One of my financial resolutions for 2008 is to increase my savings by $4000. This will be a pretty big stretch for me, because I’ll be adding that goal to my previously existing goals. (Which are already taking quite a bit of my money.) Here’s this goal defined using the SMART method:
Specific – To increase my current high-yield savings balance by $4000 by December 31, 2008. I intend to do this by making regular contributions with each paycheck, and additional contributions each time I earn non-salary income.
Measurable – I will know that I’ve achieved this goal when my balance is $4000 greater than it currently is. I will also be able to measure progress by seeing if my balance is increasing steadily, ideally by at least $334 per month.
Achievable – Although it will be a stretch, I do believe that it’s achievable. Reaching the goal will require me to both spend less and earn more income.
Realistic – It is a realistic goal because my spending is already trending downwards and my income is gradually increasing.
Timely – I have one year to reach this goal. (Or 13 months if I start now, which I’m doing.)
I chose this goal because I think it will help me feel a little better about one of my other goals — maxing out my IRA. It’s been hard for me to contribute money regularly to my IRA, only to watch my money “disappear” into the ups & downs of the stock market. I think I’ll feel better about continuing with that goal if I’m also putting some money in a place where I can watch it increase.