Teach kids SMART goals on the path to financial success

It’s important for parents to help kids to set SMART goals, providing a target that is within reach.

By: The Family Money Team


3 minute read

Use SMART goals as a way of gradually building your kids' ability to set and achieve goals with the Verizon prepaid debit card.

Key Points

  • Set aside time to discuss setting goals with your kids
  • Explain how to use the SMART method 
  • Reward children for reaching their goals

The ability to set and reach goals is an important part of a child’s development. Teaching your kids to set goals is easier once parents use the SMART method. SMART is an acronym that stands for:

 Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Reasonable, and Timely.

For example, perhaps your child wants to buy a bicycle. A bike can cost anywhere from $40 to several thousand dollars. So the first step in the SMART Method is taking the time to sit down with your child and discuss their goal: what type of bike they want, the approximate cost, how they plan to earn the money to pay for the bike, and how long it will take to purchase, based on their weekly allowance. Family Money is a great resource for parents to set up recurring chores and pay allowances on the go.

Does the goal meet the SMART criteria?

Is it Specific? Yes, it’s specific to purchasing a bike. Is it Measurable? Yes, the cost of a bike is measurable. Is it Attainable? Yes, purchasing a bike is attainable, but how attainable depends on the cost. Is it Reasonable? 

Maybe, a bicycle that costs $200 could be reasonably obtained in only 4 weeks, if a child saves their weekly $50 allowance. However, if the bike costs $1000, it would take the child 20 weeks to make that type of purchase. Depending on the child, waiting 20+ weeks may seem unreasonable. This is a good opportunity to discuss whether the more expensive bike is worth the weeks and weeks of saving? The $200 goal certainly seems easier to attain, but will a less expensive bike suit the kid’s needs?  A parent may be able to suggest extra work the child could do to help them realize their goal sooner. Perhaps parents may decide they can match funds. Once the child saves $500, the parent will match that amount and contribute $500. 

Is it Timely? Yes, parents help by calculating how long it would take to reach the goal. The kid understands their goal will take both time and effort to reach. The Family Money prepaid debit card can help your child track both their spending and saving habits.

Teaching your kids about how to realistically set and reach their goals can be challenging. It takes practice and lots of encouragement. No matter how small or large the goal may seem, try to be supportive and employ the SMART method.  It’s this type of open discussion as well as planning, working, and saving that is critical for future success. 

Help your kids set goals on the path to financial success with Family Money. Try the first 30 days on us.*

*$5.99/month charged thereafter unless you cancel before trial ends. See Trial & Auto- Renew Terms.

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