For step-by-step advice on setting financial goals, see this outline by Erin Huffstetler at About.com. You can even print out a goals worksheet. Huffstetler says to set short-, medium- and long-term goals. Then, estimate their costs, and start budgeting - meaning saving. "Keep your motivation by revisiting your list frequently to check on your progress," she writes. And if setbacks come, don't get discouraged and give up. Rather, set a new date for reaching your goal.
For another take on setting short-, medium- and long-term goals, see this page at Dummies.com, home of the "For Dummies" book publisher.
Kiplinger.com breaks down financial goal-setting with an introduction to the big-picture concepts: "You probably don't expect to attain great wealth in your lifetime. Simple financial security would do, if only you knew what that meant." There's the rub. The article says financial security, first, means having income, usually from a job, and some expectation that the income will continue.
Get a job, keep one or get promoted with tips from career-advice writer Karen Burns, back at the U.S. News Money site. Practice speaking, look happy, eat gracefully. Hey, these are good dating tips, too. Also, you should blog, tweet, volunteer and hang out with upbeat people, Burns writes.
Making mistakes in goal-setting can set you back. Learn some common errors from this post at MindTools.com. They happen in financial goal-setting as well as in other life issues. You may set unrealistic goals, set too many goals or, perhaps most important, fail to see how you can learn from your failures along the way.
Contact Reid Kanaley at email@example.com, 215-854-5114 or @ReidKan.