17 Long & Short Term Financial Goals For High School Students

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A financial goal is something that someone aims to achieve and can be financial, personal, academic, or professional. Before even talking about savings, both short and long-term financial goals for high school students should be about understanding how it works.

One of the most important goals for high school students is to develop a foundation of good financial knowledge (financial literacy).

Financial goals for high school students also include financial stability and financial security. Ensuring they have a good financial base now will make it easier for them later in life. The long-term financial goal for high school students is to save enough for education expenses at the college level so that they don’t need student loans and find better jobs after graduation.

The financial goal for high school students should also include an emergency fund. A financial emergency is when something unexpected happens and you don’t have enough money to cover it. These emergencies can be anything from a car accident to not having enough money to pay for your rent/mortgage or utilities.

Financial goals are important because they provide us with something to work toward. They give us direction and purpose in life, and with that comes financial stability.

What is a financial goal and why is it important for high school students?

A financial goal is something that someone aims to achieve and can be financial, personal, academic, or professional. One of the financial goals for high school students is to develop good financial knowledge. To do this, one should start saving money at an early age to be more financially stable in adulthood.

Financial goals for high school students also include financial stability and financial security. Ensuring they have a good financial base now will make it easier for them later in life.

17 Long & Short Term Financial Goals For High School Students

How do financial goals for students differ from adults?

The financial goals of high school students are different from financial goals for adults because the experience and responsibilities that they have are different. Adults may want to save more money or pay off debts, while a high school student’s financial goal can be to ensure they are academically successful and financially stable enough to afford their education in college.

Therefore financial goals for high school students cover financial stability and financial security.

In order to ensure they are financially stable, it is important to start developing good financial habits, such as saving money and postponing purchases until later. Starting these financial goals at an early age will make it easier for them in the future because they have already started gaining financial experience. One of the best ways to save money is through investing. Investing can be anything from getting a job that would help you with your financial goal or just putting away small amounts so that when you are older you have savings.

There are multiple financial short term goals we can set for ourselves while we’re still in high school, such as:

Setting aside money every month, and investing it at the end of each year.

Working part-time jobs after school to earn money for items you want, but can wait a while to buy.  This way, when you’re in college you’ve already saved up money from your part-time job to pay for those expenses as well as financial aid.

If we follow these financial goals for high school students throughout our financial lives, we will be more financially secure overall.  All financial goals should be long-term financial goals that plan out what we want to do with our financial life.

For example: Even though it might seem like time is moving slowly right now, it will pass faster than you think and soon enough we’ll be beginning new financial goals for our financial lives.

It is important to start setting financial goals for high school students now because you have financial goals that will affect your adult life. A financial goal is something that someone aims to achieve and can be financial, personal, academic, or professional. One of the financial goals for high school students is to develop good financial knowledge. To do this, teens should start saving money at an early age so they are financially stable in their adulthood.

What is an example of a financial goal for high school students

The primary financial goal for high school students is to gain financial literacy. This will give them the foundation for a future of financial stability. They should start saving money at an early age so they have a good beginning with smart choices and good habits. By doing this, they make it easier for themselves in the future.

What are the three types of financial goals for High school students?

  • Long-term goals timeframe: 5+ years
  • Mid-term (or intermediate-term) goals timeframe: 1-5 years
  • Short-term goals timeframe: months – 1 year

Short Term Financial Goals

In simple terms, a short-term goal is an aim that one has to achieve in the foreseeable future. A short-term goal is something you want to accomplish soon. A short-term goal can be a goal within the next 12 months or less.

Intermediate Financial Goals

Intermediate financial goals are financial or personal activities that are not necessities but give a person more financial freedom, independence, and flexibility.

These goals are typically measured in 1 – 5 years. They take more effort to complete than a year but are achievable.

17 Long & Short Term Financial Goals For High School Students

Long Term Financial Goals

A long-term financial goal for high school students refers to financial goals that take a long time to achieve, generally more than five years.

Setting long-term goals for your future is not something that you can do in the short term. Individuals with a long-term goal are usually looking five years or more into their lives, but sometimes it’s an entire lifetime away with multiple steps to complete before reaching the ultimate goal.

17 Examples of Short & Long Term Financial Goals for High School Students

10 Short Term Financial Goals for High School Students

  • Create a Spending Plan (Budget)
  • Open a Savings Account
  • Start an emergency account
  • Save for School Activities like Proms, Senior Weekends
  • License fees including insurance
  • Start a car savings account
  • Entertainment such as concert or sports tickets, class trip
  • Class Ring
  • Yearbook
  • Gaining financial literacy by putting thought and research into each goal.

7 Long Term Financial Goals for high school students

  • Continue to Update the Budget as earnings and spending change.
  • Power up that emergency savings account (contribute more!)
  • College expenses (application fees, books, dues, entertainment, rent)
  • Down Payment for a Car
  • Research and pick low-risk investment opportunities for your savings
  • Open a retirement account such as a Mutual fund or purchasing an IRA
  • Continue improving financial literacy with discussion, research and investments.

How to Budget for Short and Long-Term Money Goals with your High Schooler

A budget (aka – spending plan) can help prioritize expenses, save for the future and stay out of debt, all of which contribute to a happy and healthy life.

As much as you think you know where your money is going, it’s still important to go through the exercise of writing it all down.

Putting It All On Paper: Your High Schooler’s Income And Expenses 

Tracking Expenses

The first step to creating a realistic budget is keeping track of what is spent. Track all money spent for one month. Write down how much spent on anything. It could be something small like candy or a soda. Most important is writing it ALL down.

Also look at monthly expenses such as cell phone, car insurance, memberships, or subscriptions.

Last, look for any “annual” expenses such as school dues/fees.

Related Article: 10 Tips for Creating A Budgeting That Works

Identify your budget categories

Once the list is compiled, look for specific spending trends like how much is spent on entertainment, gas, clothes, even convenience or fast foods. These spending trends will identify the budget categories; everything money spent on should be assigned a category.

Next, identify income. Include any income in addition to your salary so you have a clear idea of available income and can craft an effective strategy. Income is anything from money earned at regular jobs, even allowances.

Regular Income, what gets counted?

If your income varies, consider taking an average paycheck or the least amount of anticipated paycheck. Anything above the “goal” amount should be considered a bonus, which will assist in reaching goals. (these are things like one-time jobs, even gifts, and tips)

The Spending Plan

Now, plan for these expensesThere are two types of expenses,

Fixed expenses are the same and regular like weekly or monthly, insurance payments. Savings should always be the most important “Fixed” expense on your list.

Variable expenses, as the word implies, vary from week or month. These can be harder to plan for because the amounts change. This will be things like picking up a burger or a pack of gum while out with friends, movies, clothes.

You can average your variable expenses and put them in their correct categories. This way you know what you’ve set aside in your budget for this amount.

That’s why tracking your expenses is so important; it’s how you determine an accurate estimate of what you actually spend over time.

Related Reading: The Differences Between Needs and Wants

Why Short Term Financial Goals for High School Students Increases Financial Literacy

We’re discussing how developing spending plans, recognizing wants vs needs as well as how delayed gratification is a better goal in life. These are all ways of understanding financial literacy. More importantly, they are ways to apply financial literacy knowledge in real life. The ability to be able to understand and continue our learning about finances continues to grow as our lives evolve. By learning as young as able, financial literacy will create a strong and stable financial future. Good choices, good habits will go a long way to reaching bigger, more assertive goals later in life.

Read Today: What is Financial Literacy? Why it is So Important to Start Young.

How Long Term Financial Goals For High School Students Increases Long Term Gratification

Delayed gratification is a skill that children begin to learn early in life. Parents set boundaries or expectations before “rewarding” certain goals being met. This skill allows the child to wait for something they want instead of getting it now and then not having anything to look forward to afterward.

High school students learn delayed gratification in ways like waiting to hear if they’re accepted on a team, a club, or on the honor roll. They learn that long-term goals, like grades with honors more choices for future classes. Being a dedicated team player could mean being named team captain. Long-term financial goals for students are no different, working towards a goal has much higher rewards.

image is quote: A goal properly set is halfway reached. _ Zig Ziglar

Knowing financial goals for high school students early on is a way to keep financial stability in adulthood. Saving money at a young age will not only give you financial stability now, but it will also teach you how to manage money later in life.

Learn more here: Why Instant Gratification Is Not A Good Thing

Motivating Your High Schooler for Long Term Financial Goals with “matching”

Truth be told, we can all use a little motivation or an incentive now and then in life.

  • One incentive and helping high school students save for short and long-term financial goals is to “match” their savings. Now, from experience, not many kids will turn down the opportunity to have an adult fork over some money when given the opportunity.
  • Consider matching a percentage of your teenager’s savings. Evaluate the savings account balance at the end of the month and contribute a 5% match to what they’ve put away.
  • Some banks will offer a higher interest rate with minimum balances. Offer to start your teenager’s financial goals with that minimum balance so they get realize a better interest rate is worth having that savings ahead of time too!
  • Add your teenager to a joint account with a debit card so they can do automatic deposits and purchases as they begin to show an understanding of their financial spending and savings habits.

You can find even more great information on Finance from TedX here.

10 Best Financial Goals For Students

“I don’t have any money.” This was my response when I was a teenager My parents had just moved from New York City to Ohio, which meant we were now living on a small farm with no neighbors nearby — not exactly prime real estate investment material.

In addition, Dad lost his job shortly after our move. It wasn’t easy times. We survived by selling homemade cookies at the local grocery store. The rest of us kids worked odd jobs around town like delivering newspapers or cutting lawns.

Needless to say, I didn’t set much aside for college savings accounts until years later.

Fast forward 20-some years, and here I am again. A few months ago, while shopping in an office supply store, I overheard two women talking about their children. One woman said she wanted her son to go to medical school. Her daughter, however, wants him to attend law school.

And they were both shocked because neither child has ever expressed such desires before! These aren’t isolated cases either. If this trend continues among young people today, then many more families may be surprised by where their future careers end up headed.

This brings me back to the original question – what kind of financial goals should teenagers set for themselves? While there isn’t one “right answer,” these 10 tips might help get you started:

Learn About Personal Finance Early

Start teaching yourself basic principles. Read books and magazines (even if only ones written specifically for teens) so you understand all aspects of saving and spending money. Also, take courses through online universities to learn about investing strategies and other topics.

You’ll never know unless you start somewhere.

Set Short-term Goals

Set milestones along the way to keep you motivated and moving toward long-term goals. For example, think about what you want to do within three to five years and break them down into smaller steps. Then review those smaller milestone achievements every couple weeks or once a month.

Write down the accomplishments on paper to see how far you’ve come and look ahead to what else needs to happen next.

Focus On Earning Potential Rather Than Simply Keeping Pace With Peers’ Earnings

Consider your own education level and career aspirations when making decisions on major expenses. Are you leaning more towards premed studies or public health? Think carefully about what makes sense for you given your personality traits, interests and abilities.

Don’t pay too much attention to peer pressure. Instead, focus on developing a strong foundation for building wealth over time.

Establish Realistic Expectations Regarding Income Sources

Be honest with yourself during this process. What are your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to handling finances? Do you prefer dealing directly with cash or would you rather use credit cards for convenience? Take stock of how well you handle money throughout your life.

Some experts suggest starting out with a budget plan based upon your current monthly salary. Create separate bank accounts for different purposes, such as checking, savings and even investments. Keep track of each account using software programs designed especially for banks.

Determine Whether You Need Assistance From A Professional Advisor

Financial planning does require knowledge and experience on your part. However, sometimes, a trusted friend or family member who knows you well enough to watch over your finances also works. Talk with someone knowledgeable in the field to find out what options exist for you.

Many professionals offer free consultations to new clients.

Start Thinking About Retirement Plans

Even though most workers won’t retire until age 65, it pays to begin preparing financially for this eventuality. By considering ways to save and invest wisely, you could potentially increase your nest egg significantly faster than waiting until closer to retirement to start planning.

Avoid Being Overly Optimistic

As a general rule, aim to put away a good portion of your annual income for possible emergencies. Make sure this amount is enough to cover any unexpected breakdowns or emergencies that you may face. As you get a better job and make more money you can increase the amount in your emergency fund.

Don’t be so optomistic about life that you think an emergency will never happen… cause it will!

Remember, living paycheck-to-paycheck means nothing goes to savings.

Make Smart Choices In Insurance Policies

If you already have individual coverage under your parent(s’) policy, ask them to switch you to lower cost group rates. Shop around for better deals if you haven’t yet enrolled in group coverage. When choosing health insurance benefits, consider paying extra for dental and vision care.

Although premiums are usually higher for comprehensive packages, overall costs tend to decrease since insurers often include preventative services.

Save For Specific Purchases

To avoid impulse buying, establish a list of nonessential expenditures that you’d otherwise buy without hesitation. Try putting items off limits for a week or so, and stick to your guns.

Once you’ve done this successfully for awhile, cut out the little pleasures altogether. After all, why waste money on something unnecessary?

Keep Tabs On Your Lifestyle Habits

Identify areas where your spending exceeds your income. Look at these categories individually and devise solutions to make changes. For instance, maybe you spend $100 per month on dining out but set aside less than $50 per month in takeout food budget. Or perhaps you’re addicted to shopping sprees that involve multiple trips to the mall.

Cut back on discretionary spending to reduce debt levels.

While setting financial goals may seem daunting at first glance, it really helps to sit down and write everything down. Keeping track of your progress and sticking to your budget can be difficult if you don’t document your efforts. So grab a pen and jot down ideas for your future. Now, commit to following through.


The opportunity to work with your high school student to teach and instill financial goals will not only prepare them for a better financial future but will help to motivate and reinvigorate you to stay the course in your own financial goals.

With the help of Long & Short Term Financial Goals For High School Students, you will be able to set goals and create an action plan for success.

Now that you have there are opportunities to make decisions about what to do next, it is important to consider two very different financial goals. The first goal focuses on short-term needs and long-term wants, while the second prioritizes long-term security over short-term desires. These are not mutually exclusive; rather they should be considered together in order to help provide a well-balanced future outlook. These tips are to get help to clarify these choices and encourage a vision of how to fit these into a way of life.

High School students are our future! Whether it’s college tuition or retirement savings. Buying a car or saving for a condo. Don’t leave these important parts of life to chance- take control today by setting financial goals that will lead to a successful tomorrow!

Recommended Reading: Why Short Term Savings is a Good Idea

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Hannah R

Hi, my name is Hannah and I'm the founder of Barefoot Budgeting. This site is dedicated to one thing... helping you! Whether it is making a budget, saving money using DIY projects, or even saving by helping you with my favorite recipes I will cover it all! If it helps you save money in your life I want to help!

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