Welcome to New Money, a series of articles dedicated to guiding millennials in their pursuit of wealth. If you’re just joining us you may want to review the last article here, otherwise feel free to dive right into part 2 below.
Last time we identified the concept of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely) goals. In this article, I will be illustrating how to apply the SMART goals concept to a common situation that most millennials face. You too, can then apply the concept to the goals you wrote down based on the first article’s exercise.
You recently rounded up your Youth Service and realized that it would be most beneficial and economical to get a car to go back and forth from work to the house, as well as when you need to move around on the weekends for other activities.
You currently live with your parents who are still employed. They are comfortable with covering the expenses for the house including electricity, food, and utilities, however they believe that you should cover your personal expenses such as social outings, toiletries etc. Paying for your expenses hasn’t been too tough since your job pays you N250,000 a month. However, you don’t have the best saving habits.
In alignment with the SMART goals principle the best way for you to phrase this goal would be:
(SM) SPECIFIC & MEASURABLE
“By the 1st of August 2018 I plan to own a 2008 Toyota Corolla that should cost me no more than N2.5 million. I’ll be able to afford this by applying various financial management tactics between now and the aforementioned date”.
(AR) ATTAINABLE & REALISTIC
To determine whether this goal is attainable, you should multiply the salary of N250,000 by 12 months which would give N3 million. The next step is to subtract the cost of the car from the N3 million. This leaves you with a balance of N500,000. The resulting amount should be able to cover all your expenses from now till when the car is bought. If it doesn’t you may need to adjust your goal until you’re in a better financial standing.
This refers to a goal that would be attained fairly soon (not more than a year). Aiming for an August, 2018 date gives you enough time to purchase the car without allowing the possibility of excuses coming in the way of attaining this goal.
This example should help to refine the goals you wrote down last time. The goals would now reflect the SMART concept, phrasing them in a way that would go miles in creating an attainable vision.
Next time we’ll explore the various financial options you could utilize to attain this goal within the one-year mark, keeping in mind that these options are also applicable to your own financial goals.
Photo credit: Hope House Press