R is for Relevant – Money Clouds & SMART Goals pt. 5

This aspect of SMART goal setting refers to looking outside of the goals you are trying to set. For a goal to consistently be top-of-mind and as motivational as possible, it must be relevant to the realities of your financial life.

Making a goal relevant means taking an honest look at all of your expenses, debt, other financial goals, and making sure your goal is one that fits in with your financial priorities. Perhaps I really want to save $5,000 for a trip to Hawaii. When planning out this goal, I will look at the other expenses I have each month, as well as the budget priorities I have set for myself. Saving $5,000 for a vacation may very well conflict with the priority I have set to pay down my debt, or save for continuing education classes. If a goal is out of line with your priorities and other goals, it will begin to be less and less compelling to save for it each month.

This component of SMART goal setting might be slightly discouraging, but I know that I would feel a lot better having saved for a Hawaiian vacation if I were sitting on the beach knowing that I didn’t have other financial obligations that had been ignored to help me get to that beach.

Charlee Van Wagenen