Setting Financial Goals
Taking control of your financial life requires planning, and that starts with setting goals. First, jot down some ideas of things you would like to achieve or improve about your financial life.
The goals you set should be specific and have a timeframe attached to them. For example, your goal might be to save $20 per week during the next year for a vacation. This is a SMART goal that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound.
1 to 3 years
- Example: Build up emergency savings
- SMART Goal: Save $200 per month for the next 12 months.
3 to 5 years
- Example: Buy a house
- SMART Goal: Save $10,000 over the next three years for a house down payment.
5 to 10 years
- Example: Save for retirement
- SMART Goal: Invest at least $5,000 per year in my retirement funds over the next five years.
Once you’ve brainstormed some SMART goals, prioritize them according to what is most urgent or most important to you. Make sure each goal has a time frame and then chart your progress each week.
Track Your Goals
You might use the SMART Goals Worksheet, a calendar, spreadsheet, mobile app or a journal to track your progress. The important thing is that you revisit your goals, adjust them when necessary and celebrate when you achieve them. Share your goals with a friend to help keep you on track.