Budgeting Step 3: Setting up your goals

Last Updated: Jan 13, 2015 04:17PM EST
LearnVest's Money Center is a tool for helping you achieve your financial goals, such as paying down debt, saving for retirement, or saving for a big trip.

To add a goal, go to the "Priority Goals" tab of the Money Center and then click, "Create a Priority Goal."

Please note, you can currently only create a priority goal against a linked account. If you haven't yet linked your accounts, please check out this page for a step-by-step guide on linking your account.

1. Select the type of goal you'd like to create. Possible goals include paying down credit card debt, repaying student loans, building up emergency savings, retirement savings, or even saving for a vacation or a wedding.

2. Connect each goal to an account, such as a credit card, or savings account. Name each goal and enter the total amount you need to save or pay down.

3. Then, set your monthly contributions to at least your required minimum payments. You can use the slider to see how increasing your monthly contributions affects the time it will take you to achieve each goal.

4. If you're unable to link an account you'd like to track a goal against, simply create a new folder in the "Fixed Costs" category to keep track of your monthly payments. Set the monthly budget to the minimum required payment, or to what you'd like your monthly contribution goal to be. At LearnVest, we recommend creating separate bank accounts, or subaccounts, for each of your goals. This will help ensure that you don't borrow money from your emergency fund to pay for a vacation. It will also be easier to see the progress you're making on each of your goals.

If you go back to your Inbox, you can see the "Priorities" category which is linked to the priority goals you just set up. Now, when you make contributions toward those goals, you'll need to organize those payment or deposit transactions into the folders in this section. You can learn more about how your Priority Goal folders work here

To help you achieve your financial goals, work with a LearnVest planner! Your planner can help you be as specific as possible in creating a timeline and amount for your goals. When appropriate, your planner can also help you manage your contributions to your online accounts or brokerage firms to use and how much to contribute each month. Learn more by scheduling a free 15 minute assessment call with a LearnVest Program Expert here.

Now, you're ready to set up your flex spending.

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