Goal setting is nothing new, but when it comes to managing personal finances it’s essential to wise stewardship. It is difficult to make good financial decisions if we have no parameters or objectives. We will just be blown around by the wind and all the latest fads.
Goal Setting is about:
- Building a vision for your finances; and
- Determining what God wants you to achieve for his kingdom, using the resources which he has given you.
Structuring your Money Goals
As you plan your goals, be sure that they are S.M.A.R.T.:
S – Specific – they cannot be too general
M – Measurable – there must be a way of determining they have been achieved
A – Achievable – they must be realistic
R – Relevant – they must have a meaningful purpose to your life
T – Time bound – goals without timeframes will be put off
For example: Pay off my $200,000 mortgage in 10 years
Specific: Pay off Mortgage
Achievable: Depends on many variables (income, growth in income, discipline)
Relevant: Who doesn’t want to get out of debt?
Time bound: Within 10 years from today
To be specific, you need to avoid certain words like “try,” “should,” “could” or “shortly.”
Money goal setting can be for the short-term (1- 3 years), medium-term (3-10 years) or long-term (greater than 10 years).
Short-term: Save $20,000 to buy a new car in 2 years
Medium-term: Save $200,000 for my children’s education, with fees starting in 7 years.
Long-term: Achieve financial independence by age 65, requiring a capital sum of $750,000 to give me an income stream of $35,000 per annum
Sample Personal Money Goals
- Pay off my credit card debt of $3,000 in 12 months from now
- Pay off my home loan within 5 years
- Upgrade my car, once every 10 years, based on an approximate value of $20,000.
- Go on an annual family holiday costing approximately $1000.
- Save $20,000 to start a new business in 3 years.
- Build an Emergency Fund, with sufficient cash to cover six months living expenses, within 2 years.
- Save $250,000 for education of our three children, with initial fees commencing in 2020.
- Save $900,000 for retirement to provide me with an income stream of $40,000 per annum for 20 years.
Sample Eternal Money Goals
- Increase my giving by an extra 1% each year
- Give $xyz in my lifetime
- Start a charity/mission
- Start a business for kingdom impact!
The list can be endless. However, I believe that, it is important to focus on a few important goals which reflect your stage in life, your financial situation and your desire to steward your resources for the King of Kings.
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