Set Short-Term, Medium-Term, And Long-Term Goals

by Pam on October 12, 2009

set goals for the short, medium, and long termEvery one should have goals. If you don’t have goals, it’s a good idea to make some because when you set goals, you have something to measure your achievements against.  Although most of us do have goals, we don’t all set up goals for the short, medium, and long term.  We may only set short-term goals or perhaps we might just think about our retirement.

A short-term goal might involve saving for a much-needed vacation within the next year or perhaps saving up to buy a vehicle.  A medium-term goal could be to save money for a down payment on a home, and a long-term goal could be to save for retirement or for your child’s education.  By setting goals for different timeframes, you are more likely to achieve your dreams by following a disciplined approach.

Short-term goals such as saving for a vacation could be as simple as putting money into a locked-in account such as a GIC or investing in something like a Money Market or T-Bill.  This way your capital is secure and you can still see some growth in your investment.

A medium-term goal such as saving up to buy your first home could be achieved by setting up an RRSP and taking advantage of the Home Buyer’s Plan.  You could set up preauthorized payments into the RRSP on the same day you get paid and over time your money will grow.

An example of a long-term goal would be a couple who just had their first child  They decide that it is important to them to fund their child’s future post secondary education.  They set up an RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan for Canadians) and begin to contribute to it monthly.  By doing so, they have time on their side and their funds have the time to grow enough to adequately provide the funding for their child’s education.  Had this couple not had the foresight to set up the RESP right away, they would have had to come up with a lot more cash to help out their child.

Planning ahead and disciplining yourself to put money aside each month to contribute to funding your short, medium, and long-term goals is well worth it.  Although you might feel that you are on a tight budget, you can take comfort in knowing that you are paying yourself first, and that your scrimping and saving will pay off as you achieve more and more of your goals.

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