It’s never too early or too late to start planning for your future and achieving your financial goals. Setting and working towards finance objectives, no matter if they are short term or long term goals, can be incredibly empowering.
Setting realistic and attainable goals is essential for long-term success, and here are examples of the top ones for your bucket list.
The Ultimate Finance Bucket List: Ideas and Examples for your Short Term and Long Term Financial Goals
1. Improve your FICO Score
If you’re thinking of applying for a loan of almost any kind, your FICO score might be a large part of the deciding factor whether you get the loan or not. The little three-digit number is a big factor in determining your creditworthiness. Ranging from 300-850, it is based on your credit report, which contains information about your credit utilization, payment history, length of credit history and other factors.
The higher your FICO Score, the better, as it indicates better responsibility and usually translates into lower interest rates on loans and credit cards. It’s important to monitor your FICO Score regularly, as even small changes can make a big impact on your credit profile.
There are several things you can do to increase your FICO score:
- Pay Your Bills On Time: Payment history is one of the most important factors in determining your FICO score, so make sure to pay all your bills on time, every time.
- Keep Your Credit Card Balances Low: Having credit cards can help your FICO score, but high balances can negatively impact it. Try to keep your balances below 30% of your available credit limit (and pay your bill on time!).
- Build a Long Credit History: The length of your credit history is also an important factor in determining your FICO score. It can be beneficial to keep your oldest credit accounts open, even if you don’t use them regularly.
- Limit New Credit Applications: Applying for too much credit in a short period can lower your score, so limit new credit applications unless you really need them.
- Diversify Your Credit Mix: Having a mix of different types of credit, such as credit cards, car loans, and mortgages, can improve your score.
- Check Your Credit Report For Mistakes: Make sure to check your credit report for errors and fraudulent activity that may negatively impact your score. You can usually get a free credit report once a year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
- Be Patient: Improving your credit score takes time, so be patient and focus on good financial habits over the long term.
2. Lower your Monthly Bills
We all want to save money wherever possible, and one of the best places to start is by lowering our monthly bills. So, what are the best ways to do that? Well, there are several options. For starters, consider cutting the cord on your cable TV service and opting for a streaming service instead. You can also call your internet and phone provider to negotiate a better rate or switch to a different provider altogether.
Another simple way to save money is to lower your energy usage by turning off lights and unplugging electronics when you’re not using them. And lastly, take a look at your monthly subscriptions – are there any that you can live without or downgrade? Making small changes may not seem like much at first, but they can add up to big savings over time.
3. Start a Bucket List Dream Fund
Have you ever looked at your bank account and thought, “I really wish I could go on a trip or have some epic fun with friends, but I just don’t have the funds”? Trust me, I’ve been there too. But fear not, starting a savings account for travel and fun is easier than you might think.
Keeping your fun money and bill money in different accounts makes it easier to save and see your progress. Starting a separate bucket list dream fund will make all those goals become a reality much quicker, and opening an account is easier than you might think.
Here are some tips:
- Set a Realistic Savings Goal: It doesn’t matter if you decide to save $5 or $50 a week, set a budget and stick to it.
- Open a Savings Account: Find a savings account with a good interest rate and no fees (My account is with the Discover high-yield savings).
- Set Up Automatic Transfers: Lastly, make your savings automatic by setting up automatic transfers or direct deposit.
4. Make a Will
So, making a will isn’t exactly the most fun financial goal, but it is definitely important—you don’t want everything you’ve worked hard for to go to the wrong people! You can find an attorney who specializes in creating wills and living trusts, or for a more economical option you can use an online company like LegalZoom.
5. Create a Budget Spreadsheet
Some people may cringe at the thought of creating a budget, but the truth is having one is essential for financial stability. Without one, it’s like driving blindfolded—you have no idea where your money is going or what you have left.
A budget helps you track your income and expenses, allowing you to make better decisions with your money. It also helps you stay on top of bills, avoid debt, and save for the future.
You can use a spreadsheet to list down your income and keep track of budgeting your monthly. You can also use budgeting apps instead to help make budgeting easier while also being readily accessible through your phone (Mint is one of the most popular ones).
6. Open an IRA
Have you ever heard of an IRA? Essentially, an IRA is like a high-yield savings account but intended for retirement purposes. Opening one isn’t overly complicated, but there are a few things to consider. You’ll need to determine what type of IRA you want to open (traditional or Roth) and where you want to open it (mine is a traditional with Charles Schwab).
7. Buy Your Own Home
Owning a home is an integral part of the American dream for many of us because it represents the ultimate symbol of financial success, stability, and security—it is a major life milestone!
There are also plenty of practical reasons why buying your own home is important. Most importantly, it’s an investment in your future. Instead of wasting money on rent each month, you’re building equity and increasing your net worth.
8. Have a “No Spend” Day
Have you ever tried going an entire day without spending any money? It can be a powerful exercise in mindfulness and self-control. It helps you appreciate the things you already have and encourages you to be more creative in finding ways to entertain yourself without credit cards or cash.
Additionally, taking a day off from spending can create better financial habits encouraging you to save more and be more mindful about your spending.
9. Read One Finance Book Every Quarter
If you’re looking for some inspiration to reach your financial goals, then you should start with reading some finance books. Not only can these books teach you a thing or two about money management, but they can also help you stay motivated along the way.
Some of my favorites are:
- “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Clason: first published in 1926, it is a collection of parables set in ancient Babylon, which aim to provide practical financial advice that remain relevant today.
- “Retire Before Mom and Dad” by Rob Berger: provides a comprehensive guide to achieving financial independence and early retirement, with practical advice and insights on both the financial and emotional aspects of this journey.
- “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth” by T. Harv Eker: The book focuses on the psychology and mindset required to build wealth and achieve financial success.
10. Contribute to a 401k
A 401k is basically a type of retirement plan that’s offered by employers. It allows employees to contribute a portion of their salary on a pre-tax basis, which means that the amount contributed is not subject to income tax until it is withdrawn.
Employers may also offer a matching contribution, which is a percentage of the employee’s contribution up to a certain limit. The matching contribution is essentially like getting free money that can help to accelerate retirement savings.
11. Have an Emergency Fund
A financial emergency fund is money set aside to cover your monthly living expenses for 3-6 months. It is there in case of an unexpected situation, for example sudden job loss. This way you won’t have to dip into your long-term savings or retirement accounts, which can set back your financial goals.
12. Declutter & Sell Your Stuff
We all have gadgets, clothing and useless items lying around our homes that we no longer use or need, why not sell them for some extra cash? All you need to do is gather up any items that are in good condition, snap a few pictures, and post them on an online marketplace, list them on a resell app or have a garage sale.
13. Start a Side Hustle
In today’s world, having a side hustle has become the new norm. If you’re not familiar with the term, a side hustle is simply a way to make extra income outside of your regular job. And with so many options available, starting one couldn’t be easier! Whether it’s selling homemade crafts on Etsy, freelancing on sites like Fiverr or Upwork, or driving for Uber or Lyft, there’s something for everyone (Forbes also has 29 great side hustle ideas).
All you need is a little bit of time and energy to get started. And who knows? Your side hustle could turn into a full-time business venture down the road (mine did!).
14. Break an Expensive Habit
Let’s face it, we all have bad habits. Maybe it’s smoking cigarettes, spending too much time clothes shopping or indulging in that daily latte. But have you ever stopped to think about how much these habits are costing you? Cutting out a bad habit can not only improve your health and well-being, but it can also save you a ton of money. For example, that daily latte can add up to over $1,000 a year!
15. Have Zero Credit Card Balances
Credit cards can be a great tool for emergencies, building credit, and earning rewards. But we’ve all heard cautionary tales of people racking up huge amounts of debt and struggling to pay it off. But, don’t forget that every charge we make is money we have to pay back eventually. And if we don’t pay it back in full, we’ll start accruing interest on that balance. It can quickly snowball out of control and leave us with a hefty monthly bill to pay.
A couple tips to getting out of debt are:
- Focus on paying off the card with the highest interest rate first. The less you’re paying in interest, the faster you can get out of debt.
- Try to make more than just the minimum payments each month if you can.
- Consider transferring your balance to a card with a lower interest rate if it’s available to you.
16. Be a Millionaire
For most people becoming a millionaire will take hard work, dedication, and lots of patience. It took all of that for me! But, there are actually quite a few different ways to achieve this financial milestone. Some people inherit their wealth, while others work tirelessly to save and invest. Starting your own successful business or investing in the stock market can also be ways to grow your net worth. And let’s not forget about real estate—buying a home that increases in value or a rental property that brings in monthly income can add to your net worth.
17. Negotiate a Raise
You work hard every day, putting in extra hours, reaching your targets and meeting deadlines. You come in early, stay late, and your co-workers often come to you for help. You know you’re worth more, and it’s time to ask for a raise.
Negotiating a raise can be scary, but it’s important to put in the effort. If you don’t ask, you might not get! Employers expect their employees to negotiate, and it shows initiative and confidence in your work. So don’t hesitate to ask for what you’re worth.
Need help asking for a raise? Business Weekly will give you 5 tips for success.
18. Start a Business
There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to starting a business, like your skill set, experience, financial situation and the risk level you are comfortable with. Though there’s nothing like the feeling of having your own successful business! The rewards can be flexibility, independence, potential higher earnings and so much pride.
If you’re a little nervous to begin, consider starting small. You might start a side hustle or freelance gig to test the waters and see if entrepreneurship is really for you.
19. Invest in a College Education
Investing in a college education is a huge financial and time commitment, but the benefits of a can outweigh the effort.
Some potential benefits of investing in a college education include:
- Career Advancement: A college education can open up new job opportunities and help you advance in your current career.
- Higher Earning Potential: Studies have shown that people with a college degree tend to earn more over their lifetime than those without one.
- Personal Growth: College can be a great opportunity for personal growth and self-discovery. You’ll have the chance to learn new things, meet new people, and explore your interests and passions.
- Networking Opportunities: College can be a great place to meet people and build a professional network that can help you throughout your career.
20. Be Debt Free
Can you imagine how good it would feel to be completely debt-free, without a credit card bill or mortgage? Pretty damn good. Let’s be honest, being debt-free takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. But is it impossible? Absolutely not!
The journey to debt freedom is a marathon, not a sprint. It may take some time and effort, but with the right mindset and plan of action, it is achievable. One of the biggest challenges is changing our spending habits and avoiding impulse purchases. It’s tough to resist the temptation of instant gratification, but remember, short-term sacrifices lead to long-term rewards.
21. Have Multiple Income Streams
When it comes to income, having multiple streams means more stability and security. Diversification is key, so that if one source dries up, you’ve got others to fall back on. Here are some ways to have several incomes at once:
- Start a Side Hustle
- Invest in Stocks or Real Estate
- Rent Out a Room on Airbnb
It’s time to set some financial goals and slay them like the queen or king that you are. Pay off that debt, build up that emergency fund, and invest in your future like the badass are. Remember, financial independence is the ultimate freedom, so let’s get to achieving those short term and long term financial goals.
This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through my links, I earn a commission that helps to keep this blog running—at no extra cost to you. For more information read my full disclosure.
More About Blogging & Money
75+ Simple Ways to Save Money for Your Bucket List
How to Make Money Blogging: 7 Ways to Monetize
Become a Blogger: How to Start a Successful Blog in 6 Easy Steps
Blogging 101 Tips: 10 Beginner Mistakes to Avoid (& How to Fix Them)
12 Bucket List Goals That Can Actually Save You Money