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Develop Your Personalized Financial Plan!

Steps to Build Plan
  Step 1 - Set goals
  Step 2 - Gather data
  Step 3 - Determine net worth
  Step 4 - Create/update your budget
  Step 5 - Define the cost of goals
  Step 6 - Assess your financial situation
  Step 7 - Develop the plan
  Step 8 - Take action
  Step 9 - Get help
  Net Worth Calculator (CNN Money)
  Net Worth Calculator (Excel)
  Average Net Worth Calculator
  Savings Calculator (Newlywedfinances)
  Goal Worksheet (Html)
  Goal Worksheet (Excel)
  Net Worth Worksheet
One way to fund a short-term goal

When we talk about goals, most of us focus on retirement, college, or a new house. These are all big ticket items that require both time and money to achieve, and therefore must be started today. But there are lots of other goals that are both less expensive and take much less time to save for. Some of these goals might be the annual vacation, or a new computer, or even getting through Christmas without charging everything to a credit card. The real question is how to save for these goals when there are so many other goals that you are (hopefully) already saving for.

An excellent way to save money that you won't miss is to play the "Change Game". Grab any container you can find, such as a small box or a jar, tape it shut so you can't easily get into it, and cut a slit in the top so you can put money in it. If you have an old piggy bank laying around, it might be time to use it again.

Decorate the container and label it with your goal. For example, if your goal is to take a trip to Hawaii, then make a nice colorful label with "Hawaii" on it, and tape (or glue) it to the container. Place this container where you will see it every day, and it will remind you to put your change in it.

If you really want to save, occasionally put a dollar in the container, or even more. One person we know uses coupons at the grocery store, and then puts the amount she saves each week using coupons in her "goal" jar. This one strategy could allow you to save hundreds of dollars a year toward your goal, and this is just the beginning. There are lots of creative ways to cut back on your expenses. Just make sure that you put the savings in your goal jar. When you finally open it, you may be pleasantly surprised by how much you have saved (and haven't missed).

Now go start saving your change so that you can achieve that goal.