Goal-setting for penny pinchers

‘Goal setting’ is big in business. If you’ve ever attended a training or coaching session you’ll know Trainers and Coaches are pretty keen on it too. And rightly so. It’s a simple idea but it’s amazingly effective for getting you where you want to be.

The theory goes like this:  it’s much easier to achieve your aims when you know exactly what you’re aiming for and remind yourself about it regularly to keep yourself on track. Without goals it’s all too easy to get sidetracked. With them, saving money is more fun too.

Setting money saving goals

Do you want to cut your monthly expenses? How much do you need to save? By when? Look at how much you spend each month. Work out exactly how much money you actually need to cover your monthly outgoings. And add a sum for emergencies and unexpected expenses. The difference is the amount you need to save: your goal.

Do you want to save up for something special? How much is it? When do you want to buy it? Split the cost by the amount you can afford each month and you’ll have a date to aim for as well as a monthly savings goal.

SMART goals

SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based. Make sure your goals are SMART and you’ll find them easier to achieve, simply because they’re about as far from fuzzy as it gets!

Making it real

You could jot down your goals and file them away, store them on your phone or computer. But it’s a good idea to put them somewhere prominent so you’ll see them every day: on the fridge, next to your desk, pinned to your noticeboard or whatever.

Checks and balances

Check progress against your goals every week so you can take action in good time if you start to go adrift. If they turn out to be massively under- or over-optimistic, tinker with them ’til they’re a good fit.

Incentivise and celebrate

Incentivise yourself for extra determination and grit! Every time you achieve a goal, pat yourself on the back. Celebrate by cracking open some wine, eating out, holding a bring-a-bottle house party, whatever floats your boat.