“What are your financial goals?” is a question every financial advisor asks. The answer depends on where you are in your life. My financial goals have evolved from when I was 22, 30 and now.
When I was 22 what I cared most about financially was starting my 401k and paying off my student loan. Additionally, paying my rent and budgeting properly was part of it too. I developed a budget to ensure that my bills were paid on time and put some money in my savings. Obviously being young I partied a lot and went out for drinks after work often. I could (should) have saved more but being young in NYC is very distracting.
At 30 it was relatively the same except that I also focussed on building up my savings for a down payment or an engagement ring. At this point I was paying more attention to the performance of my 401k and not just what I was contributing. I checked the balance every month and started to track my contributions and company match. I also updated the allocation of my holdings to ensure that my portfolio was diversified. I would advise everyone to do this from day one. But no regrets from me.
I’m now married so I have to think about a family not just about myself. Future mortgage payments, kid activities, college tuition and retirement have to be part of my goals. My wife is financially educated too and does not overspend. We track all of our purchases as a way of having our own type of “checks and balances”.
What really helps us now is that our only outstanding debt is my wife’s $30k student loan. Our plan is to pay it off within 5 years. We pay off our credit cards every month and all other bills as well. So not having to pay interest on those bills is a big benefit.
Our main goal is to save up enough for a house down payment within the next year. I’m confident that we will achieve it because we are on the same page and talk about it all the time.
Financial goals should be attainable but also ambitious. There is nothing wrong with having an ambitious goal.
I will be updating this post in the future to compare how our goals evolve over time.
What are your financial goals? How have they evolved over time? Are you close to achieving them?
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