Set SMART goals

Making Your Financial Goals Smarter

I find it so sad when I hear financial goals like “have nice holidays” or “never worry about money”. How will you ever know if you’ve achieved them then? What is a “nice holiday”? If you’re playing a game with the kids or really sinking your teeth into that project in work or have just made a lovely dinner that you’re going to savour…. and you’re not thinking about money, then does that mean that you’ve reached your financial goal? In this episode of Fantastic Female Fridays, I encourage you to make your goals SMARTER. Here’s how…

Specific – make the goal clear and related to one key area of your life that’s important to you. For example, save for a wedding, put a sunny day fund together, apply for a mortgage, clear a piece of debt, get a system together so that I can see everything in a glance.

Measurable – make sure that you would know if it was achieved. For example, save $25,000 for the wedding. Have a $1500 sunny day fund. Apply for a mortgage of €500,000. Clear the £5,000 credit card debt. Create an automated spreadsheet with a budget, debt counter and goal tracker.

Attainable and Realistic – it’s so important to dream. It really is. I’m a big believer in journaling your thoughts, aiming high and pushing your comfort zone. However, it is both important and possible to blend idealism and realism. It will only drain your resilience if you try to save €250 each week when it’s only possible to save €50… and particularly when putting €50 towards a goal is a good achievement!

Timebound – put a date on it! It’s key to ensure that a financial goal has a got a timeframe in mind. Perhaps you want to get married in a year and then, break down your plan to months. Maybe your sunny day plan is a holiday during Winter – break it down to weeks. If it’s a piece of debt, break it down by payslips i.e. I’m going to dedicate 5% of each pay check to clearing the debt and by a certain number of paychecks, I will be clear of the debt and can have both the payment and interest back staying put in my bank account again!

Extending – lots of people forget this one. If your motivation dips down, then you will need a way to pick it back up. You need to know your why. Why are you doing this? Why are you striving towards your financial goal? What is pushing you? In other words, why would this be an extension in your life?

Rewarding – this is the bit that makes it all worthwhile. How are you going to reward yourself? After you put the effort into making this goal a reality, how are you going to savour the enjoyment? I remember that being cognisant of each payment we made towards our wedding represented a part of the occasion that we had worked for. I distinctly remember paying off the credit card and never looking back. I have a clear memory of selling an option on my first stock! All of these were financial goals that I set and enjoyed achieving!

Watch the Entire Fantastic Female Friday Episode

Two more important things to remember:

  1. Sometimes financial goals have nothing to do with money. That’s right. You read that correctly. If your financial goal is to get a mortgage, then there is a lot of paperwork that you need to fill out, research that you need to do about different service providers and jargon that you need to gain awareness. Therefore, often, moving forward on a financial journey involves building up the momentum from gathering appropriate documentation together and other such non-scary things, so you might be surprised at what you can achieve if you just get started!
  2. Let VectorVest help you with your financial goals. For example, you might want to generate 3% in dividends from your portfolio. Alternatively, you may want to ensure that your stocks don’t fall below a certain value whether that is through a percentage stop loss, a trailing stop loss or VectorVest’s own proprietary stop loss.


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One thought on “Making Your Financial Goals Smarter

  1. I am totally amazed as I listen to you. I heard you first on the Vector Vest Forum in May. I have belonged to Vector Vest since the early 1990s. I have been a goal oriented person since the 1970s when my husband lost his job. I have achieved many seemingly impossible goals in my lifetime through goal setting. I have never achieved the dollar richness I think I want because I believe my goals are contained in what those dollars can achieve when put to use rather than all the time spent on spreadsheets and accounting procedures. Money is only a tool to get what you want in life and I find it difficult in Vector Vest to sell my stocks on their mainly percentages basis. I believe that we, as women, have a different philosophy about money and thus I need different rationale about selling in the world of investing than men but my selling habits have always lost me money. I need a more convincing rationale for me in the world of when to sell the stocks that I have invested in. So far, I am enthralled with your discussions on money and women.I have listened in on your two Friday presentations. I am really looking forward to International Saturday when you are going to be discussing this topic. Maybe its the Irish. My mother was born and brought up in Limerick. I am a first generation Canadian with a mother who was passionate about her children getting educated. Her thesis was that if you weren’t born into the upper class the next best thing was to get educated and reach for some kind of greatness there. But her words of wisdom were always: “Peggy, you have to know your place!” As I was the first born I was it. It was always going to be – I was going to University which I did, graduated one Wednesday and got married the next to a Roman Catholic when my mother was a protestant who grew up in the south of Ireland, got on a boat with her older sister in 1927 to come to Canada, met my English born father who eventually followed her to where she and her sister were working “in service” and the rest as they say “is history.” You are probably the only one I know who might have some idea about what that meant both to her and to me. I did not change my religious beliefs or church going habits, my children all married into RC families, don’t go to church but are great citizens in the society we live in. I am looking for the underlying reasons why I believe in earning through investing and believe the answers to my searching lie in Vector Vest teaching. I just don’t have all the answers I am looking for from many of the men teaching the courses. I want help from your thoughts and understandings you have come to in relation to money and women. I am an older woman who has a passion for money and all it can accomplish in a woman’s and ultimately in any person’s life. I have seven grandchildren who are in their late twenties that I would like to influence in their lives in “Money and the Meaning of Life.” I have a strong feeling that your teachings are going to help.

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