We know what you’re thinking. “Savings? Pass. Brunches, dog outfits, and living my best life are my priorities.” (Because who can afford a house anyway 🤡)
Plus, it’s not exactly easy to save. Between skyrocketing bills and another rent increase, your bank account is still empty by the end of the month (and that’s even with your side hustle’s help).
But tbh, savings are pretty vital—think of that time when you got laid off or your car died unexpectedly. Extra cash woulda been handy to fix that mess.
Savings give for that sweet, sweet feeling of security that’s crucial for your financial and mental health.
WTF is a SMART goal?
To get savings, you need a plan. So, we’d like to humbly introduce you to the SMART savings method.
A SMART goal? What in the late-stage capitalism hellscape is this? It is LITERALLY from the 80s. But we promise it’s a decent way to save the bag.
SMART goals use a little formula to magic up specific and time-measured goals that you can actually achieve—.
A SMART goal works like this:
- Specific: What’s your overall goal here? Emergency fund, sinking pot for holidays, rolling funds for thrifting every month?
- Measurable: Give yourself a number. It can be as small or as big as you like.
- Attainable: Well, obviously, keep it realistic.
- Relevant: Is this really worth it for you, or is the money better put to use somewhere else?
- Timebound: Set a timescale for your mountain of cash to pile up.
In short, it’s a productivity tool that’s very applicable to budgeting and savings goals. We promise it’s the best way to give your savings the ultimate glow-up (and look, no 75 Hard challenge in sight)..
How to set SMART goals
Ready to get more into the world of SMART? Here’s each of those stages spelled out with examples.
The very basis of an effective savings goal is how specific it is. The more specific you are, the clearer an image you’ll have in your head to get there. So give it more energy, more ✨ passion ✨ to get where you need to be.
“I want to save money” is the antithesis of a SMART goal because it’s way too vague. Ask yourself: What do I need to do to get this done? Is anyone else involved in the goal, like a partner or friend? Where is the goal taking place, like a physical location? All of these will help you work out the specifics of your saving goal.
Here’s an example: “I'm saving up for a trip to California with my friends.”
This is the fun part (or terrifying, depending on how you view it…). Giving yourself a cold, hard cash number to work towards will help you to track your progress and keep yourself motivated to stay on course—no matter how tempting that happy hour looks.
Bonus fun steps include setting milestones along the way to reward yourself with a little treat, or setting up automated savings to help you meet your new goal—Cleo can help you with this 👀
Example: “I want to save $15,000 towards getting a new car.”
Nobody wants a delulu goal they’ll never hit. That means you gotta be realistic about your end figure or timescale. Get serious, are you really going to fund that Europe trip next summer while still spending out on your lifestyle?
Take a look over your current income and expenses to get a sense of what can be cut down or slashed altogether to make room for your savings goal. If you’ve cut back enough, it’s time to up the side hustle activity or take on some extra hours at work.
And at the end of the day, adjusting your savings goal is alright if it’s proving too much. Nobody said your SMART goal had to be set in stone.
Example: “Saving $5,000 into a three-month emergency fund is good for me right now.”
This is all about making sure you’re choosing a savings goal that works for you - not what your parents or partner think you should be doing. After all, you want to have some motivation to save up your cash, right?
House prices are literal insanity right now, but you might want to start saving towards a down payment. The end feeling when you pick up the keys is gonna be your driving force in turning down Starbucks on your way into work.
Here’s an example: “This savings goal is to help me achieve my dream of sailing around the world in 80 days.” (You do you.)
Of course, every savings goal needs a timeline to get it done and dusted. How soon do you need the cash saved up - a few weeks, months, or years? Get an idea in your head of how long it’s going to take - and that it’s actually achievable in that timeframe.
Setting a deadline is key, but cut yourself some slack if unexpected circumstances come up. Sometimes it’s about the journey, not the destination.
Example: “I’m going to save $500 for a plane ticket home in three months.”
Meet Cleo: your savings bestie 💅
Smart goals can quickly get dumb if you have too many of the parameters slipping. If you’re struggling to save, let Cleo’s AI do the heavy lifting.
Cleo lets you set up savings goals using the SMART framework, so you’ll be sipping on a spritz in Positano next summer, or one step closer to getting a down payment together. Just set your custom savings goal, how much you’d like to save and when by. We’ll send you reminders to get that sh*t done.
And Cleo’s auto savings tool makes meeting your SMART savings goals a piece of cake. By setting and forgetting it, you can focus more on the latest Love Island episodes and less on worrying about your finances. You literally won’t even miss those few cents Cleo stashes away, but it soon adds up.
If you do need a cash injection fast, Cleo has your back. Just message the app to withdraw and it’ll be with you in a ✨ flash ✨