Top 10 financial goals that will skyrocket your wealth


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Taking charge of your financial future involves setting short-term, mid-term, and long-term financial goals.


In fact, did you know that 83% of people who set financial goals feel better about their financial situation within just 12 months after setting their goals?


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Setting financial goals can also help you improve your current financial situation.


And in this article, I’m going to show you how to set financial goals by giving you my top 10 financial goals examples that can help you take control of your finances.

Money goals

What is a Financial Goal?

A financial goal is a milestone you aim to reach by mastering money management. Financial goals can be either short-term, mid-term, or long-term and they typically require you to budget, save more, pay off debt, and invest for retirement.


The more specific and measurable your financial goals, the more likely you will accomplish them.


The unfortunate truth is that today more than ever; Americans need to commit to their personal finance goals so they can better prepare for their future.


The recent pandemic has been a complete disrupter, financially speaking, for most Americans. In fact, 63% of Americans say their personal finances were affected by COVID-19.

Covid finances

Solid financial goals can help you get back on track.


The first step to developing your financial goals is to create a budget with top-tier software programs like You Need A Budget.

Once you’ve created a budget, the next step is to figure out your financial goals.

Below is a list of financial goals that my husband and I developed for ourselves:

  • Live on a minimalist budget
  • Pay off the mortgage by 35
  • Retire our parents by age 35
  • Achieve millionaire status by 35
  • Travel to 1 new country each year
  • Build 2 additional side hustles by 30

While we have many additional goals, these are some starter financial goals that you can also take inspiration from.

The 3 Types of Financial Goals

There are 3 types of financial goals:

  • Short-term
  • Mid-term
  • Long-term

It’s important to understand the difference between each of the three types so that you can start setting short-term, mid-term, and long-term financial goals.


Below is a breakdown of the 3 types of financial goals:

Financial goals

Here are some short-term financial goals examples:

  • Start a budget
  • Save for holiday gifts
  • Prepare an estate plan
  • Build an emergency fund
  • Build a net worth statement

Short-term goals should be accomplished within 1 year of setting them. Typically, short-term goals are fairly straightforward.

Now let’s take a look at some mid-term financial goals examples:

  • Pay off your car
  • Start maxing out your 401k
  • Save for a house down payment
  • Pay off your massive credit card debt

Mid-term goals often take a little more time to plan and execute. They also typically require more money than short-term financial goals.

Lastly, let’s take a look at some of the long-term financial goals examples:

  • Save for college
  • Save for retirement
  • Build your business
  • Pay off your mortgage
  • Plan for long-term care
  • Review your estate plan

Long-term financial goals often require more planning, more money, and more commitment. Often, long-term goals take patience and discipline – and typically it takes time to see progress.


Surprisingly, only 30% of Americans have long-term financial goals.

Financial plan

It’s critical to have long-term financial goals because these goals help you accomplish lifelong dreams – like retirement, owning a home, or providing for your family’s financial security.

Financial Goals: What to Keep in Mind

As you start considering which financial goals may best suit you and your situation, you should keep in mind that there is a secret way to build successful financial goals.


I call it the SMARTV Plan.

Financial plan

If you follow the steps of the SMARTV plan, then you’ll make it much harder for yourself to fail at accomplishing your goals.

I’ve personally used the SMARTV plan when it came to building this blog, and it worked wonders.

Top 10 Financial Goals Examples

Now that you have a rough idea of how to set financial goals, let’s take a look at the top 10 financial goals examples.

As you read through these goals, remember to stay:

  • Patient
  • Focused
  • Consistent

Even if you don’t see progress within the first few months, continue with your plan, and chances are, you’ll start seeing a difference down the road.


Let’s dive right in.

1. Educate Yourself on Basic Financial Literacy

If you want to get ahead financially, you have to understand basic money matters.

Did you know that Botswana is almost as financially literate as the United States?

Financial literacy

Clearly, there is a lot of ground that we need to cover.


If you want to save money in the future, then one of your financial goals should be to start educating yourself on basic financial literacy.

In fact, lack of financial literacy has cost Americans just about $415 billion in 2020 alone.

Lack of financial literacy

Do yourself the favor and start saving money now.


If you build up your financial literacy, then you’ll be ahead of most Millennials, because only 16% of millennials are financially literate.



It’s no wonder that only 16% of millennials are considered financially literate because just 21 states require U.S. high school students to take a course in personal finance.

I believe that every student should sit through a personal finance class.

Second, I would suggest picking up a book (or listen to a podcast) that talks about some of the basic personal finance concepts.

Below are my top personal finance book picks:

  • The Behavior Gap by Carl Richards
  • How to Get Rich from Nothing by Me
  • The Millionaire Mind by Dr. Thomas J. Stanley
  • The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason

The most important part is to start educating yourself – even if it’s just for 15 minutes a day.


2. Pay Yourself First

Paying yourself first is critical to long-term financial success.

Paying Yourself First Defined:Paying yourself first means that when you receive your paycheck, before you start paying bills and spending money on consumer goods, you save a portion of your paycheck first. Whatever is left over, you spend.

Paying yourself first really means using your paycheck money to:

  • Pay off credit card debt
  • Invest in your retirement plan
  • Add to your emergency savings fund
  • Increase your investment contributions


Paying yourself first is a form of self-care.


As it stands currently, 95% of millennials are saving less than the recommended amount for retirement (which typically is between 10% to 20% of your total income).


The good news is that paying yourself first is a way to combat this statistic.

Here how:

  • Download M1 Finance
  • Spend less than you earn
  • Set up auto-recurring investments
  • Don’t allow your lifestyle to eat into your long-term goals

M1 Finance is an investment app (free to download) that is designed for serious, long-term savers. The minimum to open a regular account is $100 and $500 for retirement accounts.


If can’t put away large chunks of money right now – then consider downloading Acorns. Acorns is an investment app where you can start investing with just $5.


The most important point is to start paying yourself first now.

3. Build Additional Income Streams

Have you ever heard of the saying: Never put your eggs in 1 basket?

The same goes for your income streams.


Building multiple income streams is a form of self-care.



Especially with the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been taught that we can no longer rely on just 1 income stream (which for many would have been their primary job).


Instead, it’s imperative to start building passive income streams.


Here are some of the top passive income ideas:

Passive income streams

Another great way to build additional income streams is by starting a side hustle.


Here are some of the top side hustle ideas:

Side hustle ideas

If you want to become financially independent and create new income streams, then check out these platforms to grow your long-term wealth.



Recommended Reading: 7 Multiple Streams of Income

4. Develop & Stick to a Budget

Have you ever tried driving a long road trip without a map (or without your GPS)?

If you don’t stick to a map, then there is a high chance that you’ll get lost and probably end up somewhere completely different from your final destination.

The same goes for not having a budget.

Your budget is your road map.

Budgets are critical to helping you:

  • Plan
  • Execute
  • Accomplish

…Your financial goals.


And the good news is that 58% of Americans feel comfortable creating a personal budget – but most just haven’t started one yet.

Personal budget

And that’s ok because one of the keys to setting financial goals is to first understand your current situation: Your income and your expenses.

That’s where a budget comes into play.


One of the most effective budgeting apps out there is known as YNAB, aka You Need A Budget. You can download YNAB and have a free 34-day trial to see if you like the app. YNAB claims that its app is so effective that first-time YNABers save about $600 in the first 2 months and over $6,000 in the first year of using the app.

5. Pay Off All Credit Card Debt

Did you know the average American family is saddled with over $6,270 of credit card debt?

Average credit debt

With an average of 25% APY interest rate, these households may be paying $1,567.50 in just interest per year.


Of course, COVID-19 was a major contributor to the increasing debt load, where 51% of U.S. adults accumulated more debt during the outbreak.

Covid 19 debt

There are some savvy ways to pay off credit card debt, however.


One of those ways is called credit card debt consolidation.


Debt Consolidation Defined: Debt consolidation is where you roll all of your debts into 1 bucket, have a third party pay off your high-interest debt for you, and in exchange, you start paying regular monthly payments toward this third party (typically with lower interest rates and more favorable terms).

The reason why debt consolidation could work is that:

  • You pay a lower interest rate
  • You only have 1 monthly payment to 1 company
  • There is a clear end date to when your payments terminate


One company that specializes in debt consolidation is Tally. Tally makes it simple to stay on top of your credit cards.

You scan your cards. If you qualify, tally gives you a line of credit at a low APR and manages all your payments.

No late fees. No gimmicks. Just a faster way to pay down your balances.


Pro Tip: Keep in mind that debt consolidation is just a temporary fix – it will help you get rid of your high-interest credit card debt. However, debt consolidation will not fix any underlying spending problems (for example). If that’s the case, make sure you find outside help.

Start paying off high-interest debt today.


Your bank accounts will thank you later.

6. Build an Emergency Savings Fund

If you had to drive exactly 137 miles, would you fill up your car tank to give you a range of exactly 137 miles?


The answer should be no.


You don’t know if there will be a detour, which could cause you to drive a different route, and you also don’t know whether you’ll get lost and drive more than the 137 miles.


We just don’t know what the future will hold.


And that’s why it’s critical to have an emergency savings fund – a cash account that can get you through an emergency like an unexpected detour.


Shockingly, however, nearly 10% of Americans have $0 saved.


American Savings

If there ever was an emergency, chances are they will have to resort to debt financing (aka using their credit cards) or taking on other high-interest loans.


Even more shocking, is that only 39% of Americans could pay for an unexpected $1,000 expense.

Unexpected expense

Here’s how much you should have saved in an emergency fund:

  • 3 to 6 months’ worth of your living expenses

So if you earn $3,000 a month, you should have saved between $9,000 to $18,000 in cash in an emergency savings fund.




COVID taught us a valuable lesson: Your job is temporary.


Your emergency savings fund can keep you afloat during the months that you are looking to find a job (for example). On average, finding a job typically takes 6+ weeks.

That’s where you’ll have to rely on an emergency fund the most.


Here’s how you can get the biggest bang for your buck:


Open a high-yield savings account with online banks like Axos Bank and designate that as your emergency savings fund. Axos Bank offers interest rates up to 10x the national average on your cash. It’s free to open an account, there is no lock-up period with your money, and you get FDIC protection.


This is how you optimize your cash and prepare for the unexpected.

7. Establish a Solid Credit Score

Think about your long-term goals.

If you want to:

  • Buy a car
  • Buy a home
  • Get a new job

…Then you’ll probably have to show you are responsible.


Most institutions take your credit score, which for them is a measure of responsibility (aka whether you pay your bills on time).

That’s just the way things are.

I want you to think about your credit score – and if you don’t know your credit score, then check out Credit Karma, which will show you your credit score report for free.


Below is a look at the FICO credit score ranges:

FICO scores

Your goal should be to land anywhere between the Good and the Excellent ranges.

Your credit score is determined by several factors including:

  • Your credit mix
  • Your new credit
  • How much you owe
  • Your payment history
  • The length of your credit history

Below is a rough breakdown of how much weight each category has in determining your credit score:

FICO scores factors

Now, if you don’t have the credit or payment history because you’re young and just haven’t had the chance to use a credit card yet, then there is a fix to build your credit score ASAP.


That fix is called Self Credit Builder. Self helps you build your credit history (and your credit score) even when you don’t have credit. Self reports your payments to the credit reporting institutions to build your history.


The only caveat is that with Self you cannot afford to miss a payment.


If you do, that completely defeats the purpose of this app (which is to build your credit).

8. Save for Retirement

Although retirement may seem so far off, it’s never too late to think about your road map to become financially free during retirement.

If you want to get ahead of the curve, start saving for retirement today.


In fact, 66% of millennials have $0 saved for retirement.

Americans saved for retirement

Even worse, 67% of Americans’ retirement plan is to just keep working during retirement – which often leads to stress, increased health issues, and potential frustration.

Retirement plan

Unless you love your job, don’t count on working the last few years of your life because you have no other option.

Save yourself the trouble by putting your money to work today.

Here’s how:

  • Download M1 Finance
  • Spend less than you earn
  • Max out your retirement plans
  • Invest consistently every month

First, it’s critical to at least contribute enough money to your 401k plan (if you have access to one) so that you receive your employer matching contribution.


Second, you can open a tax-advantaged retirement account (like an IRA or a Roth IRA) through free investment apps like M1 Finance.

Even if you can invest “just” $100 every week, then do it.


9. Get Life Insurance

Even if you’re in your early 20’s, life insurance is something that you’ll probably want to consider at some point in your life – and the earlier, the better.




Because the cost of your life insurance could be substantially lower if you’re younger (because you’re healthier) versus if you applied for life insurance at a later age.


In fact, only 10% of Millennials have enough life insurance to cover 100 percent of their needs.

Millennials life insurance

Here’s when you need life insurance:

  • You have kids
  • You have a partner
  • You have other dependents
  • You are the primary breadwinner

And honestly, even if you are single and without kids as a millennial, you should probably consider buying life insurance earlier than later – especially if you plan to start a family in the future.


Recommended Reading: How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?


I should note that there are many different types of life insurance.


When I’m talking about life insurance for Millennials, I’m actually talking about buying what is known as term life insurance.


Term Life Insurance Defined: Term life insurance is the simplest, cheapest, and typically the best life insurance for millennials. You pay a set premium for a fixed term (typically 20 to 30 years). If you outlive your term life insurance, you don’t get any benefit.

Conversely, if you don’t outlive your life insurance term (which we hope won’t be the case), then your designated beneficiaries (aka the people who you want to receive your life insurance money) would receive your life insurance death benefit tax-free.


I work with a lot of millennials, and I often suggest they consider purchasing a term life insurance death benefit between $500,000 to $1 million.


Typically, they would be looking at a $20 to $50 monthly cost for that type of coverage (which is pretty cost-efficient).


Obviously, I don’t know your situation, so I can’t give you a recommendation – but I can recommend for you to check out Policygenius.

Policygenius and I have partnered because I truly believe that Policygenius can give you some of the best term life insurance rates in the marketplace.


Here’s what you do:

  • Go to Policygenius
  • Type in your basic information
  • Run a life insurance quote within minutes
  • Determine whether you like what they offer
  • Start the life insurance process to protect your family

Running a quote takes between 2 to 4 minutes, and you’ll see how much you can expect to pay for your life insurance immediately.

Although no one likes talking about their mortality, it’s important to prepare yourself – and your loved ones – for a worst-case scenario.

Term life insurance often is a cost-efficient way.

10. Prepare Your Estate Documents

One of the best – and typically most overlooked – financial goals is to prepare your estate documents.


Just as with life insurance, no one likes talking about their own mortality (not even me!). But death is simply a part of the life cycle.

And if our goal is to help our loved ones avoid as much financial stress as possible, especially while grieving, then you should probably make it a priority to prepare your estate documents.


Pro Tip: Remember to review your estate documents every 8 to 10 years – especially if you move to a different state since estate documents are often also based on state laws.

Typical estate documents include the following:

  • Basic Will
  • Living Will
  • Living Trust
  • Health Care Surrogate
  • Durable Power of Attorney

If you just thought you read a different language and have more question marks than answers, take a look at my English translation below:

Finance jargon

Now, if you’re young and your financial situation isn’t too complex, then you probably don’t need a trust.


However, you should probably consider obtaining the other estate documents.


Pro Tip:My primary recommendation always is to visit a physical estate planning attorney to draft your documents, these visits typically cost between $1,000 to $2,000+ depending on the complexity of your situation.

However, seeing that most millennials are just starting in their careers, are probably in some type of student debt, and are probably not making a lot of money (yet), there is another, much more cost-efficient way to draft up estate documents: Using online services.

One of the top recommended online estate planning services is known as Trust & Will.


Trust & Will provides basic estate planning documents (including Wills, Living Wills, Powers of Attorney, etc.) that are state-specific.

After answering a few questions about your personal situation, Trust & Will drafts a customized plan for you – plus as your life changes, you can also make updates to your estate plan.

FAQs about Financial Goals

What are financial goals examples?

Some examples of financial goals include:

  • Create a budget
  • Pay yourself first
  • Get life insurance
  • Prepare an estate plan
  • Pay off high-interest debt
  • Create a side hustle income
  • Improve your financial literacy
  • Increase your retirement savings

What is a good financial goal?

A good personal finance goal will include the characteristics of the SMART acronym: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based. The key to a good financial goal is that you create a clear roadmap to accomplish your goal.


Setting financial goals works when you set short-term financial goals, mid-term financial goals, and long-term financial goals. The more you break down your personal finance goals into categories, the easier it will be to accomplish them.

What are some big financial goals?

Long-term financial goals are critical to accomplish financial freedom. One of the most popular financial goals is to save enough money for retirement. While most recommend saving around 10% of your total income, considering today’s increasing cost of living, the exorbitant cost of healthcare, and the fact that we’re living longer, it’s a better idea to save 30% at a minimum of your total income for a better retirement.

How do I determine my financial goals?

The first place to start is to figure out your current situation: What’s your budget (income vs. expenses) and what’s your current net worth (how much you own vs. how much you owe).


If you know what you want to achieve in your future (like paying off debt, saving for retirement) and you’ve already determined your current financial situation, all you need to do is create short-term, mid-term, and long-term financial goals to help you connect the dots to where you want to be, financially speaking, in the future.

Financial Goals: The Bottom Line

Especially in today’s chaotic, pandemic-ridden world, it’s more important than ever to understand your financial goals and what you need to do to make them a reality.

Remember that your personal finance goals should be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-based

…Aka your financial goals should be SMART.

Life is guaranteed to throw several unexpected curve balls your way – and you better be prepared for those situations (financially speaking).

Keep in mind that:

  • People are living longer
  • Wages are fairly stagnant
  • The cost of living is increasing
  • Student loan debt is increasing
  • The cost of healthcare is increasing

…And all of this means that your financial picture better be prepared for whatever comes your way.

If you don’t know where to start, my advice is to start with a budget. Remember that you can download one of the best budgeting tools, You Need A Budget (aka YNAB), with a free 34-day trial.


Pro Tip: If you don’t see success right away, that’s totally OK. It’s going to take time, patience, and consistent effort before you start seeing serious results.

Finance is typically a long-term game. So, just be patient with yourself and stay focused on those long-term financial goals.


Your bank accounts will thank me later.


This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by

More from MediaFeed:

30 short-term financial goals that nearly anyone can crush



With scary statistics like 59% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, or 67% of Americans struggle to pay a $1,000 emergency, we need to step up our game. Know what your short-term financial goals are to avoid these kinds of situations.


When you make financial goals, it is not enough to hope you’ll get there. Making a plan significantly increases the likelihood of you meeting the goal.


However, be careful not to set too many goals and overwhelm yourself. That’s where short-term financial goals come in. They are more attainable and a great way to learn new financial habits.




Short term goals don’t take as much time as long term goals. They don’t take as much time, and you can meet them quickly, keeping you motivated to meet the next one.


Financial goals are goals that you want to meet with your money or finances over a specific period. While the day-to-day processes will get your attention, it is crucial to focus on bigger goals.


When you set short term financial goals, you have to make an exact plan. You can do that by setting SMART goals:

  • Specific goals that specify what you want to achieve. For example, I want to make $1,200 per month from my side hustles.
  • Measurable goals that break down your goals. For example, I want to make an additional $100 per month in side hustle income to have $1,200 per month at the end of Year 1.
  • Achievable goals with action steps. What small steps are you going to take to make the goal possible for you?
  • Realistic goals will encourage you to keep going. Avoid getting discouraged by how big the goal is. For example, I will approach a potential client daily for the first 30 days.
  • Time-based goals have an end date. For example, I want to reach my goal of $1,200 from my side hustle in one year.




Make sure you stay motivated by giving yourself 90 days to accomplish your short-term goals. As a maximum, short-term financial goals should be one year long. Ideally, short-term goals are steps to reach your other financial goals.


If you have significant financial goals, try breaking them up into multiple short term goals. You make them more achievable, and you will be motivated to go for them.


HAKINMHAN/ istockphoto


Start your short-term financial goals by reviewing your financial year. What has happened over the past year? How did it go with your finances? What worked, and what didn’t? What would you like to change going forward?


Reviewing your year will set you up for a good next year. You can implement the best practices of the things that you enjoyed over the last year. You can also stop doing the things that make you feel overwhelmed and the things that you didn’t like. Jumpstart the new year!




If you feel like this year will be the year that you will take control of your finances, setting goals is essential. Setting goals and tracking them will ensure that your dreams for this year will stay top of mind the entire year.


A couple of short-term financial goals that you may want to implement:

  • Check your budget monthly.
  • Track your spending weekly.
  • Automate your savings.


Tracking your spending is an integral part of personal finance. While there are many ways to do it, try to find a tracking method that fits you. I use a spreadsheet in Google Drive and add all my monthly expenses when the month is over.


There are other ways as well, like tracking everything through your bank and labeling your transactions. There are also tracking apps out there that automatically track your expenses. Companies like Mint and Personal Capital are both great for tracking.

Find a way of tracking expenses that you like, and you will gain tremendous insights into what you spend. I reduced my spending by 20% the moment I started tracking. It increases your awareness, which can influence your spending.


One of the best things to do after reviewing your year and tracked your spending is to automate your savings. Automating your savings is a way of paying yourself first.

You can do it in two years:

  1. Determine how much money you want to save every month, and transfer that amount to your savings or investment account when your salary comes in.
  2. Use an app that will automatically save money for you. Acorns is an example of an app that rounds up your purchases and invests the month for you. You can also set up a checking account or retirement account with Acorns.


At the beginning of the year, set aside $1,000 in case of emergency. When you don’t have a full-on emergency fund yet, focus on this short-term financial goal first. If something like a car repair comes up, you want to cover it without going into debt.


Focus on saving your year-end bonus, try to cut your spending around the holidays, or save your tax return when you receive it. Having a buffer for when things happen in life will give you peace of mind that it’s worth the work.


Having an emergency fund is among the basics of finance. You don’t want to go into debt because you have to pay a $500 car repair. That is what an emergency fund is for.


Ideally, you would save up between three and six months of living expenses. When you encounter a challenging situation, like the loss of a job or an extended period of sick leave, you can cover that without stressing about it.


Creating an emergency fund creates peace of mind, which should never be underestimated.


designer491 / istockphoto


I enjoy reading books. Reading books is a way to get into the brain of some of the most bright minds for a couple of bucks. My favorite books include:

  • “Rich Dad Poor Dad”
  • “Your Money Or Your Life”
  • “The Simple Path To Wealth”
  • “The Alchemist”
  • “Work Optional – Retire Early the Non-Penny-Pinching Way”




Paying off debt can be daunting and overwhelming. When you are not sure where to start, you can begin by paying off just one debt.


Mathematically it would make sense to start by paying off your highest-interest debt. When this debt is one of your highest debts, you can choose whether or not you want to start there. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed again, start by paying off a smaller amount of debt.


The principle of debt payoff is that when you pay off one debt, you can use the freed money to pay off your next debt. That’s when you start to see progress.


travellinglight / istockphoto


While budgeting has a lousy reputation, knowing where you will spend your money is an important financial goal. Setting a budget may be challenging at first, but it will pay off. Start with setting a budget for one month as a short term financial goal, and see where it takes you.


SolisImages / istockphoto


It can sound a little early to start about the holidays, but celebrations in November and December cost many of us a lot of money. It can be stressful to go into the fall, trying to get the money saved for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and other festivities.


I would recommend you try to budget how much money you will go to spend for the holidays. Budgeting for the holidays is a great way to take away the stress, just knowing that you’re good to go when the holidays arrive.


You can decide to cash flow the holidays from your salary, or you can choose to set up sinking funds. Sinking funds are funds that you will add to every month, so you have enough money when you need to use it.


everydayplus/ istockphoto


If it is hard for you to stick to a budget or have money left at the end of the month, try a no-spend challenge. It doesn’t have to be an entire year, 30 days will be enough for most people.


You will become very aware of your spending habits, and you will learn a lot during your no-spend challenge. If you are spending without thinking about it, you will become aware of what you’re spending your money on. If you don’t track your spending, this will be an even more eye-opening experience.


Credit cards are great if you can pay off the balance in full every month. When you can’t pay off the balance at the end of the month, you will be charged high-interest rates.


When you find yourself carrying on a balance from one month to the next, stop using your credit cards. You can start by stop using them just for one month or make the step smaller by not purchasing anything additional on your card.


debit card can be a great alternative to a credit card. You see how much money you have spent instantly, and your bank account balance reflects how much money you have.


MissTuni / istockphoto


Are you currently investing? If you have taken steps to invest your money, it is time to review and check your accounts. When you have made a target allocation, make sure to check if you meet that allocation. Otherwise, it is time to rebalance your portfolio.


If you haven’t taken steps to invest your money, it’s time to start investing your first dollar.


When you are going to check your investment accounts, also check your retirement accounts. You and your employer are putting a monthly contribution to that account. If you haven’t checked what you’re investing in or want to have a specific allocation between stocks and bonds, check them.


More specifically, you should check:

  • What are you investing in?
  • What are the fees of your investments? I would personally stay under 0.2% when possible. If you invest in low-cost index funds like Vanguard, the expense ratios are very low.




After you’ve checked your investment account, it is time to calculate your net worth. Take a couple of minutes to log into all your accounts and sum up the assets and liabilities. When you know your net worth, you know where you stand financially at this very moment.


Setting goals around net worth is a great way to measure your progress. For example, I am currently working towards financial independence. I have a FI number of $300,000, and I measure my net worth to track how my progress is going.


If you want to up your game, try to calculate your liquid net worth, which is only your liquid assets combined with your discounted illiquid assets.


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When you track your net worth because your goal is retirement, it is crucial to know how much money you need for retirement. You want to see if you can be retired when you want to be retired, and you want to know where you are now.


How much money you need to be retired completely depends on your desired lifestyle when you’re in retirement. There’s the rule of 25 that states you can calculate your total need of retirement funds by multiplying your annual future retirement spending by 25.

For example, if you want to spend $24,000 per year in retirement, you need to have $600,000 (24,000 * 25).




Your savings rate is an important metric if you want to reach your financial goals in the long term. Your savings rate is essentially your savings as a percentage of your income.

For example, if you make $2,000 per month and save $100, you have a savings rate of 5%. Your savings rate is essential because of the higher your savings rate, the shorter your time to retirement.


Investing in education is crucial when you want to meet your short term financial goals. It can be done in all different ways, and you must pick a way that is right for you.

You can read books to increase your financial knowledge, or you can learn to invest.


You can also invest in additional training to learn high-income skills or go into recession-proof job fields. You can get the training and certifications to switch over the long term.


Creating a will is a task on the to-do list for ages, but you never actually come around and do it. I want to remind you that this is a critical task that you should take care of immediately. I’ve witnessed people pass suddenly, and without a will, it can become a very messy situation.


It won’t take hours, and many companies will help you online. You can use their templates and add anything that you want to be included. Within 30 minutes, you should be done.


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You know how to calculate your savings rate in steps 15, and now it is time to put it into practice. Try to save 20% of your income this year. For some people, this will be relatively easy, while it will take a lot of effort for others.


It is not about meeting this goal whatever it takes, it is about changing your financial habits and making sure that you save money every month. You can start by tracking your savings rate for the month and try to get to 20%. When you strive for that goal every month, you will get there over time!


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Finances can be complicated and overwhelming. If you want to get on top of your finances, seeking a financial planner may be the right decision for you. They can help you review your current financial situation.


Investing in real estate is an excellent way to build wealth. It is a quick way to make passive income and residual income streams. Over time, you will accumulate wealth from your investments.

You can invest in real estate by buying a rental property, which means you invest money in a single rental unit. You loan money from the bank, and you get a monthly recurring revenue.


There are also real estate crowdsourcing opportunities, where you invest your money in $50 increments and get a return on your investment. You only invest the money, and it is entirely passive. If you want to learn more, here are the best real estate crowdfunding opportunities in Europe.


Peer-to-peer lending is one of my favorite investing means because it is simple, and anyone can participate. You start investing in loans of your peers, which gives you a yearly interest percentage. Currently, I earn between 9-10% annually on the loans I provide to peers.


You invest in loans on a marketplace, which means a third party does their quality checks and assesses the risk of the investment. It is entirely passive!

There are dozens on peer-to-peer platforms; my favorites include:

  • Mintos
  • EstateGuru
  • Crowdestor
  • Reinvest24




Contributing to your retirement funds early on is crucial for your retirement. The more money you put in now, the more that money will be worth later. Because of compounding returns, your money will earn you money over time.


If you contribute the maximum of $19,500 into your 401(k), you will have $282,904 after ten years. Of that money, $87,904 comes from the compounding effect, so your money is earning money.


If you contribute $19,500 and expand the horizon to 20 years, you will have $851,444. Of that money, $461,444 comes from your money earning money. That’s more than half!

If your employer puts an additional amount toward your retirement accounts, it’s free money! The earlier you start, the more you contribute, the longer your money has the opportunity to grow, and the sooner you will reach financial freedom.


Set a goal for yourself to make extra money this year. There are dozens of ways to do that. My favorite include testing websites, walking dogs, transcription jobs, blogging and many more! I’ve compiled a list of the best side hustles that you can do to make extra money. My personal favorite is starting a blog.


You can use the money toward your other short-term financial goals and accelerate your progress.




As the minimalist lifestyle is gaining traction worldwide, decluttering may be a great short term goal. You will have things lying around your home that you don’t use anymore.

Cleaning up these things can give you more satisfaction than you may think. If you want to step up your game, make sure to sell the items for extra cash. Especially if you need money now, this is a great way to do that.


You will be surprised by how much money you will get for the things you have in your home.


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Saving extra money is not always possible. However, it is always good to strive to save money where you can.


I am very passionate about spending money on the things you value, while you ruthlessly cut back on the things you don’t value. When you are tracking your expenses, try to see where you can save money. What are the things that don’t give you joy? Things you don’t use? Try to cut back on those to save money, when you want and can.


Sam Edwards


If you are on the lookout for challenging short-term financial goals, meal prep is one of them. It is a hard one for me, even though I know how beneficial it is. Meal prepping saves you a lot of time, money, and hassle. You don’t have to think about what you are going to eat at the moment, which will result in healthier choices most of the time.


You don’t have to commit to meal planning and prepping an entire year ahead. Try it for a month, or even a week, and be amazed by the results. You will have a lot of time left, and you will save money at the same time.


If you want to try meal planning and don’t know where to start, try the $5 Meal Plan. They provide you with customized meal plans, complete recipes, and done-for-you shopping lists. You don’t have to plan, just shop and prepare. Their meals average $2 per person, which is incredibly low.


Eating while you’re at work costs us a lot of money every year. I mean, how much money can you save by bringing lunch to work? On average, Americans spend almost $2,500 per year on lunches. That’s a lot of money.


While it may take some more time to prepare your lunch ahead of time, it will save you so much money. Also, you will eat healthier as a result. Win-win!




Food spending, and thus groceries, is one of the three categories people spend the most money on. Together with housing and transportation, food spending is probably one of the highest spending categories. It means that groceries are also a category where you could save a lot of money.


It is important to start with where you are now. How much are you currently spending on groceries? How much do you ideally want to spend on groceries? Try to set a realistic goal, where you don’t need to live on rice and beans all month. I spend very little compared to others on groceries. Read more about how I spend around $70 per month on groceries.




When you’ve realized how much money you can save at the grocery store, you can also start to realize how much money you can save by making dinner at home. Making dinner at home can be the perfect short-term financial goal to save money and become healthier.


In the beginning, it will take time to get used to how to plan, cook, and clean. Over time, you will get accustomed to it. I find home-cooked meals tastier nowadays.


Don’t be too hard on yourself. Start by increasing the dinners at home once per week. The next week, add another one. You will find yourself getting used to it and getting healthier and wealthier.


If you have a hard time thinking about what you want to make, try the $5 Meal Plan. They provide you with customized meal plans, complete recipes, and done-for-you shopping lists. You don’t have to plan at all, just get the shopping done and start cooking. Their meal plans average $2 per person per meal, which will save even more money.




If you didn’t have a plan what to do in the new year, here are 30 ideas of short-term financial goals that you can set for yourself. You can start these goals any time of the year, as long as you stick to them.


Start working on becoming fiscally responsible, and your finances will keep improving over time!


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Featured Image Credit: nathanaparise / istockphoto.