Attention: Money 101 will no longer be available after May 31, 2021. After that time the Enrich financial literacy tool will be available at moving forward.

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Saving & Investing - Head Matters


1. Why Save and Invest

b. Setting goals – short-term and long-term

A goal is a target and a pathway to getting what you want.  Learning to set goals is a key to not only financial success but to personal success.  Do you want to go to college, do you want to retire, or do you want to buy a big screen T.V.?  These are all goals. 

The first step is to determine how long it will take you to save for your goal.  Any goal that takes less than a year would be considered a short-term goal.  A short term goal might be driving to Las Vegas for spring break or buying two front tires for your car before winter. 

If it will take more than a year to save for your goal, it should be considered a long-term goal.  Long-term goals might be saving to purchase a new car, saving for a down payment on a home, or saving for a college education. 

As you list your goals, be specific.  If you are planning a trip, be specific about where you are going, how much it will cost (don’t leave anything out!) and be realistic as you determine the time frame for saving for this trip. Maybe your first goal might be to save for your emergency fund!   Always make your goals meaningful to you.  It will give you the incentive to achieve them.  You should also always write them down. 

Use the following chart to write down some of your goals. 

List at least three attainable goals and complete the information in the chart for each goal.  Your goals can be as small as saving $5 per week for an important gift for a friend or saving $200 per month to purchase a big screen TV.  Just make sure you set goals that you’ll be able to reach.  One thing that helps you stick to your goal is to tell others about it.  Knowing that someone else knows about it will give you good motivation to continue working on it.

After you've written down your goals, use the calculator below to determine how much you can save and whether your goal timing is realistic.

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