It’s not an easy process and may include outcomes that evolve over time, but defining your goals early can help you achieve sustained financial success. Below are some common inputs to a desirable financial life that may help you get started!
- Owning a home
- Traveling without going into debt
- Saving for a financially secure retirement
- Paying less in income tax
- Earning more on investments
- Being able to afford college education for self or family
- Having assets to pass on to heirs
These are relatively concrete concepts with costs that can be calculated. However, there is more to a good financial life than just long-term goals. Short-term and intermediate-term goals can help ensure you are on the right path and making smart decisions.
- Living in a safe, comfortable home (whether owned or rented)
- Having reliable transportation
- Affording gifts for loved ones
- Taking nice vacations
- Accumulating net worth
- Reducing or eliminating debt
- Saving for retirement and college education for family
There are also intangibles that should be considered on your journey:
- Feeling in control of your finances
- Handling financial decisions without too much stress
- Making progress toward your long-term goals
All of these things are within your reach, but each takes time and effort. The key is to start early, learn as you go, make fully informed decisions, avoid major mistakes, and balance your goals.
Learning to manage your finances intelligently can be challenging and different than mastering most skills. There are many variables, and those variables change over time. You have different jobs and income levels, your expenses change, unexpected expenses arise, investment markets fluctuate, tax rules change, and your goals change.
In addition, our minds may not be naturally accustomed to thinking about finances the way we should. We all tend to want immediate gratification and believe we are in control of all aspects of our lives. Achieving financial goals, whether long-term, short-term, or intangible requires that we make decisions that balance our priorities.
The good news is that all of the tools and information you need to improve your financial literacy are readily available, and you have access to all the products and services you need. If you ever feel you need some assistance along the way, we’re here for you! Stop into a branch today and meet with our friendly and knowledgeable staff.