How to Balance Short-Term vs. Long-Term Financial Goals Lesson

A lesson for students on how to balance and prioritize between short-term and long-term financial goals, laying a foundation for a stable and independent financial future.

Students learn about setting and prioritizing financial goals through a video lesson. In this video, viewers will delve into the significance of balancing short-term and long-term financial goals to establish a solid foundation for financial stability and independence. Topics discussed include defining short-term and long-term goals, along with providing real-world examples of each. Students are guided through a step-by-step process of assessing their financial situations, listing, categorizing, and prioritizing goals, as well as developing actionable plans to achieve them. Strategies such as creating budgets, allocating income, and utilizing appropriate financial tools like high-yield savings accounts or tax-advantaged accounts like IRAs or 401(k)s are covered to facilitate understanding of the pathway to financial freedom.


Use this video lesson on the topic of financial goal setting basics. Learn related concepts of:

  • Short-term Goals
  • Long-term Goals
  • Financial Prioritization
  • Budgeting
  • Financial Assessment
  • Goal Categorization
  • Financial Planning
  • Savings
  • Using Credit
  • Financial Responsibility
  • Income and Careers
  • Planning and Money Management
  • Credit and Debt Management
  • Risk Management and Insurance
  • Savings and Investing


9-12th grades. High School. College. Adult Education.


45-60 minutes. It may be necessary to adjust the lesson plan and allocate more or less time to certain topics, depending on the needs and interests of the students.


Hand out the worksheet below (see the GET LESSON button near the bottom of the page).

Show students the video and have and have them complete the worksheet.  Review the questions on the worksheet.  A more comprehensive and detailed lesson plan can be accessed below for further instruction and study.

How to Balance Short-Term vs. Long-Term Financial Goals

After watching the video, have students tell what the most important things they learned from the video.


Lesson Plan: Setting and Prioritizing Financial Goals

Grade Level: High School / Adult Learning

Duration: 90 minutes


  • Students will be able to define short-term and long-term financial goals, and understand the importance of setting and prioritizing these goals.
  • Students will apply strategies for budgeting, goal-setting, and financial planning.
  • Students will use an AI chatbot to reinforce their understanding and to answer related questions on financial planning.


  • Video: “How to Set Financial Goals”
  • Computers or tablets with internet access
  • MI Chat chatbot (for the AI activity)
  • Paper, pens

Introduction (15 minutes):

  • Begin by discussing the importance of financial planning and setting goals. Ask students why they think it’s important to set financial goals.
  • Introduce the video “How to Set Financial Goals,” explaining that it will provide a step-by-step guide to setting and prioritizing short-term and long-term financial goals.
  • Play the video for the class.

Discussion (15 minutes):

  • After watching the video, initiate a discussion among the students about what they learned. Some discussion questions might include:
    • What is the difference between short-term and long-term financial goals? Can you give examples of each?
    • Why is it important to prioritize between these types of goals?
    • How can assessing your current financial situation help in setting realistic goals?
    • What are some strategies to balance immediate needs with future aspirations?

Activity 1: Financial Goals (20 minutes):

  • Have students work individually to list their short-term and long-term financial goals, categorize them into needs, wants, and wishes, and prioritize them.
  • Encourage students to be as specific as possible about what they want to achieve and by when.

Activity 2: AI Chatbot Exercise (20 minutes):

  • Introduce the MI Chat chatbot to the class, explaining that it’s programmed to ask questions and provide information on setting and prioritizing financial goals.
  • Have students interact with the MI Chat chatbot individually on their devices to answer questions and reinforce the concepts covered in the video.
  • Encourage students to take note of any new insights or strategies they learn from interacting with the chatbot.

Quiz (10 minutes):

  • Administer a quiz based on the video to evaluate the students’ understanding of the concepts discussed. The quiz could include multiple choice, true/false, and short answer questions about defining, setting, and prioritizing financial goals.

Wrap-up (10 minutes):

  • Collect the quizzes and the Financial Goals activity.
  • Summarize the main points covered in the lesson and in the video.
  • Encourage students to continue exploring and applying what they have learned to their own financial planning efforts.

Homework/Extension Activity:

  • Assign students to write a one-page reflection on what they learned from the video, the discussion, and the AI chatbot activity, and how they plan to apply these concepts to their own financial planning.


  • Students will be assessed based on their participation in the discussion, their completion of the Financial Goals activity, their interaction with the MI Chat chatbot, and their performance on the quiz.

Lesson Resources

MI Chat Chatbot Tool

  • How to balance short-term vs. long-term financial goals questions with MI Chat chatbot – Use the MI Chat chatbot to test your students’ understanding of the lesson. The MI Chat chatbot is an interactive platform designed to deepen understanding, aligning with specific queries and thoughts. Offering personalized insights, it directs users toward a clearer grasp of topics, ensuring they match their learning pace, knowledge level, and cognitive goals.

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