Create a budget for your long-term goals

Budgeting for the near future may get you a new car or a vacation, but budgeting with an eye out for your long-term goals may be more fulfilling in the end.

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When budgeting money, most of us assume the point is simply to pay our bills. However, if you set out to make your budget with goals for what you want out of life in mind, you can use your money more effectively.

As personal finance blog Mom and Dad Money explains, goals don't just have to be things like saving up for vacation or buying a gadget. Your approach to your budget should consider the things you want out of life. If you want to spend your life traveling and seeing the world, then budgeting $20,000 on a car may not help as much as getting a still-great car for half as much.

When you sit down to figure out how you're going to budget, start with the things you want out of life. Start with your long-term goals, your current passions, the things that bring you happiness.

Your goal is to make it easier to get more of those things in your life, so put those things into your budget first. Figure out how much money you need to make those things happen, and let everything else fall into place around them.

Not everything you want to do in life may fit in your monthly budget, but it should at least be a consideration. Your daily purchasing habits can easily undermine long-term goals if you're not conscious of them. So, rather than putting money into a generic group called "savings", allocate it towards your future goals and let that filter change how you approach your spending.

Topics:
  • Budgeting
  • Saving and Spending
  • Budgeting
  • Saving and Spending
  • Budgeting
  • Saving and Spending
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This article was written by Eric Ravenscraft from Lifehacker and was licensed as an article reprint. Article copyright January 7, 2015 by Lifehacker.
The statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. Fidelity Investments cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any statements or data.
This reprint is supplied by Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC.
The third party provider of the reprint permission and Fidelity Investments are independent entities and not legally affiliated.
The images, graphs, tools, and videos are for illustrative purposes only.
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