5 Ways to Identify Your Bucket List Items

When contemplating saving and investing money (rather than spending immediately), typically, I’ll consider a specific purpose and timeline. If unsure exactly what my future life will look like, I can use these financial goals as a basic guide.

While doing the sometimes dull work of financial goal setting, I might also create a bucket list, a process that is generally more fun. I haven’t always kept such a list. But now that I have the time, money, and desire to pursue bigger projects and trips, here are ways I’ve learned to identify items for my bucket list:

6 Practical Ways to Keep Your Emotions in Check When Investing

According to The Motley Fool, financial data firm Dalbar has found that “Investors tend to sell after experiencing a paper loss and start investing only after the markets have recovered their value. The devastating result of this behavior is participation in the downside while being out of the market during the rise.”

In the past, particularly as a younger investor, I noticed that I may feel inspired to invest in fast-growing, popular businesses when shares are in high demand; at other times, I may feel compelled to get rid of faltering, downward-trending companies with depressed stock prices. And, even though my feelings didn’t typically drive me to act on these feelings, I often felt anxious during times of market turbulence.

Over the years, I have become more adept at making intentional investment decisions, driven by long-term goals not short-term angst or excitement. Plus, I have learned not to let day-to-day market moves dictate my mood. Here are practical ways I have learned to keep emotions in check when investing:

Financial Goals: How to Reach Them (Basic Formulas)

After you have defined your financial goals, you may want to figure out how to reach your goals. There are many variables and detours on the way to achieving your goals. But you may find basic financial calculations helpful in charting your course.

Start by identifying a dollar value for each goal; then determine how much you should set aside to reach this goal within a certain time frame. You can use Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets to perform these calculations. I’ll show you the basics.

6 Financial Goals to Consider

When I was younger, I was often told by financial professionals that I needed to set financial goals. I heard that I should first define my life ambitions. Next, I needed to marry my professional and personal aims with specific financial goals. Then I could plot my path to achieving my dreams.

However, when I was in my early twenties, I hadn’t yet gotten clarity on exactly how I might spend the next 30 to 50 years of my life. More than three decades after my first awkward conversation with a financial professional, I’ve learned that I am (relatively) normal.

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