Setting Your Financial Goals

Financial planning begins with goal setting. Take time to define your goals using the following four questions as a framework.

  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • When do I want to accomplish it?
  • How much money will I need to accomplish it?
  • Why is it important for me to accomplish it?

Write Them Down

You’re more likely to accomplish your goals if you write them down or record them somewhere you can regularly revisit them. The worksheet, "Quantify Your Goals," on the right sidebar can be a great place to start — or, simply click here.

Goal Setting - Financial Planning & Education for Military Spouses
Goal Setting - Financial Planning & Education for Military Spouses
Primary Text Separator for Milspouse Money Mission, Financial Education for Military Spouses
Primary Text Separator for Milspouse Money Mission, Financial Education for Military Spouses

Setting Your Financial Goals

Financial planning begins with goal setting. Take time to define your goals using the following four questions as a framework.

  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • When do I want to accomplish it?
  • How much money will I need to accomplish it?
  • Why is it important for me to accomplish it?

Write Them Down

You’re more likely to accomplish your goals if you write them down or record them somewhere you can regularly revisit them. The worksheet, "Quantify Your Goals," on the right sidebar can be a great place to start — or, simply click here.

Primary Text Separator for Milspouse Money Mission, Financial Education for Military Spouses
Military Spouses - Financial Planning - Measure Progress

Goal Setting

Goal Examples

 

Financial management is a lifelong process requiring hard work and self-control. Done correctly, it can lead to a secure and satisfying future.

Short-Term

  • Establish a budget that includes saving and investing for your future.
  • Make a plan to eliminate debt.
  • Begin creating an emergency fund targeting 3-6 months of basic living expenses.
  • Purchase appropriate insurance coverage.
  • Start building credit.
  • Make a smart vehicle purchase.
  • Prepare and execute a will, powers of attorney, and a letter of instruction.

Intermediate-Term

  • Buy a home.
  • Plan for a wedding.
  • Prepare for the birth or adoption of a child.
  • Provide for your advanced education.

Long-Term

  • Save enough to quit working someday.
  • Provide for your children’s college education.
  • Start a business

 

Set S.M.A.R.T Goals

 

Another way to think about your goals is with the acronym S.M.A.R.T.:

  • Specific Be very specific in terms of what you would like to accomplish.
  • Measurable Define your goals in a manner allowing you to track your progress and know when you’ve succeeded.
  • Attainable Set goals that are attainable, not merely dreams.
  • Relevant Your goals need to be important to help you stay engaged.
  • Time-bound Set a target date of accomplishment.

 

Review Your Situation

 

Review your financial situation and adjust your goals and plans for reaching them at least once each year and at the time of significant life events, such as:

  • Graduation
  • Marriage or divorce
  • Birth or adoption of a child
  • Job promotion or unemployment
  • Purchase of a home or other real estate
  • Relocation
  • Death of a spouse or heir
  • Separating from the military

In addition to reviewing your goals, review and make appropriate adjustments to your savings, investing, insurance, etc.

January is usually a good time to do an annual review, but pick whatever schedule works for you.

 

 

Military Spouses - Financial Planning - Measure Progress

Goal Setting

Goal Examples

 

Financial management is a lifelong process requiring hard work and self-control. Done correctly, it can lead to a secure and satisfying future.

Short-Term

  • Establish a budget that includes saving and investing for your future.
  • Make a plan to eliminate debt.
  • Begin creating an emergency fund targeting 3-6 months of basic living expenses.
  • Purchase appropriate insurance coverage.
  • Start building credit.
  • Make a smart vehicle purchase.
  • Prepare and execute a will, powers of attorney, and a letter of instruction.

Intermediate-Term

  • Buy a home.
  • Plan for a wedding.
  • Prepare for the birth or adoption of a child.
  • Provide for your advanced education.

Long-Term

  • Save enough to quit working someday.
  • Provide for your children’s college education.
  • Start a business

 

Set S.M.A.R.T Goals

 

Another way to think about your goals is with the acronym S.M.A.R.T.:

  • Specific Be very specific in terms of what you would like to accomplish.
  • Measurable Define your goals in a manner allowing you to track your progress and know when you’ve succeeded.
  • Attainable Set goals that are attainable, not merely dreams.
  • Relevant Your goals need to be important to help you stay engaged.
  • Time-bound Set a target date of accomplishment.

 

Review Your Situation

 

Review your financial situation and adjust your goals and plans for reaching them at least once each year and at the time of significant life events, such as:

  • Graduation
  • Marriage or divorce
  • Birth or adoption of a child
  • Job promotion or unemployment
  • Purchase of a home or other real estate
  • Relocation
  • Death of a spouse or heir
  • Separating from the military

In addition to reviewing your goals, review and make appropriate adjustments to your savings, investing, insurance, etc.

January is usually a good time to do an annual review, but pick whatever schedule works for you.

Primary Text Separator for Milspouse Money Mission, Financial Education for Military Spouses

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