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Setting new goals starts with thinking about paying yourself first.

It is important to understand what that truly means and what the steps are to accomplish your goals. Essentially, in order make your financial goals a priority, you set aside a percentage of your pay, month after month, after you pay your bills but before other spending. There are two scenarios you should look at when setting goals.

1. Long-term commitment.

Keep in mind that saving, investing, and growing a portfolio takes time; therefore, it’s important to look ahead and not get discouraged if you don’t see immediate results.

2. Short-term commitment.

Generally, this is less than 5 years. These goals might include putting aside extra money to pay off student loans, vacation, or another big expense. Whether you have long-term or short-term savings goals, remember to stay the course and always remember to pay yourself first.

Building savings is a powerful motivator — it’s empowering.

Most people spend their money in the following order: bills, fun, savings. Not surprisingly, there’s usually little left over to put in your account. But if you make savings a priority — bills, savings, fun — you’re able to set the money aside before you rationalize reasons to spend it.

Written by: Henry Molina, Lafayette Federal, VP Business Development

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