Think SMART When Setting Savings Goals

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With everything being so expensive these days, sometimes it’s hard to save money for the future or for something specific that you may want. The main thing to keep in mind is to think SMART when breaking down your savings goals.

specific

Specific

Before you start to save, determine exactly what you want, when you want it, and how much it will cost. It’s a good idea to write down your goal and be as detailed as possible. The clearer your goal is, the more realistically you can save for it.

Measurable

Measurable

When your savings goals are measurable, you can make checkpoints along the way that prove you’re making progress toward your end goal. It’s helpful to measure your goals in clear numbers to know where you are in the process and if you need to make any adjustments along the way.

Achievable

Achievable

When setting a savings goal, it’s important for the goal to be reachable and inspire motivation. It may be helpful to ask yourself the following:

  • What would it take to attain the goal?
  • Which services will be required to achieve the goal?
  • Are the necessary resources available to you?
Realistic

Realistic

A goal must be realistic for it to be reached. This might mean that you may need to develop new approaches and even sacrifices to reasonably accomplish your goal. For example, if the goal is to save a certain amount of money to buy your dream home or car then it may not be possible to take an extravagant vacation this year.

Timely

Timely

Categorize your goals based on how long it will take you to accomplish them. Without targeted dates, there will be no sense of urgency and, therefore, less motivation to achieve your savings goal. Here is a breakdown that may help:

  • Short-term goals: Achievable in under 1 year. Perhaps this is a small kitchen upgrade or a weekend getaway.
  • Mid-term goals: Achievable in 1-5 years. An expensive trip to Europe or an addition to your home may fall under this category.
  • Long-term goals: Achievable in 5+ years. These can include your big-picture retirement plan or a larger, more expensive house.

Applying the SMART method to saving will keep you organized and give you a sense of direction in reaching your short, mid, and long-term goals. A Bethpage money market account or Special Purpose account will also help you achieve your savings goals.

Bethpage is here to assist you. Contact us today to start planning and saving!