Call a Certified Credit Counselor to review your options at

How to Budget

Achieve Your Financial Goals

A financial goal is something you're willing to work for. That being said, how do you achieve it? The best way to reach your goal is by planning -and following that plan. Goal setting is the process you will follow to reach your goals.

When you examine your own goals, you'll discover that some are broad and far-reaching, while others are narrow in scope. Your goals can be separated into three categories of time:

Short-term goals take under one year to achieve. Examples may include taking a vacation, buying a new refrigerator or paying off a specific debt.

Mid-term goals can't be achieved right away but shouldn't take too many years to accomplish. Examples may include purchasing a car, finishing a degree or certification, or paying off your debts.

Long-term goals (over five years) may take several years to accomplish and, as a result, require longer commitments and often more money. Examples might include buying a home, saving for a child's college education, or a comfortable retirement.

The goal-setting process involves deciding what goals you intend to reach; estimating the amount of money needed and other resources required; and planning how long you expect to take to reach each of your goals.

Developing a financial goals chart is a good way to begin this process. Here are the five steps you should follow in order to set up your goal chart:

  1. Write down one personal financial goal. It should be specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic and it should have a timeline.
  2. Decide if your goal is short-term, mid-term, or long-term, and create a timeline for that goal. This may change at any time based on your situation.
  3. Determine how much money you need to save to reach your goal and separate that amount by the month and/or year.
  4. Think of all ways you can reach that goal. Include saving, cutting expenses, earning extra money, or finding additional resources.
  5. Decide which is the best combination of ways to reach your goal and write them down.