When it comes to setting financial goals, you probably have a list of things you want to do, like save more, buy a house, or pay off student debt—but you might not know where to start and how to tackle these goals efficiently. It’s important to take the time to think through your goals and create a plan to get there. Here are five key things to consider when setting new financial goals.

What’s important right now?

When it comes to setting financial goals, it’s important to start with the things that need immediate attention—the financial basics, like getting out of debt or having some savings built up. Maybe you used up your emergency fund on a medical expense and need to rebuild savings. Perhaps you’re planning a wedding in the next year or so and need to save for it, or maybe you’re looking to pay off student loans. Think about what you want to accomplish in the short term so you can devote your energy to bigger goals. What do you need to do to set yourself up for success?

What do you want for the future?

After you’ve decided on your immediate priorities, think about what you want in the future. These are often things that can help you in the long run. Do you plan on buying a house within the next five years? Are you thinking of taking out a whole life insurance or universal life insurance policy? Are you trying to think through how to save for retirement more efficiently? If you’re stuck, it can help to imagine what you want your future to look like and think about what goals would play a part in shaping this future.

What are your priorities?

Not all goals hold the same importance—some require attention before you can tackle others, and some are simply higher priority. For example, if you’re looking to save for retirement and pay off credit cards, you might focus on paying off high-interest debt first while making smaller contributions to your 401(k). This might give you more money to save for retirement in the future. Maybe you want to buy a house eventually, but it’s important that you and your partner take a dream vacation or plan your wedding first. List out your goals and decide how important each one is to you—assigning a number from one to ten can help you decide on your top priorities.

Making a plan

Once you’ve identified your goals and what order you want to achieve them, it’s time to come up with a plan. Break down each goal into smaller, achievable steps and create a timeline for when you want to accomplish each one.

Checking in with yourself

Setting financial goals isn’t a one-time thing. It’s important to monitor your progress and check in regularly. Make adjustments as needed. Life can be unpredictable, so if something changes and you need to alter your plans, don’t be afraid to do just that. It can take a long time to hit some goals, so celebrate when you hit milestones and remember what you’re working toward.

Source: iQuanti