not achieving your goals immediately. What’s more important is how you handle these mistakes. If they’re reasonable expenses, such as a special occasion or an emergency, then it’s okay. Just adjust your next financial period accordingly. You’re still human; just take hurdles in stride. Consistency matters more than unrealistic goals.

Hold Yourself Accountable

Of course, being realistic also means you need to hold yourself accountable for your habits. It’s okay not to beat yourself up over hurdles, but it’s important to acknowledge why these hurdles are in the first place. Was it unavoidable?

Or is a flaw in your budgeting plan that led to that situation? It’s hard to be accountable for yourself because you don’t want to feel like you’re in the wrong. Still, it’s a sign of financial maturity to acknowledge one’s shortcomings, and take steps to fix them.

 

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