How Not to Move Back in With Your Parents

Finances After Graduation Podcast Episodes

Goals, Objectives & Priorities

Listen to the Podcast

Listen to this week's episode where Pete and Alex talk about setting goals and a budget.

Read the Show Notes

Goals are plans; there is an outcome and there is a way to measure success. To reach a goal you need to have objectives. Goals should have a timeline, and you should identify what needs to happen first, second, etc., in order to achieve them.

Now what does goal-setting have to do with finances? Well…there will generally be a financial impact because of your goals. If your goal is to get all A’s this semester, you might have to buy more coffee for your long study hours or you might have to pay for a tutor. In other words, you will have to make some trade-offs in order to achieve your goals. More importantly, you should always remember that any budget that you create is a goal; you are trying to fulfill the goal of following a “spending plan.”

Everyone that enters college has the goal of obtaining a degree, but often the plan to reach the end is a bit sketchy and not as well-planned as once thought. In fact, did you know that only 55% of IU baccalaureate degree candidates (first-time; full-time) finish in 4 years? University-wide it’s only 35%! Most students will claim they have an academic plan, (i.e., a specific major with courses identified by semester) but ask a fellow student what their financial plan to assure their academic plan is completed and be ready for some awkward silence.

And sadly, the number one reason students dropout or stopout is finances. Studies on student persistence report that nearly one-third of all enrolled students claim that financial stress is negatively impacting academic performance. Even more sad is the fact that these dropouts and stopouts can be prevented, at least in part, by having a plan laid out to achieve your goal.

And that’s where IU’s MoneySmarts programming comes in. If you believe your financial knowledge is not adequate, don’t get discouraged. Only 55% of all entering college students report they have received training at home regarding money and finances. If you need help, we’re here to help you learn about personal finance and help you make the right decisions with your money so that you leave school with as little debt as possible, as well as a good amount of financial information that will enable you to be a better steward of your money. Check out all of the resources on this site or schedule a visit with a Peer Educator.

Years ago, I attended a business presentation and without warning the guest-speaker said, “Get out your goal card!” Of course everyone looked to the left and to the right to see if anyone really had a goal card. The speaker, of course reached into his wallet, pulled his goal card out of it and declared that the goal on the card changed frequently. He went on to say, if you don’t have goals you are probably going to be stuck…. and in a few short years, asking yourself what happened?

So take this opportunity to improve your chances of not getting stuck. Print out a goal card, or stop by a Peer Educator or Financial Aid office to pick one up and mark down what your goal is to remind you of what you need to be planning for and how you’re going to financially get there.

And if there’s anything we can do to help you out, contact us at