Setting SMART Financial Goals
September 8, 2022 | Posted by: Sherry Corbitt
Having financial goals in place is good. However, setting smart goals can take your goals a step further. Within this blog, we will discuss what smart goals are, what type of smart goals you can set, and how you can incorporate them into your financial life.
What are SMART Goals?
Unlike regular goals, smart goals give you a boost to reach your achievements. The acronym for SMART is:
Setting SMART goals will help you to focus on each goal more closely and put more effort into them.
Paying Off Debt
This is an overall financial goal that most of us need or have had to work on. Incorporating this goal as a SMART goal will assist you in having a specific amount that you want to be paid off and when you want it completed. The following SMART plan offers an example of a goal to pay off debt:
- Specific: Make it clear by aiming to pay off your most stressful debt
- Measurable: Setting a dollar amount and a time frame makes this goal measurable.
- Attainable: Depending on your financial situation, you may need to lower your expenses and increase your income to make this achievable.
- Relevant: If you have had debt for a while and it is negatively affecting you, this is undoubtedly an appropriate goal.
- Time-bound: This will depend on how much you can afford to put down on regular payments. Analyze your current situation and, from there, determine a realistic period.
Some Other SMART Goals
There are many financial goals that you may have. Your age and financial experience will be significant factors in your goals. For example, if you have just graduated from University and are starting work, some goal of yours may be to pay off your student loans. Those in their 30s may be focusing on saving enough for a down payment for a property. A goal that can be set for anyone at any age is saving up for your RRSP, which will be your essential financial income when you retire. Some other goals can include the following:
Creating an RESP For Your Children
This goal will focus more on couples who have children or are planning to have children. Having an RESP for your children may be one of the best gifts you can give. Although we all want the best for our children, making this a reality can be difficult. Although the thought of saving up for your children's education can be overwhelming, when you create a balanced SMART goal, you can make it achievable. Instead of focusing on the amount you put in, focus on when you start saving. It is possible to save as much or even more if you start making payments a few years earlier with smaller fees, compared to starting later with slightly more significant amounts.
Having an Emergency Fund
An emergency fund is certainly a significant financial asset to have. Depending on your age, this fund amount can range. Realistically, a 22-year-old that graduated from college will not have the means of a $50,000 emergency fund. Yet the fundamental thing to note is that your emergency fund should be suited for you and not someone else. If you can realistically create an emergency fund that is even $10,000, that is still great. When you plan to make your emergency fund's SMART goal, try making it long-term. This will help you focus on ways to increase your amount realistically.
After evaluating what SMART goals are and how you can incorporate them, aren't you ready to create your own? When you analyze your finances and decide what you want to achieve, you can make SMART goals that will push and motivate you to reach your best financial self.
-Graham, Jerry (2022). How to Create SMART Financial Goals (With Examples). Kinda Frugal. Retrieved from https://www.kindafrugal.com/financial-smart-goals-examples/