I am not sure about you, but I know that I have wasted more money on improper spending habits than I even care to think about. Once I thought about it, I gave the GPS plan a try. As Americans, we waste 20-30% of our hard earned money on bad spending habits. Proper planning could help you to reach your financial destination of paying off debts faster. Think of it this way. When you go on a road trip, you don’t just start driving. You first decide on a destination, and sometimes, if you are not certain of the path you are on, you will use your GPS to reach that destination with peace of mind. Reaching your financial destination with GPS offers the same peace of mind. So, why not give the SMART method a try?
Set SMART financial goals: (We have all heard of the SMART acronym, right?)
Specific – A specific goal has much greater chance of being accomplished. EX: What is my goal? I want to pay off my $1,200 balance high interest rate credit card.
Measurable - Measure your goal by asking yourself how. EX: How will I feel when I pay off this debt?
Attainable - Goals should be attainable, yet a bit of a stretch from your normal routine. Make some adjustments to your spending life-style. EX: Instead of purchasing that expensive latte’ every morning; purchase an in-expensive coffee mug with a lid, make your coffee at home and take it with you. You could save an average of $5.00 per day (if you are an avid coffee drinker). Open a small savings account, preferably an account that you do not have ATM or debit access to, and stock pile that $5.00 per day into the account via pay roll deduction or direct deposit. I always say, “Out of sight is out of mind”.
Realistic - Be realistic. A realistic example of a goal may look like this.
$1200 Debt to be paid off in one year.
Saving $5 a day by not purchasing that latte’, you will have the funds available to make that $23.08 week payroll deduction or direct deposit.
Timely - The goal should be completed in a timely manner. Without a time limit, there is no sense of urgency to complete.
Be SMART, set your GPS, and good luck!