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Financial Goals: Definition and Examples

Financial goals are the monetary targets you strive to hit, such as saving enough for a wedding or eliminating student loan debt.
May 10, 2019
Managing Money, Personal Finance
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Money drives many decisions that we make day to day. Setting goals can help us take control and feel more confident about those decisions.

Ready to get started? First, learn what financial goals are and why they’re important.

What are financial goals?

Financial goals are the personal, big-picture objectives you set for how you’ll save and spend money. They can be things you hope to achieve in the short term or further down the road. Either way, it’s often easier to reach your goals if you identify them in advance.

Examples of financial goals include:

  • Paying off debt.
  • Saving for retirement.
  • Building an emergency fund.
  • Buying a home.
  • Saving for a vacation.
  • Starting a business.
  • Feeling financially secure.

Think about what’s important to you as you begin to set goals. It’s completely normal to have several goals, and for them to change over time.

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Why financial goals matter

Having financial goals can help shape your future by influencing the actions you take today. For example, say your goal is to pay off a colossal credit card bill. You might cut back on takeout dinners and use the money you save to make extra payments instead. Without establishing that goal, you’re more likely to continue spending as usual while your debt piles up.

Having financial goals can help shape your future by influencing the actions you take today.


Like all expenses, financial goals should be included in your budget. That way, you can take concrete steps toward reaching them while leaving room for other costs. Plan out how much time it will take to reach each goal and how much money you’ll need to contribute within that period.

Identifying goals and creating a realistic plan for them allows you to track progress and can motivate you to keep going. Even if you fall short, you might develop some healthy money habits along the way.

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