Finance Goals: 10 Examples and Why They Matter (Plus Tips)

Updated March 10, 2023

A hand catches tumbling dollars and coins.

Finance goals can help you find effective ways to spend and save money, both at work and in your personal life. In the long term, these aspirations can help you improve your lifestyle, reduce debt and plan for a comfortable retirement. Learning more about these goals can help you create a financial plan that fits your lifestyle.

In this article, we discuss the importance of financial goals, provide 10 examples of them and list tips for setting achievable, realistic goals that meet your needs.

Key takeaways:

  • Financial goals can be short-, medium- or long-term.

  • These goals can help you succeed in your personal and professional life and save for retirement.

  • Examples of financial goals include creating an emergency savings account, building a retirement fund, paying off debt and finding a higher-paying job.

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Why are financial goals important?

Financial goals are important for funding your lifestyle, both in and outside of the workplace. It's helpful to divide financial goals into short-, medium- and long-term objectives. In the short term, it's helpful to reduce debt, create a savings account and create a budget that accommodates your lifestyle. In the medium and long term, it's useful to focus on financial stability and retirement planning. These are some of the benefits of creating financial goals:

  • Increased financial freedom

  • More comfortable retirement

  • Less debt

  • Increased security in emergency situations

  • Better lifestyle for you and your family

Related: Education Goals vs. Career Goals: What's the Difference?

10 examples of financial goals

Here are 10 examples of financial goals you can apply to your life:

1. Signing up for a retirement plan

A retirement plan is a strategy to accumulate wealth throughout your career. Once you stop working, it provides you with substantial savings to fund your lifestyle. Before you start saving, it's important to set a retirement goal. 

You can do this by determining the amount of money you're willing to save for every paycheck you earn and calculate your total savings. Some employers may also match the amount of money you devote to your savings, increasing your saving potential. Signing up for a retirement plan can give you increased financial security and help you prepare for whatever comes after your career.

Read more: Retirement Checklist: Everything You Need To Know

2. Funding a vacation

As an employee, taking a vacation is an opportunity to alleviate stress from work and recharge before returning to the office. Vacations also give you time to make memories with your family and friends, allowing you to foster a healthy work-life balance. Financing a well-deserved vacation is a good example of a financial goal that you can set. Research the travel and accommodation costs and consider the amount of money you may need for food, souvenirs and sightseeing activities. It can also be helpful to think about your financial status before leaving so you maintain resources for other priorities in your life.

Related: Tips on Setting Goals

3. Resolving student loan debt

Paying for college tuition, campus housing and supplies may require assistance from student loan programs. If you continue your education after completing a bachelor's degree, it's possible that you may accumulate additional student loan debt. Consider setting a financial goal to repay your student loans within a certain time period. You can identify the amount of money you can afford to pay toward the loan while still covering your regular expenses. Resolving student loan debt can give you increased financial freedom and help you pursue things that you love.

Related: Pathways to Student Loan Forgiveness

4. Settling credit card debt

Settling credit card debt can give you the freedom to focus on other expenses and build the life you want. Start by determining how much you can repay every month and make sure not add any extra debt. Once you set a goal, make sure to make your payments every month without fail. You can also establish a schedule for using the card in the future. For example, you may decide to add charges only during the holiday season or in emergency situations.

5. Becoming a homeowner

Another example of a financial goal is purchasing your own home. Consider saving money so that you can relocate to a city that matches your interests. For example, if you want to live in a downtown area, then you might save to own a condo or townhouse. If you want to live in a quiet neighborhood, then you might buy a house in a suburban area. Before you purchase a home, make sure to create a budget that accounts for mortgage payments, repairs and other routine expenses without compromising your daily financial requirements.

Related: The 5 Basic Elements of a Financial Plan

6. Launching a business

At some point in your career, you may decide to transition into entrepreneurship. Becoming a business owner can be an expensive process, especially because you're responsible for building and maintaining its operations. You can think about the amount of money that renting or buying a building may cost. You can also consider how much you can compensate the people who work for the business and the rates of the services you can provide to clients. Other relevant costs can include:

  • Technology in the workplace

  • Office furniture and supplies

  • Marketing and branding, including business cards, brochures and digital advertisements

Related: 10 Steps To Begin Your Own Business

7. Paying college tuition

To avoid student loan debt, you may choose to pay for your college education by yourself. Start by finding a job that can help you cover your tuition costs. You can also consider how much it may cost you to be a full-time student versus a part-time student. If you're attending an expensive school, meet with your advisor and see if you can extend your graduation date to reduce financial stress.

Related: 10 Useful Tips for Planning a Budget

8. Reserving money for emergencies

An emergency fund is a sum of money you can use for unforeseen circumstances, such as a natural disasters, medical emergencies or home repair. It can allow you to pay unexpected bills while still handling your normal expenses. It can also help you avoid accumulating more debt. Consider building and maintaining an emergency fund for your personal and professional interests. 

Related: What Is an Emergency Action Plan? (With Tips)

9. Finding a higher-paying job

Another financial goal is to earn a higher salary throughout your career. You can assess your current earning potential and find ways to boost it, which may include advancing your education or requesting a wage increase from your employer. Earning more money from your job can give you additional funds to spend in areas of your life outside the workplace.

Related: Budget: Definition and Types

10. Enjoying financial freedom

Financial freedom is the ability to use your financial resources without concerns about overspending. For instance, if you want to travel for a special occasion, then you can feel comfortable paying for a flight and a stay in a hotel. While financial freedom is usually a long-term goal, you can start by establishing short-term objectives, like paying off student loan and credit card debt. This can reduce your expenses, giving you greater saving potential.

Related: Simple Interest and How To Calculate It in Your Savings Account

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Tips for setting and achieving financial goals

Here are a few tips for establishing and reaching your financial goals:

  • Create a budget. A budget describes the amount of money you can afford to spend in a given period. Create budgets for professional and personal activities, such as replacing equipment in the office, expanding the business to a new market or paying for a luxury vacation.

  • Record your spending. Spending records can help you monitor the expenses you're paying, which can prevent you from exceeding your budget. Each time you use your credit card or deposit money from a bank account, consider compiling the purchase and its amount on a document.

  • Anticipate future bills. Think about expenses that can arise in the future, including tuition costs for the upcoming semester or equipment repairs on your office building. Knowing your bills in advance can help you create realistic financial goals, and reserve enough money for unexpected expenses.

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