How To Create S.M.A.R.T. Money Goals

 

Do you have a financial goal that you're looking to slay as a couple in 2017? Perhaps you are sick and tired of living paycheck to paycheck (raises hand). Maybe you're tired of missing out on vacation treks throughout The Mayan Ruins . Or perhaps you have your eyes set out to finally start your savings plan. Filled with passion and hype, together In January you set out to tackle some financial goals. But then that cute AMEX bill is delivered to your door and those intentions to pay in full, are all of a sudden forgotten as you simply submit a payment.  Has the fiery momentum of January fizzled down to puffs of smoke? Are you finding yourself backsliding financially, delving back into habits that are contradicting to your intentions? Let's have a do over. Hey, we've all been there. Regardless of the size or level of difficulty to achieving your goals, you need to hold your money goals accountable to a strategic and successful system. Creating S.M.A.R.T. goals will give you just the direction and framework you need . Here's how you can use this in your marital finances.

 

1. Specific

It is going to very difficult to achieve what you want, when you haven’t defined it
— Tony Robbins 

This is the stage where you define "your what".  By giving your financial goal a name, you are able to determine all that is required to execute and implement. Be sure to be as targeted as possible. No vagueness allowed.

Poor goal: We want to save money this year.
Better: We will position our budget so that we save $1000.

 

2. Measurable

Making your goals measurable means to attach a quantitative value. It provides the benchmark and is the key indicator of how specific you've made your goal. Think of words like "how much and how many" to help clarify this stage of goal setting.  

Poor goal: We want to get out of debt. 

Better: We will pay off half our $30,000 of debt.

 

 

3. Attainable

I love y'all, so I will keep it all the way trill. This is the step where you set yourselves up for success. What that means is to create money goals, that although challenging are attainable. Do you bring home $50,000 but intend to save $40,000? #Howsway You see, I want you to win, however I am also here to encourage you to strategize a plan that is actually feasible. Sit down with your husband and create an attainable goal. 

Poor goal: We will pay off our house this year, even though we barely make our mortgage payments.

Better: We intend to save $12,000 because we gross $72,000. 

 

4. Relevant

Keep your eye on your why
— Marie Forleo

Creating a relevant goal is the secret sauce to success. These intrinsic goals will be the fuel to make the much needed behavioral changes. Every other step includes tactical information, but the relevant stage is the heart. It must be aligned with your families core value and mission. It is your why. This is what will keep you going when it seems as if your work in in vain. It is the gas in the engine that'll drive you to your final destination when no end is in sight. These goals will help to add tenacity to your process.

Poor goal:  We want to ball out of control. 

Better: We want to pay off our $40,000 debt SO THAT we are financially able to give freely to missions/causes that we are passionate about. 

 

5. Time Bound

Lastly, here is where you determine "your when". It allows you to calculate all that is required to achieve your goal and attach a sense of needed urgency. 

Poor goal: One of these days, we will contribute to our 401K plans. 

Better: We will save $1000 in 30 days. 

 

As believers, it is imperative that we continually ask The Lord to help in our lives, and our financial lives are not exempt from such divine intervention.  Give yourselves the time to really hone in on those goals. Challenges will arrive, but be willing to adjust as you see fit. Stay the course! I can't wait to celebrate your financial wins! Let me know your 2017 financial goals. (As for the Williams household, we have crafted a plan that will eliminate our debt by December 31, 2017.)