Finance

Your Budget

Assessing Your Financial Values

When creating your budget and setting your goals, it may be helpful to look at how you think about money and why you make the choices you do. While money matters may seem like black and white issues, there can be many factors at play. Taking a look at previous financial decisions, your attitudes about money and your personal values will help you as you set your goals. Some questions to think about include:

  • Why is money important to me?
  • What would I do if I won the lottery?
  • What do I need?
  • What do I want?
  • Am I a risk taker or do I like to play it safe?
  • What have I been taught about money?

Financial Values Guide Contains questionnaires and worksheets.

Money Basics Tutorials Learn more about paying bills, tax documents and more using these informative interactive activities.

Setting Your Financial Goals

You probably have some ideas about the things you want in your future. One advantage of setting financial goals is that you know you have something to work towards. Sometimes you can get caught up in the day-to-day issues and forget to look at the long term plans.

Financial goals are the specific things you want to do with your money within a certain period of time. These goals can help guide the way you spend and invest your money both today and in the future. Take time to write down your goals so you can see what is really important to you and what you want for your future. Generally, financial goals fall into three categories:

  • 1) Short-term Goals: Completed in less than one year.
  • 2) Mid-range Goals: Completed in 1-3 years; supports long-term goal.
  • 3) Long-term Goals: What you hope to achieve in 3-10+ years.

Helpful Tools When Considering Your Financial Goals:

A Beginners Guide to Securing Your Financial Future This resource covers topics including budgeting, investing, debt management, and building wealth. The workbook provides definitions to financial terms as well as activities to help you think about your money matters.

Reality Check Tool on iSeek This interactive tool can be used to see how career choices, salary, cost of living, and other aspect effect your overall life situation.

The Cost of Living in Minnesota The Jobs Now Coalition has created this tool to help you match hourly wages to your monthly budget planning. It identifies a family's basic needs and what it costs to meet them. You input your location in the state, your family size, and monthly budget factors. Be mindful that it does not include items like entertainment, loan repayments, or training costs. Use the Wage and Budget Calculator to get started.

360 Degrees of Financial Literacy A free Financial Literacy Program of the nation's certified public accountants to help Americans understand their personal finances through every stage in life.

Cost of Raising a Child This resource from the University of Minnesota Extension Department provides information including, monthly cost tables for various family sizes, to help you plan family finances.

University of MN Extension Resource Management for Daily Life
This site provides educational information and activities for you to make informed decisions about managing your personal finances, including:

  • Tax Credit Information
  • Credit card information
  • The cost of raising children
  • Getting through tough times

Career / Education / Finance / Leadership / Personal / E-Folio Login / About GPS LifePlan

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On Campus

Your campus may have resources to assist you with developing your GPS LifePlan. Be sure to take advantage of their valuable services.

Upcoming Workshops

Workshops and seminars are a valuable tool to help you explore the different areas of the GPS LifePlan. Your campus may or may not offer workshops or seminars, check with your GPS LifePlan coordinator.


Checklists
Career Checklist

Navigate your CareerPlan by referencing the checklist below.

Have you:

  1. Assessed your values, interests, and skills?
  2. Researched possible career choices?
  3. Created a resume and cover letter?
  4. Activated your eFolio account?
  5. Started the job search process?

Click here to view the GPS LifePlan checklist.

Click here to view the GPS LifePlan list of activities and resources.

Education Checklist

Navigate your EducationPlan by referencing the checklist below.

Have you:

  1. Developed SMART goals?
  2. Decided on a major or program of study?
  3. Assessed your learning style?
  4. Researched study skills and strategies?
  5. Arranged a meeting with an advising professional to select appropriate courses?

Click here to view the GPS LifePlan checklist.

Click here to view the GPS LifePlan list of activities and resources.

Finance Checklist

Navigate your FinancePlan by referencing the checklist below.

Have you:

  1. Established your short and long-term financial goals?
  2. Created a budget?
  3. Explored resources to help you pay for college?
  4. Assessed your debt situation?
  5. Developed a savings plan for the future?

Click here to view the GPS LifePlan checklist.

Click here to view the GPS LifePlan list of activities and resources.

Leadership Checklist

Navigate your LeadershipPlan by referencing the checklist below.

Have you:

  1. Assessed your leadership style?
  2. Completed a personality inventory?
  3. Formed your personal mission and vision statement?
  4. Explored the leadership resources?
  5. Participated in a campus or community activity to help build your leadership skills?
  6. Determined your Carbon Footprint?

Click here to view the GPS LifePlan checklist.

Click here to view the GPS LifePlan list of activities and resources.

Personal Checklist

Navigate your PersonalPlan by referencing the checklist below.

Have you:

  1. Explored the transition to college resources?
  2. Assessed your resiliency and ability to adapt to change?
  3. Established personal fitness goals?
  4. Examined the physical and mental wellness resources?
  5. Researched how to manage healthy relationships?

Click here to view the GPS LifePlan checklist.

Click here to view the GPS LifePlan list of activities and resources.