The length of time it will take to reach one of your goals determines whether it is a short-term, medium-term, or long-term goal.
1. Short-term goals
are those that can be achieved in three months or fewer. As an example of this, your goal might be to save $200 to buy an iPod in three months.
2. Medium-term goals
are those that will take between three months and one year to achieve. For example, you might choose to save for six months to take a trip during your next spring break.
3. 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 $300 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
The first step in achieving goals is to decide what they are—and then write them down so they are real. Once you write them down, post them on the wall, your refrigerator, or some other highly visible place so that 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