In setting our goals or resolutions for 2019, many of us have asked ourselves this question – “What can I do differently about my finances
this year?” One of the many likely answers to this “not-so-rhetorical” question is to set financial goals for the year.

Setting financial goals is important when working towards achieving financial success. Financial goals help you achieve the big vision you have for your life. These visions can range from going on that dream vacation to buying the house of your dreams. The dreams and desires you have are usually only achievable if you have the financial capacity to do so and having that capacity entails setting “smart” financial goals.

Setting “SMART” financial goals

Many people fail in life, not for lack of ability or brains or even courage, but simply because they have never organised their energies
around a goal – Elbert Hubbard
Many of us think of setting “SMART” goals only in the workplace or when dealing with large projects. This goal setting principle, which
is commonly attributed to Peter Drucker’s Management by Objectives can also be applied to setting our personal financial goals.

Be Specific

Lewis Carroll once said “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there”. This is true even when setting financial goals. Where you are going to could be the dreams and desires that you have set out for the year. This could be to get that long postponed second degree, or get junior into the school of your dreams. It could even be
a capital project such as moving house or buying one. Whatever that goal is, it needs to be clearly defined!

Set measurable targets

Being measurable helps you know when you have achieved the set goal. To
stand a chance of meeting your financial goals in 2019, you need to clearly state how much is needed and how much you need to invest at the end of every week or every month in order to meet the goal. You should devise a
means that would enable you to conveniently track your progress in order to ensure that you stay focused and achieve the goal.

Set achievable goals

Your goals should be challenging and outside your comfort zone but they should not be ridiculous or unattainable. If saving N5,000,000.00 a year is easy for you, then why not make your goal N6,000,000.00? But setting a goal to save N1,000,000.00 when saving N10,000.00 is already a stretch, would
be almost impossible.

Be Realistic

Be true to yourself, let your financial goal be a reflection of your financial status and your current priorities. Don’t set your financial goals just to keep up with the Joneses.

Set a time frame

According to Parkinson’s law “work expands to fill the time available for its completion”. The same applies to setting your financial goals. If you do not clearly set a deadline to achieve the goal, you probably will never achieve it, as you will probably always “shift the goal post”.

The above tips would guide you in setting your “SMART” financial goals in 2019. For instance, if your goal is to save an extra N2,000,000.00 over the next 24 months. Well, since you already know that money isn’t just going
to fall on your laps, a realistic plan would be to invest about N76,000 every month over 24 months. At the end of this period, you would have saved a little over N1,800,000 and have earned income of about N200,000.00 . There you are with your desired Two Million Naira!

Welcome to the start of your journey to financial freedom!

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