Setting SMART Financial Goals with the ‘FlyIn’ Project!

The FlyIn Project came to an end in January 23 – Find out more about how we used SMART goals to help build financial literacy in young people!


The Fly-In project set out to address the financial literacy needs of young NEET women towards their own financial inclusion.  The aim of the project was to educate youth workers from various financial institutions and educational organisations with knowledge and tools gained from in person training sessions.  The youth workers could then go on to support and educate young NEET women.  An innovative training e-learning platform was also developed, giving NEET women the opportunity to participate in the online course regardless of their economic condition.  A sustainable development goal of the UN is for women to have equal access to education, decent work and representation in economic decision making.  The Fly-IN project implements this goal by providing them with tools to take a hold of their financial literacy.     

During the FlyIn project training, participants were encouraged to create SMART goals surrounding their financial goals which will help them set out a plan into achieving their goals as well as becoming more confident when managing their finances.     

SMART goals, standing for; Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely, allow a determined method on achieving a goal to be created.  They help provide a clear direction by breaking down the journey of the achievement towards the goal. This can be a really helpful way of setting clear financial goals which are realistic and more likely to be reached.  For example, a general goal (or wish) of “I wish I owned my own home” can be changed to “I will save 20,000 over the next three years for a deposit on a house by putting £500 a month into a savings account” by implementing SMART goals.   

When setting the specific goal the five “W” questions must be considered, some of these including; when do I want to achieve this goal? What do I want to accomplish?  Considering these questions, a specific goal of “I am going to save enough money so I can afford a deposit on a house” can be created.    

To determine the progress of the goal it must be able to be measured.  The measurement process would include questions such as, what can I afford to pay on a mortgage each month and how much will I have to save for a deposit? Once specific figures are known, for example “I would like a house worth £100,000 and will need a deposit of £20,000”, you can work out what you will need to  save each month to work towards this and can easily measure your progress each month.   

Following on from this, is the goal achievable?  If so, how will the goal be achieved?  A budgeting plan should be considered to help determine the amount of money needing to be saved over the period of time the goal stretches over. 

To ensure the goal is relevant to you, ask yourself questions such as, “does this goal align with my personal long term goals?” “How will owning our own home help my family?”  Saving for a deposit on a house is a good step towards home ownership and knowing why you are saving for it, can go a long way to ensuring you stick to your plan.

Lastly, how long will this goal take to achieve?  When do you want to achieve your goal?  If £500 is saved each month it will take just over three years to save the amount needed for a deposit.   

During the FlyIn training in the UK 1 participant told us  “I wish I had more money!”. Of course, many of us have this wish but on its own it isn’t very helpful! By implementing this into a SMART goal, it allowed an action plan to be formed.  After considering all aspects of SMART goal setting, our participant developed a new goal: “Before the end of the year I will complete a 3-month business management course so I can apply for more jobs and move to a higher-paid position.”  By breaking the goal down it allowed for a clear and focused strategy to be put in place, and as small achievements were gained at each step, this participant built on their confidence and was able to work towards a higher goal to help them feel more financially secure in the future. 

If you would like to improve your own financial literacy or support others in this area , you can access training and resources from the FlyIn project on our online platform which is available thanks to funding from the European Commission’s Erasmus Plus programme.  

by Carolyn Usher

International Project Manager & Trainer/Coach

Carolyn joined Inova in 2011 and is a Project Manager, trainer and coach. She is passionate about development and supporting people to achieve their dreams. Carolyn has a PGCert in Coaching and Mentoring from Sheffield Hallam University, BA in Communication and Cultural Studies and a MA in Cultural Policy and Management.

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