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  • Timing of Goals  
    • Short-term goals are goals to be achieved within the next year or so, such as saving for a vacation or paying off small debts.
    • Intermediate goals have a time frame of two to five years.
    • Long-term goals involve financial plans that are more than five years off, such as retirement savings, money for children’s college education, or the purchase of a vacation home.
  • Goal frequency is another ingredient in the financial planning process.
    • Some goals, such as vacations or money for gifts, may be set annually. Other goals, such as a college education, a car, or a house, occur less frequently.
  • Goals for Different Financial Needs
    • Consumable-product goals usually occur on a periodic basis and involve items that are used up relatively quickly, such as food, clothing, and entertainment. Such purchases, if made unwisely, can have a negative effect on your financial situation.
    • Durable-product goals usually involve infrequently purchased, expensive items such as appliances, cars, and sporting equipment; these consist of tangible items. In contrast, many people overlook intangible-purchase goals.
  • Goal-Setting Guidelines—your financial goals should be stated to take the following factors into account: 
    • Financial goals should be realistic. 
    • Financial goals should be stated in specific, measurable terms. 
    • Financial goals should have a time frame. 
    • Goal Setting Sheet