DebtSafe Blog

SMART Financial Goals

Who said you can only set goals every New Year? Not to mention financial goals. No, goals should be a hot topic year-round and that includes financial goals. There is no better way to keep it simple than by keeping it SMART.

“S.M.A.R.T. is an ideal framework for setting goals, including financial goals,” says Matthys Potgieter, spokesperson and debt expert at DebtSafe. “And it is best to keep it basic,” highlights Potgieter. The S.M.A.R.T. acronym is intended to help you clarify exactly what you want to achieve and when you want to achieve it. As it is National Women’s Month, DebtSafe’s team thought it best to not only motivate South Africans but to also encourage South African women to restructure their financial goals. Finances and fiscal goals are important for everyday life and there are SMART ways to implement it, here’s how:


“Goal setting is the core of existence that defines life.” – Joanne Bonomi

A specific financial goal highlights the what: like implementing a long-term savings goal (saving for retirement). It also focuses on the how: to compare annuity options and to choose the best one, for example. And it explains the why of your financial goal: to have a well-deserved retirement by the age of 60/65.


“The more specific and measurable your goal, the more quickly you will be able to identify, locate, create, and implement the use of the necessary resources for its achievement.” – Charles J. Givens

Potgieter says it is of utmost importance for your financial goal(s) to be measurable. Short-term goals can be ‘built’ into your long-term goal. An example would be: by the end of each year you would like to save an amount of R___, tucked away in your retirement savings (for your long-term financial goal).


“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” – Zig Ziglar

Your financial goals should be outlined and well-defined so that you won’t have a hard time accomplishing them. “A financial goal can only be reached if you incorporate appropriate and achievable action steps within the resources that you have available,” mentions Potgieter.


“You have to find out what’s right for you, so it’s trial and error. You are going to be all right if you accept realistic goals for yourself.” – Teri Garr

Your financial goal(s) whether it is short-term or long-term should be realistic, reasonable and result-orientated. “The realistic result of your goal is focused on the outcome thereof, not the activity,” says Potgieter.


“A goal is a dream with a deadline.” – Napoleon Hill

“Your financial goal should indicate a deadline and ‘urgency’ date. Without a time linked to a certain financial goal, you can be sure that you stand the possibility of missing your ideal outcome,” concludes Potgieter. For example: By the end of 2050 you would like to retire with a good retirement package in place of R___. This goal is possible as you’ll be saving R___ annually.

Financial goals can be implemented any time of the year. And it is the SMART way to go to achieve your short-term or long-term dreams in the end. DebtSafe encourages men, women and youth to pin down those financial goals.