Start with the near future. Think about your needs, wants and your priorities. What do you want to do within the next year that will cost money? It could be to pay off your $800 credit card balance, put $1,000 in a Registered Retirement Savings Plan or add a deck to your home for $2,000.
Think further into the future. What do you want to do in the next one to three years that will cost money? It could be to take a ski vacation for $3,500, save $5,000 for your children’s education or buy a used car for $15,000.
Now look even further ahead. What do you want to do three or more years into the future that will cost money? It could be to pay off your $25,000 student loan, save $30,000 toward your retirement or renovate your home for $50,000.