Making Big Goals Manageable

Big Goals

When it comes to setting goals, it’s easy to simply dream about things you would like to do or achieve.

If you don’t make the goals realistic or manageable, they just stay dreams.

I’ve always set SMART goals to turn dreams into reality.

SMART goals are:

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Relevant

Time Bound

In May of this year, we set a big goal to pay off our mortgage in 5 years (by May 2020).

This goal fit with the SMART goals formula:

Specific – We want to pay off our mortgage in 5 years.

Measurable – Pay off the balance of the mortgage.

Attainable – We knew discipline, frugality and a bit of creativity, this was a realistic goal for our family.

Relevant – We feel like this is a very relevant goal since our mortgage is our only debt and we want to be completely debt free.

Time Bound – We want to do this by May 2020.

We started out very excited and felt like we were working towards an achievable goal. However, since it was such a big goal (knocking out thousands and thousands of dollars in debt), it felt like we weren’t making any progress.

So, we broke the goal down further. In July (2 months into the process),  I divided the amount we owed on our home by 58 months (the time remaining until May 2020). This gave us a monthly goal to work towards.

Having the monthly goal makes our big goal very doable. Each month, we have a specific amount we’re working towards paying off. Reaching this amount each month is still a bit of a stretch but we hit the monthly goal in July, August, September and October!

Working towards the monthly goal keeps the momentum going. Each month that we reach (and sometimes exceed) our goal, we are excited which encourages us to keep going. While it’s fun to see the big number go down, it still seems to move slowly so it’s more fun focusing on the monthly goal than on the total principal that we still owe.  

Do you have financial goals you want to achieve?

Maybe you want to pay off debt, save an emergency fund or start a college fund for your kids. Or maybe you need to finally sit down, create your budget and set financial goals.

 

 

responses to “Making Big Goals Manageable” 4

  1. I have a question for you- do you all save money each month for things like replacement vehicles, a new roof, new appliances, things that will eventually need to be replaced? I'm curious how you guys do it!

    1. We save a small amount each month (currently just $60) for car maintenance/savings and 50% of my husband's mileage check goes into that account. We don't plan on having to replace our vehicles for several years so we're not hitting this savings hardcore right now. If something does happen and we need to replace one of them, we'd probably be a one car family for a bit while saving up enough money to purchase a new to us vehicle if there wasn't enough saved up. We also set aside some for home maintenance each month and if we were to need to replace an appliance for example, we would use that money and if it wasn't adequate then just use the emergency fund to pay cash and then replenish the emergency fund. And, we live very frugally/minimally. We don't shop as a hobby and most of the things that we need are purchased secondhand! We've found that reducing consumer wants and spending really makes a huge difference in our finances!

  2. Around this time last year, my now ex-husband and I were working toward paying off what would have been our home: an RV that we were going to travel the US in. We had only $25,000 left on the mortgage of our primary residence that we were going to sell to hit the road in the RV (the outstanding loan was less than $10,000 on the RV). Then, my world was turned upside down and we separated.

    Now, a year later, I am trying to dust myself off and get back to it. Right now, I am SO CLOSE ($90 away) to my $1,000 emergency fund, which equates to 2 months of my living expenses. 🙂 I am well on my way to where I used to be financially with a little bit of money in the bank in case of emergencies. But after the 3-4 months of living expenses in the bank, I will be working on saving for a new vehicle as my car is 9 years old and over 227,000 miles on it.

    It can be so discouraging not seeing balances increase as quickly as I'd like, but I am living life and having a great time. Everything will happen as it may.

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