At the start of each calendar year, people who are smart with their money know how important it is to take concrete steps to secure their finances. By setting financial planning goals, they are able to work towards the things they wish to attain. 

A great way to do this is by following the SMART model. This model involves setting goals that are:

  • S — Specific
  • M — Measurable
  • A — Attainable
  • R — Relevant
  • T — Time-based

SMART goals are defined and reasonable. They follow a specific transparency framework that the individual can easily follow until the goal is achieved. When you set up your New Year, and new financial resolutions, make sure you follow the SMART model and select goals that mean something to you. Common resolutions include:

Buying a House

Owning a home is the dream of many. If this goal is on your list, make sure you set up a plan to save up for a down payment. To avoid private mortgage insurance, you typically have make a down payment of at least 20% of the purchase price. 

However, there are programs in place for new homeowners that allow for smaller down payments. A financial planner can assist you in meeting your goal by establishing the amount you need to save each month towards the down payment and figuring out an appropriate purchase price for your home.


Retirement is a long-term goal that requires significant planning. The earlier you begin saving and setting up your investments, the more likely you will be able to retire well. 

Learning how to save and choosing smart investments is a wise move — and the earlier you make a decision to do so, the better off you will be. A financial planner can assist you with setting up a plan for retirement. They can also help you avoid costly mistakes that result in wasted money.

Paying Down Debt

Most Americans carry a significant amount of debt. Unfortunately, the debt can stop them from achieving other goals for their financial future — such as owning a house or securing an early retirement. 

Deciding to pay off debt is a wise move and will pay considerable dividends over time. Working with a financial planner can help you design an appropriate plan to pay off your debt as quickly as possible.

Setting Up a Savings Account

Having a savings account can protect you from sudden financial damage, such as a lost job or an expensive stay at a hospital. You never know when something will occur that can cause significant financial issues. According to a recent survey, over 50% of Americans would have difficulty covering a $400 emergency expense. 

Even if you don’t have much leftover money at the end of the month, putting aside a set amount each week or month can help you create a buffer for financial emergencies and encourage financial stability.

Consult a Financial Planner

A financial planner can assist you with meeting your New Year’s financial resolutions. Mash Financial Planning is devoted to assisting the Jacksonville, Florida community with reaching their personal financial goals. We can assist you in setting up a financial planning process for any goals you wish to achieve. Contact us today for a consultation.