You need to have the right money goals in place in order to be financially healthy.  Millions of people are living paycheck to paycheck today and without a plan of what to do with their money, a few dinners out and a couple of trips to your favorite store can keep you from reaching your financial goals. With some proper financial planning, smart priorities and definitely a dose willpower, you can really put your paycheck to work for you.

Here are 5 money goals for your paycheck

Contribute to Your 401k

Retirement is an inevitable fact for most and you need to start saving now if you want to be able to enjoy it.  One key money goal for your paycheck is to make sure you are contributing to your 401k.  If your company offers a match, deposit at least that amount.  One of the great benefits of a 401k is the pretax savings you get.

Budget Your Paycheck

Budgeting out your paycheck is another money goal to have.  It is the key way of making sure you make the most of your hard earned money. This way you know exactly how much money you are spending and on what.   When you plan out your paycheck, you have an easy roadmap on how to prioritize your spending, schedule bills and what your next month’s budget will look like.  If you do not like the idea of using a written budget, there are plenty of great mobile budgeting apps.

Pay Down Debt

One of the biggest money goals for most people is to pay down debt. Start with the highest interest rate items and pay those first.  This will help you save money in the long run.  If you have any accounts that are past due, these should be a first priority too.  When you start making moves to pay off your debt, you are helping out your credit score which is key to any long term goals you have set for yourself.

Start an emergency fund

Unexpected things happen in life.  You can lose your job, deal with unexpected repairs or have a medical emergency. For these reasons, a key money goal is to start an emergency fund that is separate from your regular savings account.  Your goal should be to try and have three to six months worth of living expenses.  This will take time to build up so make sure every paycheck you are contributing to this fund.

Get the insurance you need

Insurance is usually not part of the money goals people have. This could be a mistake as having the right policy for you is an important aspect of your financial well being.  Serious injury and medical debt are some of the main things that can catapult people into bankruptcy.  Take the time to shop around for the right Insurance policy for you. Get multiple quotes and be sure to thoroughly read your policy and ask any questions you may have.