Feeling dumb while setting S.M.A.R.T. goals

So S.M.A.R.T. goals isn’t so easy for this Wise gal. (Corny, I know.) Actually, I’m over-exaggerating a bit, but setting goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic or relevant, and timely requires a good amount of effort. I just spent the last hour or so trying to detail my short-, intermediate- and long-term goals to complete Teacher’s homework assignment for Thursday’s session.

Setting-Smart-Financial-GoalsAs I was thinking of my goals, I poked around on the Internet. I mean, all great ideas come from the Internet, which turned 25 years old today. HBD, WWW). I found this great survey, albeit an old survey, that featured financial goals of non-retirees and retirees. It seems that I think a lot like my counterparts.

SecurianFinancialGoalsStudyResultsMy goals seem to align with those survey takers as well as MoneyUnder30’s 6 ½ Steps to Financial Stability and Dave Ramsey’s Seven Baby Steps.

My immediate priorities are to:

  • build an emergency fund of at least $1,000
  • eliminate debt
  • save $500 for my summer vacation
  • start saving for retirement to take advantage of compound interest

With further poking, I came across this great post about creating S.M.A.R.T. financial goals from Wealth Informatic$.  It’s one of the most comprehensive, step-by-step breakdowns I’ve seen. Check out this chart:

SMARTfinancialgoalsThe chart motivated me to create a color-coded Google spreadsheet of my own. I added a “Reason” column to remind myself of why I’m doing this. I also added monthly amounts I needed to save (or spend in regards to debt goals) in the “Need to Save” column to know the specific actions I need to take immediately to achieve them.

It won’t be easy, but as Teacher said in our first session, “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.”

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