Setting goals was important to keeping our FI mindset. It was also the only way for us to lay out what we wanted and come to a compromise with what goals we should focus on together. Goal setting for us, was done most successfully after we found our individual “Why”. This can spur conversations between you and your partner for the future. Here’s a few ideas of how we set goals as a couple.
Long Term Goals
Our long term goals focus on the “big root” of our Why. These were goals that are 10, 20, maybe even 30 years out. We asked ourselves: What do I want to be doing in 10 years everyday? Where do I want to be? For each of us, this looked a bit different and focused on our passions. For example HisFI wanted to have a shortened work week in order to have more time for writing, reading and research. HerFI, on the other hand wanted to be in another country traveling around taking photographs or working to help animals in some capacity.
The long term goal is to be FI by generating one or more passive incomes (investing, real estate etc), saving and being smart with our money, and maxing out retirement accounts as we plan for the far future.
Short Term Goals
These are the small goals that can be accomplished in 1-3 months. We set goals as a couple based on what we wanted to change now in order to assist us with the long term goal. These were also goals we wrote down on paper, hung on the fridge and revisited to make sure we were staying on track.
Not all of these need to be money or finance related. This could be about your health or relationship as well, which is equally important to the future success and long term goal. If you do not have yourself and your relationships in order, your finances will never be there either.
How we set goals as a couple
Separately, we each wrote down 5 things we wanted MORE of and 5 Things we needed LESS of. Here is a real example for the goals we set at the start of summer spanning 3 months.
- HerFi – sugar in foods, time watching TV, debt, things she wasn’t using and insecurity in relationships
- HisFI – TV, spending and arguing
- HerFI- Whole foods and greens, time with HisFI, Savings for emergencies, Art/Journaling, Stronger connections with friends
- HisFI- time outside, frugalness, co-hab activities, future planning, talking with HerFI
You can see that we had a lot of overlap in our wants/needs.
Set a SMART Goal. You may have heard of this before, especially if you are a teacher or educator. HerFI has to set SMART goals all year long for her work with students, so this set the stage for us.
SMART stands for – Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound
Here are a couple examples of our SMART Goals broken down:
Throughout the summer no TV two nights a week; instead cook and eat a meal together followed by time to talk about our interests or taking the dog for a walk.
Specific– No TV
Measurable– two nights per week
Attainable- again- only two nights and we choose Monday and Wednesday since they
work with our routine of working out.
Relevant- We both wanted more time together, more communication and needed less TV
Time Bound- Summer Goals- 3 Months
Throughout the summer use the “48 hour List” prior to making any purchase online.
Specific– Online purchases only
NOTE: Pause before a purchase- the 48 rule asks that you make a list on your phone or wherever is convenient of items you want. Wait at least 48 hours prior to purchasing and decide if it is still something you need. If it is- look for the best deal or buy used.
Measurable– List on our phones
Attainable– We use Amazon for almost every purchase, so keeping it all online or on our phones was very attainable for us
Relevant– We both wanted to spend less and buy less.
Time Bound– Summer Goals- 3 Months
Both of these goals we set as a couple were ones that helped us towards our long term goal, started to grow the seed of frugality and a focus on both our money and our relationship. Here is a Goal Setting Printable that walks you through the steps! Please make sure to subscribe.
Let us know how your goal setting goes or if you have any questions!