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Budgeting to Reach Your Goals

High school student smiling, taking notes in classroom.

How do you know if your goal is Attainable or Realistic? You must know how much money you have, where it is going, and how much you have left for your goals. This is where a budget comes into play!

The word “budget” can feel scary, but that’s all a budget is: how much money you have and what you want that money to go to. Being on a budget does not have to mean you slash all your expenses live bare bones and never have any fun – it just means you can confidently know you have the money to have fun because you’ve planned for it and know your other expenses are covered.

As your income and expenses change over time, your budget should change as well. What you do in high school today, will be much different when you graduate and start a job or college. It is important to regularly reevaluate the budget to make sure you can afford everything and meet your goals.  Have you ever had a lot of cash in one moment and then a few days later (or a few hours later!) it disappears, and you’re left to wonder where it went? Tracking what you spend your money on will help you decide if your spending is in line with your goals and pland.  Here are a few tips and tools to help you reach your goals:

  • Track expenses – Find an interactive budgeting worksheet here.
  • Regularly make changes
  • Plan for out-of-the-ordinary but expected expenses
  • Plan ahead to avoid impulse spending – take with you only the cash you’re willing to spend
  • Don’t forget about saving!

 Stay Savvy!


Celia Otero is a Jeanne D’Arc Financial Wellness Specialist. She’s dedicated to promoting financial education and literacy and strives to ensure that individuals have the tools they need to navigate the complexities of personal finance. With a background in early education and adult learning, Celia believes that by empowering individuals through education they will learn to develop strong habits, make informed choices, and achieve financial well-being. You can find out more about Celia and the rest of the Financial Wellness team here.