Depending on the time frame it takes to reach one of your goals, it can be considered a short-term, medium-term, or long-term goal.
- Short-term goals are those that can be achieved in three months or less. As an example of this, you might want to save $100 to buy an MP3 player in three months.
- Medium-term goals are those that will take between three months and one year to achieve. For example, you might like to save for six months to take a trip during your spring break.
- Long-term goals take more than one year to accomplish. One of your long-term goals for after graduation could be to pay off your student loans early by paying an extra $200 per month.
What are your goals? Take some time to think about what it is you want to accomplish:
- During the rest of your college career
- Your first year out of college
- Five years after graduation
It's good to think big. It's been shown time and again that the process of writing down goals, setting concrete time frames, and then developing a plan of steps to accomplish those goals leads to success. The first step in achieving goals is deciding what they are—and then writing them down so they are real. Once you write them down, post them on the wall or your refrigerator, so you are constantly reminded of what you are working for. Use the Goals Worksheet to write down three short-term financial goals, one medium-term goal, and one long-term goal. Then start planning for at least one short-term goal.
For more information about planning your financial goals, read Understanding financial planning.