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.
FinancesOnline This expansive site has useful resources including guides, libraries, and information matching your life-stage.
Family Budget MapThe Economic Policy Institute has created this tool to help you with your budget planning. It identifies a family's basic needs, and monthly budget factors. Be mindful that it does not include items like entertainment, loan repayments, or training costs.
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