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One, Two, Three (Thomas Polen/Getty Images/iStockphoto)
One, Two, Three (Thomas Polen/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Investing Basics

Before investing, set your financial goals Add to ...

Tips for setting specific and realistic financial goals.

Once you’ve gathered the information you need to get started, you can complete step 1 – setting your financial goals. Also, think about when you hope to achieve each goal.

6 examples of specific goals

  1. Pay off your credit card debt within the next 6 months.
  2. Save $5,000 for a vacation next year.
  3. Pay off your mortgage faster by paying down an extra $5,000 each year.
  4. Save $20,000 for an emergency fund within the next 2 years.
  5. Save $25,000 for a down payment on a house over the next 3 years.
  6. Save $40,000 for your child's education by the time she turns 18.

Tip: Use this worksheet to define your goals.

More Related to this Story

Be specific and realistic

The strongest financial goals are specific and measurable. Instead of saying you want to have enough money to retire comfortably, think about how much money you’ll need. Maybe your specific goal will be to save $500,000 by the time you’re 65.

Your goals should also be realistic and based on your current financial situation. Think about how much you can afford to save toward your goals each month. Based on how much you can afford to save, you may have to decide which goals are most important to you.

6 questions to ask

  1. What are your top financial goals?
  2. When do you want to reach each goal?
  3. How much money will it take to reach each goal?
  4. How much can you afford to save toward each goal?
  5. What will you gain or lose by putting 1 of your goals first?
  6. What choices will help you enjoy a better quality of life today? In the future?

To learn more about setting goals, read Erika’s story.

Content in this section is provided in partnership with Investor Education Fund, a non-profit organization founded and supported by the Ontario Securities Commission that provides unbiased and independent financial tools to help Canadians make better money decisions. To find out more, go to: GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca


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