The best way to achieve your financial goals is to set SMART goals. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. We are going to be looking at three SMART financial goals to set in 2018, courtesy of Scottsdale bankruptcy attorneys.
The SMART methodology can be used for any goal that you wish to set – not just for your financial goals. Let’s say, for example, your goal for 2018 is to lose more weight. You can make that a SMART goal by saying the amount of weight you want to lose each month and what you will do to achieve the goal. Easy, right?
Now that you know exactly what SMART goals are, let’s take a look at three critical SMART financial goals to set this year.
Earn More Money
Let’s take a quick poll: who wouldn’t want to earn more money in 2018? Earning more money will allow you to achieve so many other goals. Here are a few ways to earn more cash:
- Get a promotion at your full-time job
- Find a side hustle (freelance writing, driving for uber, etc)
- Start a blog
In order to turn this into a SMART financial goal, you should be deliberate about how much extra money you would like to make each month and how you plan to do it. Instead of just saying you want to earn more money in 2018, say you want to earn $500 each month through freelance writing and supplementary sources of income. After that specific goal is set, you can work on how you will achieve that goal.
Spend Less Money
In order to turn spending less money into one of your SMART financial goals, you must look at your spending from the prior year. This step will be easy if you used a budgeting app such as Mint.com in the previous year. Look at each of the categories of spending in your budget to determine what areas can be eliminated entirely. Discretionary spending like eating out and shopping are generally the two categories that are the easiest to get rid of.
Even if you don’t use a budgeting app, it is time to have a serious heart to heart with yourself. Most of us know what our weaknesses are. It is up to us to decide how to get those weaknesses under control.
Once you figure out what your weaknesses are, you can truly start to positively alter your spending habits. At that point, you can solidify which categories you are going to cut or reduce.
Pay Down Debt
After the holidays, paying off debt is a goal for many people. Besides the fact that debt costs you money every month while the interest accumulates, it can also limit your extra income to use towards saving, traveling, or other passions and goals.
In order to turn debt repayment into a SMART financial goal, be specific about how much debt you want to and realistically can pay off each month.