Who doesn’t want financial stability in life? But what most people fail to understand is how vital intermediate financial goals are, besides short-term, long-term, and midterm goals.
Goals help you stay focused on a fixed path and not make any unplanned expenditures.
If you aren’t working towards a fixed objective, you are more likely to spend randomly and end up with financial shortages during emergencies or, worse, when you finally decide to retire.
Without proper financial planning, you will also find yourself stuck in an endless cycle of debt (mostly credit cards).
Getting insured will also become increasingly difficult for you with a perpetual shortage of cash. And without insurance, you know you are susceptible to some of the most major financial risks in life.
Don’t worry if you’ve never actually set up intermediate financial goals before and don’t know where to start.
We have curated a list of smart intermediate financial goals that you can set up in your life to stabilize your financial situation and plan for early retirement!
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How to Successfully Set Mid-Term or Intermediate Financial Goals
Financial goals can be categorized into three types: short-term, intermediate, and long-term goals. Intermediate goals are those that help you reach your long-term goals from the short-term ones.
For example, although paying off your debts should be a short-term goal (since it can be cleared in 1-3 years), most people struggle to deal with debt, making it a mid-term goal instead.
What are Mid-Term or Intermediate Financial Goals?
Intermediate financial goals are those that focus on your financial activities between now and the time you retire.
It mostly includes saving up to live a comfortable life after retirement, but it can also mean putting your basic finances in order.
Most people breeze through long-term and short-term financial planning but struggle with intermediate financial goals.
It might be because intermediate goals take relatively more money, so people find it easier to just keep delaying them.
Procrastinating will just make things worse for you; let us help you by building clear and concise intermediate financial goals.
Why are Intermediate Financial Goals Important?
Medium-term financial goals hold a value in our lives that long-term or short-term goals cannot fulfill. They define our values, our goals, and who we really are.
Unlike short-term goals, which make the backbone of your day-to-day financial security, and long-term goals which are basically the result of years of hard work and clever planning, intermediate financial goals are how you choose to live today.
Therefore, while planning your mid-term finances, factor in what things matter to you and what you value in life.
Mid-Term or Intermediate Financial Goals Examples
What involves the planning of intermediate financial goals?
Generally, you would want to start planning mid-term goals right after you complete your education and start doing a job. It’s when you start planning your retirement.
1. Invest in Further Education
Investing in yourself is the best kind of investment you can make. It is an essential step in building your wealth as you grow.
Put thought into what you want to study and what value it will add to your life; don’t invest in your higher studies just for the sake of it.
A good time to evaluate your higher education is when you’ve just started your career (your first job)!
Think about how the education you plan to pursue will help you make a higher income (maybe a 6-figure salary, depending on your personal goal).
Will a master’s degree increase your skill level to such an extent that you can bag a job that pays 6 figures annually?
If not, move on to other intermediate financial goals instead of wasting money on this one.
2. Get Out of Debt Completely
Paying off all of your debts should be your next intermediate financial goal. The time it will take to clear off all your debts depends upon how many you have and how big they are.
But getting debt under control is one of the most important factors in achieving financial security.
Here’s a rule of thumb: Start with the debt that has the highest rate of interest and then work your way down.
Usually, the steps include paying off your credit card, automobile, and student loans, respectively.
Remember, everyone is in a different situation with debt. So, don’t compare where you are in life with anyone else’s current status.
3. Get a High Paying Job
This one is somewhat related to our first point. Remember how we mentioned a higher education could be a good investment? Make use of it to get a higher-paying job!
Changing jobs is the easiest way to make more money in a short span of time, especially with rapid upskilling, when you are an even more valuable asset to any company.
But make sure to take these decisions with proper thought and planning. Look up reputed companies that will value your skills, create a healthy network, and then apply for suitable jobs.
Don’t just run after a salary hike without considering any other factors that go into taking a job.
This is an intermediate financial goal for your 30s; the process can take a while, even a few years.
4. Create Multiple Streams of Income
Insuring your income is the best way to plan a secure financial future.
Besides your full-time job, you may want to set up a secondary source of income as a cushion if your primary one fails to keep up sometimes.
Or even as an extra cash flow, a side business is always a good idea! Additional streams of income can help you save up quicker and retire early.
Moreover, they can greatly bear a part of your debt burdens.
Your income portfolio diversifies with several sources of income, hence making you independent of relying on a single income source ever again!
5. Plan for Early Retirement
Another great intermediate financial goal is to plan for early retirement.
No matter how much you love your job or whatever it is that you do as an occupation, retiring early is always a good financial goal.
Additionally, planning an early retirement will open up your investment portfolio specifically for retirement plans.
That way, you won’t have any trouble saving up for that phase of your life at all, unlike later, when it’s more difficult keeping aside money for retirement plans.
6. Be Able to Live Less than You Earn –No Matter What
Do you live on less than you earn or go all out and live the most lavish life your bank account can afford?
While wanting to live a luxurious life isn’t wrong, you have to keep in mind whether your lifestyle can accommodate other expenses like debt payments, retirement investments, or even savings!
The mantra is to live on less than you earn and save a large chunk of your monthly income for future plans.
Yes, increasing your income is a route you can take, but none of it matters if you don’t use the difference wisely.
7. End Any Addiction That Affects Your Work
This one might stray from being a direct financial goal, but nonetheless, it’s an important one to live by.
Addictions often tend to sabotage the growth and development of not only your financial goals but also your bright future altogether. It’s like a financial parasite of sorts.
You might not even realize it, but a disproportionate sum of money will go out regularly to buy more and more stuff for your addiction that could have made it into healthy investments or planned expenses.
Because that’s the thing about addiction: when you need your stuff, you just need them; there’s no rational thought or planning.
Stuff can easily be called capital traps to tie up significant parts of your money without any financial benefit in return.
So, if you even suspect a personal addiction, immediately make it a financial goal to end the addiction for good.
Live your life with healthy planning and a stable financial future.
8. Pay for Wedding
Most people want to settle down and start a family, generally in their 20s. A good intermediate financial goal is to save up early for your own wedding.
Some couples are financially supported by their parents, making it easier for them to save up for their big day.
Saving for a wedding would require at least a year or two, depending on the size of the wedding you’re planning.
When you finally spend the amount on your wedding, you can start fresh and plan for your retirement or maybe a forever-cherished vacation.
Ticking one financial goal at a time is important to keep the stone rolling.
9. Buy a Home
Your next mid-term financial goal should be to settle down in your own home. Find yourself a cozy, affordable dream home in a locality you like and make the downpayment from your savings.
Buying your own house is a huge commitment, so take your sweet time to go through some really good choices and decide wisely. Meanwhile, you can also save up to make the downpayment.
The general steps involved in buying a dream house are establishing a budget, choosing a desirable place to live in, investigating various neighborhoods, and touring a few houses.
Keep a note of all the extra expenses that come with buying a house: repairs, renovations, home loan payments, and a hefty real estate commission on your equity when you decide to sell it!
10. Start a Family
Now that you are married and are living in your dream house, you might want to start a family.
Starting your own family is a big commitment; there are just so many factors you need to consider before you deem yourself stable enough to maintain a healthy family.
Starting a family requires you and your partner to plan everything well beforehand.
Check your finances and reason with a rational head about whether your family is financially stable enough to bring a child into the picture.
Childcare is expensive: be it during infancy or when the kid goes to school. It’s the expense of an entirely new human being you decide to bring to the world!
Only when both you and your partner have carefully evaluated your finances, and the results show that you’re sound enough to raise a child are you free to go ahead with future family planning!
11. Save for Something You Value
This is highly subjective. Everyone has something different they want to save up for.
In your case, it could be a car, an engagement ring for your significant other, a piece of jewelry you’ve been eyeing, etc.
What you value and want to save for as an intermediate financial goal is unique.
Other valuable expenses include a house revamp: maybe your kitchen needs a new lease of life. How about turning it into a modular kitchen?
Or maybe a bathtub for your luxury-simulating bathroom? Sometimes, you might even want to transform a room into a gaming room, guest room, and such.
Although we just mentioned that things of value differ from one person to another, a house reno is always a good mid-term financial goal because it not only boosts your esteem but also increases your house’s equity!
12. Go on a Dream Trip
Vacations are an important part of human life. Everything, from planning the trip, the research work that goes into booking flights and hotels, to the actual vacation period, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
No matter what the reason for your trip is: seeing an old friend who lives away from you, taking time out and traveling for a year, exploring places you haven’t been to before, or just taking a break from stressful work weeks, all trips need a significant amount of money.
Save up for your trip well in advance to have a hassle-free experience. Here are a few amazing places to visit on a trip!
13. Plan For Your Children’s Education
This point is reliant on a lot of factors. Firstly, not all couples want or have kids, and out of those that do, not everyone plans to pay for their children’s education once they’re adults.
Depending on your child’s career goals and your family’s plans in general, education might be a short-term, intermediate, or long-term financial goal for you.
But we recommend you add it to the list of intermediate financial goals. Every career path has a different expense.
Medicine, engineering, and law are the most expensive education to pay for (without scholarship), followed by the less intimidating expense of art, history, literature, etc.
Sit with your family and plan these mid-term financial goals well.
14. Start a Business
Starting a business can feel intimidating now, but once you take a step towards actually building your own business, you’ll find things getting less and less challenging.
Not only is a business thrilling to own, but is also financially liberating. In the list of intermediate financial goals, starting a business is an important one!
Let’s look at a few things that are essential for starting a solid business. Creating a proper plan is of utmost importance before starting any business.
Do you have a clear picture of what product or service you want to sell?
Chart out a thorough plan for your product/service, its production, how you can best market them, pricing your products and services right, and finally, on what scale your business will be.
Next, create financial goals for the business. These goals line up directly with your intermediate financial goals. Once it starts running, your business will snowball into a fully profitable source of immense income!
15. Make Sure You Have an Emergency Fund
Lastly, emergency funds are extremely important to completely secure your financial future.
Emergencies can come in any form: a car breakdown, medical conditions, or generally large unplanned expenses.
The good idea is to stow away 20% of your paycheck every month for 3-6 months into an emergency fund.
Try to manage all your monthly expenditures within the remaining 70 out of 80%. The 10% that remains can go directly into your savings for intermediate financial goals.
How to Achieve Intermediate Financial Goals
You can easily achieve your intermediate goals by following these 3 simple steps: planning, action, and monitoring.
Writing down your plan of action is a great way to start with your intermediate financial goals. Mid-term financial goals in the 3 to 5 years range generally need to be planned well.
By planning, we mean making a detailed step-by-step plan of action to achieve your goals. The second step, follow your plan, and act on it!
Monitor your actions and progress. Are you moving at the pace planned? Will you meet your intermediate goals within the timeframe you planned?
Keeping a tab on your progress helps you stay on track and rectify possible mistakes.
Conclusion: What are Your Intermediate Financial Goals?
Now that you know SO much about intermediate financial goals, we want to see you plan your own and set out on your journey to achieving them!
We know that saving money doesn’t feel as exciting as spending it on things you like, but trust us, every little sum you save now will help you later in life.
One last thing, intermediate financial goals are not just for planning a financially secure retirement.
Saving money to retire early and live a stress-free life is great, but there’s also so much you can do in your 30s and 40s with all the money you save now!
So with that, we leave you to spend your money wisely and save wherever you can!
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Hello there, I’m Siva Mahesh, an MBA Finance post-graduate and a Remote Career & Personal Finance blogger for 5+ years. Over the years, my work has been featured on US News, Entrepreneur, MSN, Yahoo Finance, GoBankingRates, EverQuote, Legal Zoom, The Simple Dollar, Databox, Business.com, Business News Daily, Venngage, Score.org, and more. My primary mission is to help our readers maximize their earning potential with legitimate online business ideas, side hustles, and passive income ideas we publish on Dreamshala. Currently, more than 100,000 readers from all around the world visit this blog every month and learn new ways to improve their finances.