SETTING FAMILY GOALS
By Stephanie Mickle, Guest Columnist
From the Nest Egg for Ladies
Let’s chat about goal setting, from the perspective of family finances. In order to have
greater family financial security, it is important to set goals. Here are a few questions to
consider when goal setting:
What would it mean to you if your family was secure financially?
- Children being able to participate in more activities after school
- Being able to retire instead of continuing to work in the golden years
- Not having to worry about bill collection because all bills are paid
What would that look like?
- Living in a house that you own without a mortgage ("free and clear")
- Having the money to start that business that you often dream of
- Being able to take a vacation and take friends and family
What would that feel like?
- Peace of mind
- Not worried about being able to make ends meet each month
- Less tired from working all the time
How do you make your family finance goals real?
First, put them on paper. There are some many formats that can be used – write a list;
make a chart, a picture, a vision board. Just pick whichever format you like the most.
Make it fun!
Whatever format you decide to choose, it is necessary to put it on paper because you
want to be able to post it somewhere in your home and look at it as you begin to work
on your goals of increasing your family’s financial stability. When there are times that
you feel discouraged, it can be a visible reminder of why you are making certain
Second, get your family’s buy-in, spouse, children, and grandchildren, everyone
involved. What do I mean by this? Whoever it is that you are responsible in any way for
contributing to financially, let them know what you are doing, why you are doing it, and
when it will start. Most likely your decisions will mean some type of change for them too,
so they need to know and understand what you are doing and why you’re doing it. It
may mean less allowance, more cooking instead of eating out, picking up a second job
to pay off some bills. It may mean making a short term sacrifice, for a longer term gain.
It may mean delaying some purchases or increasing the amount that you dedicate
towards insurance so that you have planned for the longer term. It is possible that
someone in your family may not be comfortable with having to make a sacrifice at first.
But keep in mind and remind them that this goal and necessary change is about
everyone being better off financially. It is about increased stability in your life and the
lives of those that you love.
Third, take action! Do something today. Start with 1-2 specific goals in the area of
finance, no more. I like to use the SMART system that someone came up with for goal
setting. Let’s use the example of paying off a credit card bill. First, list your family’s
name and the date on your page. This may seem like a simple thing but remember that
SMART goals are goals that are pursued with skill and intention.
INTENTION – What is it that you ultimately want to achieve? I want to achieve financial
security for myself and my family.
S- SPECIFIC – Who? My family. What? Pay off entire credit card bill balance. Why? To
save money on credit card interest payments that can then be re-allocated for other
uses. When? This year.
M- MEASURABLE – How much will you do this? How often will you do this? How many
times do you need to do this for it to be successful? For example, if I pay an additional
$100 dollars each month, I will pay off the credit card bill by December.
A - ATTAINABLE – Is what you want to do achievable? Aim for a goal that is backed up
with a practical plan for reaching it. For example, I cannot pay off the entire credit card
bill balance this month, but I can pay off the entire bill in six months by eating out less
often and comparison shopping for groceries.
R - RELEVANT – is it important to what you want to achieve ultimately? Yes, Paying off
credit card bill is directly related to becoming debt free and my family’s financial
T - TIME BASED – When will you reach this goal? Give yourself a firm deadline and an
accountability measurement. Share with your nest what the deadline is and what the
consequence will be for not reaching the goal. The conversation could go something
like this, “My dear family, our goal is to be able to be better off as a family, and so we
have to get this credit card bill completely paid off by the end of the year. Otherwise, we
won’t be able to go on vacation, we won’t be able to buy the new IPhone that we have
been wanting, we won’t be able to give an allowance, etc.”
Happy goal setting and I wish you and your family much family financial security!