Goals! Do you love them? Hate them? I always like to have something to work towards. When it comes to money, most people have a general idea of what they want out of life. Somewhere nice to live, maybe a new car, maybe just financial stability. It’s nice to know what you want, but without meaningful steps to achieve your dreams, they stay just out of reach. Personally, I like to have goals that are both short and long term.
As I get started on this blog, it seems fair to give you guys a little history on my personal financial journey and why I feel like it’s important to actively manage your finances. As of writing this, my husband and I are recent college graduates (2017) with two kids under the age of five. We both agree that my job is to be a homemaker while my kids our little. That may change in the future, but for now, that is the plan. My husband is a law school graduate. He was recently laid off, so now more than ever, we are keenly aware of our finances and making our money stretch to cover a (hopefully brief) period of unemployment.
That said, I want to share with you some of our families financial goals for the next 1, 3, and 5 years. We actually have several goals for each time period – there is so much to work on! But here are just a few.
In the next year, we want to be making a stable income. Our baby steps for this goal are to find a full time job, develop alternate streams of income, and avoid consumer debt.
In the next three years, we want to have a long-term residence. This may mean renting a home or buying a home, but we want something with enough space for our growing family. We are ready to be done with tiny apartments! Our baby steps for this are putting money towards a “home” fund each month. This fund may end up being used for a deposit on a larger rental or a down payment on a house.
In the next five years, we want to be aggressively paying down our student loans. Our goal is to pay of our loans in 10 years, but we are just starting out financially, and recognize that we need a few years to stabilize our emergency funds and living situation before we can start pouring extra money into our loans. This isn’t the right strategy for everyone, but we feel it is a realistic long-term goal for our family. While we can’t put extra cash to our loans right now, we do keep this goal in mind as we plan our finances and budget for each month.
What are your financial goals? How do you measure you progress? If you don’t have any financial goals, I encourage you to think of one short-term (less than a year) and one long term goal for your finances and share below!