Your goals and objectives are the building blocks of a financial plan. They emerge from your values and priorities and they help you know where you are going in life and how to get there.
Set S.M.A.R.T. goals
You’re more likely to be successful when you set financial goals that are S.M.A.R.T. That means making your goals:
Specific.Instead of planning to save up for a car, for example, be more precise: Plan to save $10,000 for a down payment on a new car.
Measurable.Set up a schedule to check your progress against your goal. For example, log on to EasyWeb Internet banking at the beginning of each month to monitor your balance and be sure you’re on track.
Attainable.Be realistic about what you can achieve based on your financial starting position, and try to set goals that you can sustain over the longer term.
Rewarding.Set a goal that is important and exciting to you. Instead of planning simply to trim your budget, for example, plan to find ways to find the money for a vacation or a down payment on a condo.
Timely.Establish a time frame. You may be more successful if you break up longer-term goals into a series of shorter-term milestones.
Create a plan around your goals
Once you know where you want to go, it’s easier to figure out how to get there.
For each goal, consider the amount of savings you need and the amount of time you have to reach your objective. This information will help you to determine a savings strategy. It will influence decisions such as:
Use the worksheet Plan a roadmap to your future to help you record your goals and the steps to get you there.
Once you have a strategy in place, stay focused on your goal — if you keep your eye on the finish line, you will get there!