How to Set Smart Financial Goals

by Kristina on May 18, 2015 · 2 comments

smart goals, financial goals, money goals

Good morning Dinks.  Let me ask you a question, do you have goals?  I told my co-worker that I really want to go to Italy but it just never seems to work out.  She asked me why I’ve been planning and saving for so long to which I replied “Because it’s one of my goals.”

She proceeded to inform me that she doesn’t have goals.  She lives her life one day at a time and if an opportunity to do something (like travel) comes up she’ll go, but she doesn’t plan for it – or for anything for that matter.

That is definitely one way to live, I prefer to set goals and have something to work towards but I don’t just set any old goal.  I set smart financial goals.  There’s nothing worse than not achieving a goal; it’s sad, it’s make me feel bad about myself and it’s discouraging.  Smart financial goals are definitely the way to go.

Here’s a step by step guide to setting smart financial goals:

Set realistic goals

First off a good goal is realistic.  If your goal isn’t realistic then it’s just a dream.  I like to research and find out exactly how much my goals will cost then I can start planning from there.  If I know how much my goal costs – such as a trip to Italy for example – I know how much I need to save and that will determine when I’ll be able to go.

I don’t want to over extend myself saving for a vacation because that means I may fall behind on my current bills.  I will save moderately and if that means waiting an extra six months for my trip then so be it.

Make sure your goal is worth the cost

I’m a big believer in spending money wisely, in my world that means great experiences and something with a return.  I don’t mind spending money on a vacation, but I won’t overspend.  I will have the trip of a lifetime in a really great city with comfy accommodations but I will search the web for deals to get it.  I try to never pay full price for anything because it makes me sick to pay for something knowing that I could have done it cheaper.

I also don’t mind spending on something that gives me something in return such as education or a home.  I feel better about spending a lot of money if I get something back.  That may be selfish or it may be smart, but either way that’s just me.

Do it right the first time

It’s rare that we get a second chance on things in life so if you’re going to set a goal don’t half-step it.  Do it big and do it right the first time.  I don’t want to go to Italy and miss out on things just to save money.  I am probably only going to get one chance to go to Italy and I’m willing to spend a little extra money to have the trip of a lifetime.

What’s your goal?


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amy May 18, 2015 at 1:57 pm

Going to Italy is actually on my goal list. My husband and I will be making the trip in October…October 15th to be exact because that is the start of the “off season”. We are using miles for the plane ticket, staying at an AirBNB, as well as two other farmhouse style hotels that have kitchenettes in the room that will allow us to do some cooking while we are there. There is no way that I can do EVERYTHING in Italy, so we will be staying 3 nights in Rome, 3 nights in Tuscany, and 2 nights on the coast. My thought is, this is a bucket list item (along with every single other country in the world)…and I rather go spend 10 days now to get a taste and go back for several months when I am retired if I enjoy it, then to never get the chance to go. Going to Italy was one my mother’s dream that she never got to realize because she died of breast cancer 9 years ago.

2 Heather May 19, 2015 at 6:25 am

Coming up with small measurable steps to reach my goals and tracking my progress helps keep me motivated and focused. For example, I’m trying to pay off my mortgage more quickly, so I break it down into smaller steps like planning to make two extra payments each year when I get extra paychecks, or using my tax refund etc. Then I track it on my blog with a little progress bar and it motivates me to see that bar fill up more and more!

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