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I’m Over Being Afraid of Goals

I’m usually nervous about setting SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-oriented) in my financial life. I do have some goals, like getting to my next e-fund goal of $5000, putting at least $2000 in my Roth IRA this year (I’m on track to surpass that one), and paying off my credit cards. However, I’m hesitant to put a time limit on reaching them out of fear that I won’t get there within the specified time frame. For example, I’m currently putting $100 a month in my e-fund. My balance is $1100, so it will take 39 months to get to $5000. That should be fairly easy, right? But in my mind, I’m thinking, What if I have an actual emergency and have to take money out? Then I won’t get there on time! OMG, the world will end!

I’ve decided it’s time to quit whining, making excuses, and hiding in the corner. I want some real goals, darn it! I need to push myself a little – right now, all my goals are easy to reach because they’re automated. I’m not really pushing myself to go outside the little savings comfort zone I’ve created. I’m over it – I need to do more to keep proving to myself that I can.

Here goes nothing:

  1. I will have an e-fund balance of $5000 by July 2013. That’s about a year sooner than I should reach it based on my current savings. To get there, I will continue my current plan, but will include extra money (Christmas, second job earnings) to put myself ahead.
  2. I will save $1500 for a vacation by July 2012 (shooting for an October vacation). This will require $100 a month, which will come from my second job earnings.
  3. I will finish paying off my credit cards by December 2011. (This one is kind of a freebie. Leave me alone.)
  4. I will contribute $3000 to my Roth IRA in 2011 instead of the $2000 goal I previously set. I’ll need to contribute $75 more each month.
  5. I will max out my Roth in 2012. This will require about $200 per paycheck.

 Okay, I have to admit I’m freaking out a little. Five goals might be a little much for me at this point, but as I said, I need to keep reaching. I’ll be changing my progress bars to note the target dates for these goals, and I’ll keep everyone updated. Time to take a break before I chicken out!

About Andrea Whitmer

Andrea is a freelance web developer and mom trying to maintain a sense of humor in an otherwise chaotic world. She blogs in hopes of helping others avoid the same mistakes she made in the past. Join in the discussion here on So Over This, or connect on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or Google Plus. You can also subscribe to new posts via RSS so you never miss out!


  1. The Single Saver says:

    Good luck in hitting your goals! It sounds like you have a great long term plan.

  2. Debt Free Divas says:

    I so love your blog name 🙂 Good luck on making all of your goals..especially the October trip!!!!

  3. Ashley @ Money Talks says:

    Good Luck… those sound like great goals. It's funny cause I have a 3 part series on my site about setting SMART goals, part three went up today.

  4. Dave @ Money In The says:

    Good luck with these goals, Andrea! Just keep up the great work as you are now and you will surely surpass them all!

  5. Those are some great goals to have! I really like the progress bars, too. I wish you the best on accomplishing them. I think you were alluding to this, but I often find that concentrating on fewer goals (ideally, just one) at a time increases the chances for success quite a bit.

  6. Alltid Blakk says:

    You can do it, you got it in you!

  7. yesiamcheap says:

    I love the goals. So what if you don't make them. The point is that you try adn work towards the goals. Chances are that you will accomplish most of them. good luck!

  8. Rosa sanchez says:

    Good luck to you in reaching your goals.  I'm sure you will make them.  I think i will take your advice and make some goals of my own.  Thank you for the inspiration.

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