How to Set Realistic Financial Goals with TD Bank

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There’s a lot of unsolicited financial advice out there about how to set (and achieve!) financial goals. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a trusted institution that provided free tools and resources? TD Bank’s Learning Center is exactly that. From practical advice to hands-on guidance and educational classes, TD Bank has the resources you need to help you meet those financial resolutions.

Let’s go over some main points to consider while setting your financial goals for the year and how TD Bank can help you get there.

What are financial goals?

Think of financial goals as your money bucket list—those things you want to hit with your cash, from the small wins to the big dreams. Whether it’s saving up for a cool trip, wiping out credit card debt, or playing the long game for a comfy retirement, these goals are your personal roadmap for your wallet. They’re about making smart choices now so you can chill or go big later.

By setting these goals, you give yourself a clear target, making it easier to figure out where to cut back, where to splash out, and how to stack your savings in a way that makes sense for you. Plus, they’re a big motivator to keep your finances in check, pushing you towards that sweet spot of financial freedom.

Long term vs short-term financial goals

Here’s the deal with long-term versus short-term financial goals: it’s all about the countdown. Short-term goals are your quick fixes, stuff you can achieve in a year or less. Think saving for a concert ticket, paying off a pesky bill, or squirreling away some emergency cash. These goals usually need a straightforward save-and-spend plan.

Long-term goals, though, are your big-ticket items that need more time to marinate, like buying a house, saving for retirement, or funding a kiddo’s college fund. These are the marathons that need a solid plan, often involving investments or savings accounts that grow over time. The trick is to juggle both, keeping your eyes on the prize for the big dreams while also celebrating the quick wins along the way.

How to set realistic financial goals

Setting financial goals is like planning the ultimate road trip for your money. First up, take a good look under the hood—check out where you’re at financially right now.

This means eyeballing your income, debts, what you’ve got stashed in savings, and your spending habits. Next, dream up what you want to achieve, making sure your goals are clear, doable, and have a deadline (think SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound). Break them down into quick wins you can achieve soon, and the bigger dreams that’ll take a bit longer. Figure out which ones need your attention first and start mapping out a plan for each, like tweaking your budget, setting up savings pots, or getting into investing.

And don’t forget to check in on your progress now and then, adjusting your plans as life throws its curveballs.

TD Bank has the tips you need to get a head start.

Here’s a brief overview of how to set realistic financial goals for the year:

1. Make a List of Upcoming Plans

To start, make a list of the events you may have lined up for the year ahead. Evaluate how your planned activities will reshape your financial situation. This might include saving for a child’s education fund, saving for a much-deserved vacation or working towards becoming debt-free from medical bills. Setting realistic financial goals for 2024 is the first step to financial empowerment.

2. Check Your Credit Score

A healthy credit score is vital if you’re planning on taking out a loan on a house, a car or anything else. Your score is impacted by recent debts, late payments, identity theft and more.

If your credit score isn’t quite where you want it to be, this could be a great goal to aim for this year. TD Bank has a ton of resources to help you improve your score.

3. Create a Budget

A well-crafted budget doesn’t just keep you on track with your financial goals, it also serves as your financial safeguard. How much have you saved up in your emergency fund? Do you have control over your credit card debt? A budget can prepare you for any of life’s curveballs.

Many banks and credit cards, including TD Bank, provide spending breakdowns. These insights are valuable for reviewing last year’s expenses and pinpointing areas to save or splurge less.

On top of that, TD Bank has lots of information on creating a fool-proof budget.

4. Savings Goals

Crafting a savings plan is like fortifying your financial core. The sooner you get started, the better. There are a bunch of great ways to stash away your savings. Spoiler alert: hiding it under your mattress is not one of them.

It’s generally advisable to keep your savings in a secure place like a federally insured bank where it can earn interest and be easily accessible when you need it.

TD Bank provides a few options, including savings, CD and IRA accounts. In fact, right now, you can earn an extra $200 when you open a new TD Bank savings account.

If you’re not sure where to start with your savings, you can explore TD Bank’s tools and learning resources on how to build savings.

5. Investment Goals

Investing is a great way to grow your money and set you up for a secure financial future. But most people don’t know where to start, let alone how to create investment goals.

If you’re new to the investment game, TD Bank offers easy-to-understand investment solutions and strategies from their Learning Center. It’s time to demystify investing and see how it can play a part in your future wealth.

6. Re-evaluate Your Goals Throughout the Year

Once you’ve set your goals and created a financial plan, it’s important to revisit them regularly. Checking up on your progress throughout the year gives you a chance to reevaluate and adjust your goals to stay on top of your year.

7. Reach Out to TD Bank for Personalized Help

Want more personalized help? TD Bank stands out by being an active part of your community. You can talk directly to a TD Bank representative that will not only listen to your goals, but help you reach them. You can contact TD Bank Customer Service or head over to your nearest TD Bank.

Reach your financial goals with TD Bank

By now, you’ve probably realized that TD Bank is more than just a bank. Their treasure trove of financial resources, tools and newly upgraded in-person banking experience make managing your financial goals much easier.

With TD Bank, you’re not just setting goals – you’re charting the course to financial success. Need more advice on how to set realistic financial goals for the new year? Visit TD Bank’s Learning Center to get the most out of your money. From comprehensive finance guides to digital banking tutorials, the Learning Center has everything you need to reach your financial goals and chart your course to financial success.

Or, visit TD Stories for more insightful resources on personal finance, economic outlook, and more, ensuring you’re always in the loop.