Financial security is a must in the modern age. With lifespans extending all around, people should be thinking about their stability in the long future. Still, before that, they need to ensure they don’t need to worry about the short term. This is where short-term financial planning comes in.
Short-term financial goals are the first stage of your financial future. Being able to handle your day-to-day finances without the worry of instability is a good sign of financial maturity. Still, you might be left wondering:
What Are Short-Term Financial Goals?
These are objectives that you should be able to achieve within the next few years. Long-term financial goals include saving for a child’s college funds, retirement, or mortgage payments. In contrast, short-term goals are emergency funds, utilities, rent, and other day-to-day expenses.
You cannot save for the future if the immediate reality isn’t dealt with. There’s not much point in saving for a mortgage when you can barely even pay rent. It’s important to set short-term financial goals so that if the worst happens, you won’t be left destitute. Live comfortably first, then you can start saving.
The priority should always be emergency funds. Accidents and sudden expenses are the leading cause of financial instability among adults. People should never be reactive concerning emergencies. This ruins all plans. Emergency funds make sure that if something does happen, your life won’t be put to a grinding halt.
Emergency funds are forever. Make sure a portion of your income is always put towards this emergency fund. While you may think it’s pointless, you’ll be thanking yourself in the future if and when you inevitably need it. Emergency funds are a buffer against the unpredictability of life.
Rent, especially for young adults, should be your second priority. It’s unavoidable especially when you don’t own a home yet, so make sure you meet your monthly payments. Rent ensures that you have a roof over your head every month. Your home has everything you own, and it’s your place of rest. Make sure you don’t ever lose it.
This means electricity, water, internet, and mobile data. If any of these things are cut off, it could cripple your lifestyle. These should always be the first things to pay for in a month, after rent of course. Utilities can be discounted depending on your service provider, so make sure to do your research. Some apps offer lower payment rates due to partnerships.
If you have any debts, whether it be student loans or credit cards, make sure that it’s paid as soon as possible. Debts get worse over time. The more you choose to ignore serious debt, the less likely you’ll be able to pay it. Being debt-free, especially early in life, is a huge stress reliever. Once you have your necessities settled, always prioritize paying off debt.
Vacations are a reason to enjoy your time on this Earth. What’s the point of all this saving if you can’t spend some of it enjoying yourself? Vacation savings are a great way to ensure that when you decide to take a break, it’s not at the expense of your livelihood. Being frugal and prepared makes vacations way less stressful. The only thing you need to worry about is enjoying yourself.
There are plenty of things you can start investing in. Whether it’s in safe stocks or a small business, investments are a good way to earn some extra income and diversify your assets. These things will look great for banks in the future, especially when you start asking for loans. Not to mention, investments make saving a more passive activity.
Outside of vacations, make sure you also have money set aside for special occasions like birthdays, reunions, or weddings. Once again, it’s important to enjoy life without worrying about the state of your finances. For those special occasions, it’s important to have enough set aside to stay afloat.
Best Ways to Set Goals
Here are the two best ways to reach your short-term financial goals.
This is simple enough, just stop with any unnecessary expenses. Oftentimes, the biggest hurdle to financial stability is simply overspending. Avoid eating out, buy in bulk, and use eco-friendly products to reduce electricity bills. These go a long way toward financial security.
It’s hard to cut down on spending when you aren’t completely aware of where your expenses are going. Tracking everything lets you formulate more concrete plans. It’s often the “small expenses” that build up to massive expenses, and a record is the only way you’ll find this out.
The importance of short-term goals is to make sure you achieve your dreams in as short a time as possible, whether it’s owning a house, a car, or simply retiring early. Minimize your mortgage payments in the future by completing short-term financial goals. Your future self will thank you for your foresight.