How to: Make realistic financial goals in college


Mackenzie Smith, Guest Columnist

After you set your realistic budget and know which strategies you can realistically use to reach your savings goals, you are on the right path. However, picking that path can often be either one of the hardest or easiest parts depending on your situation. If your car is on its last leg, then it is a no-brainer to save up to repair or get a new one, but if you are the kind of person that spends more time picking out a show to watch on Netflix than actually watching a show, knowing where you want to go with your finances can be tricky. Both groups can learn from the tips below.

You want variety

Short, medium and long-term as well as goals in different areas of your life. You should set priorities of course, but reaching short-term goals on the path to larger ones can help you get that sense of accomplishment and avoid burnout. As great as being financially sound is, there is more to life than money, so having goals in other areas of your life as well will help keep your life more balanced.

Make them SMART

I’m not going to go through yet another article or presentation on the benefits of SMART goals, as you’ve likely heard of them already or can find more information in a quick Google search. However, it is nice to have a reminder to have specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound goals. This changes the “I want a new car” into “I want to be able to afford a 2008+ used car with under 150,000 miles on it by the time I graduate.”