Financial Goals You Can Start Working On
April 21, 2016 / Sara Davis / Balance Credit and a Car Loan
No matter where you are in life or what your personal financial situation may be, it's always a good idea to set goals.
Working toward a financial goal will not only set you up for success and stability later on, but can also give you a sense of accomplishment and encourage you to create other goals as well.
There are some goals that every adult should strive to meet and maintain to ensure they are ready for future events, whether or not they are planned.
Here are four goals you should strive to work towards:
Goal 1: The Emergency Fund
You may have heard of Murphy's law — anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
This adage encourages people to plan for the unexpected. This should apply to many aspects of your life, especially your finances.
Do you know what you would do if your car was totaled tomorrow afternoon?
Or if you or your partner were suddenly laid off?
Unfortunately, surprise events catch many people off guard all the time. If you don't have savings, and typically spend the majority of your monthly salary by the time you get paid next, you might not be able to withstand a sudden blow to your finances.
Having an emergency fund prevents financial strife in the midst of an unexpected and expensive event. Everyone should work to save at least 6 months' worth of wages to help out in one of these situations, The Washington Post advised.
Goal 2: The Retirement Account
Depending on your age and career goals, retirement might seem light years away or it could feel like it's just around the corner. The years will fly by and you'll be planning your post-career income before you know it.
Many employers have a retirement account you can take advantage of, such as a 401(k). Don't pass this up, especially if an employer match is on the table — this is free money for you to use in your post-career years.
Living on 50, a personal finance blog, pointed out that, depending on your salary and the employer match, you can claim as much as $400,000 at retirement by signing up for your employer match program.
Goal 3: The Good Credit Report
Recent Credit Karma research found that nearly 70% of Americans experience at least one big credit-related mistake before they turn 30. Many respondents reported this mistake has had a negative impact on their life.
More than 60% noted that they were turned down for a credit card after making these blunders, and 26% said they had to move back in with their parents to financially recover.
Most people make mistakes in their youth, and few people know the ins and outs of credit cards, reports and scores when they get their first piece of plastic. But regardless of what mistakes you've made in the past, it's important to make it a goal to improve your finances and your credit score.
A good credit score will give your more opportunities for loans and affordable interest rates in the future. This will improve your ability to afford a home or a car — two things most adults want.
Making payments on time and paying down debt are the two best things you can do for your credit score. Putting these high on your list of financial priorities will help to improve your credit report, and your likelihood of getting a loan sometime in the future.
Goal 4: The Will
If you're still in your 20s or 30s, you may have never gave creating a will much thought. However, just because you are young doesn't mean this task isn't important or appropriate.
If you have an investment portfolio or properties, creating a will ensures that your assets will go directly to the person you want to take control if something tragic or unexpected were to happen to you.
If you have children, it's especially important to prepare a will. This will determine who will care for them in the event that you no longer can.
Now we know that you won't be able to just start doing all of this tomorrow, this takes a lot of thought and preparation.
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