Financial advisor helping set financial goals

8 Steps to Reach Financial Goals

By Scott Jensen, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®, RICP®, AFFP®, Financial Planning Consultant 

If you want to build the future you envision, start by setting financial goals. The methods you use to reach those goals will impact your progress and your success. Use these strategies to stay focused and on track to achieving your financial goals. 

Setting financial goals

1. Get organized & gather your data

It’s difficult to monitor your progress toward managing debt and saving for the future if you don’t know where you started. Pull all of your financial information together in one place.  Write down your debts including monthly payments, interest rates, amounts you borrowed; your assets including retirement accounts, savings accounts, cash, house, cars, etc. This exercise gives you the foundation you need to move forward and allows you to track and celebrate progress.

Try our printable debt payoff worksheet to help you track and plan for paying off debt.

2. Prioritize your goals

What is most important to you? Establishing priorities provides perspective and helps you focus.  Tackling the highest priorities first will offer more opportunities to celebrate and reach your goals faster. 

Determine whether to pay off debt or invest with our pay off debt or invest calculator.

3. Set micro-financial goals

Achieving goals is motivating – so if you break up one large goal into several smaller ones, you can start building some momentum and not feel overwhelmed. This method also can make your money goals feel more attainable.

4. Write down your financial goals 

Actually writing your goals down – in a notebook, on the notes app in your phone, in an email to yourself – will help you achieve them.  Need some examples of financial goals?

Try some of these financial goals examples: 

  • I want to retire by x date
  • I want to purchase x
  • I want to pay for a vacation
  • I want to pay off my debt

This process helps create accountability and drive prioritization and will give you a document to reference as you measure progress.

5. Discuss your goals with your family 

Getting everyone involved and on the same page builds accountability. Talk about your financial future as a family to give everyone skin in the game. Getting children involved teaches them financial skills and shows them how to set basic goals and accomplish them.  

6. Measure and readjust

Regularly check in to see if you’re on track so you can see where you may need to take action. 

Stay on track with your financial goals by using one of our saving and investing calculators or worksheets! We offer tools to help you save, budget, and pay off debt.

7. Think about the future. 

Paying attention to your finances today can help you prepare for the tomorrow you want. For example, you can achieve significant results by increasing retirement savings 1% each year. Committing to save at least one-half of any windfalls – such as bonuses, tax refunds, gifts, etc. – can help you make powerful progress toward your long-term financial goals.

8. Find a reliable and trusted financial advisor

Sometimes thinking about your financial life can be overwhelming. There’s a lot of information out there, and you may feel pressure to make decisions. Working with an experienced financial advisor can help guide you and keep you on track. 

Learn more about our financial services.


Updated 1-10-23


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COUNTRY Financial® is a family of affiliated companies (collectively, COUNTRY) located in Bloomington, IL. Learn more about who we are.