Summertime, and Financial Micro-Goals Are Easy

The #1 financial goal of summer: don't lose ground. But when it comes to making big new goals, perhaps it's better to be lazy and embrace micro-goals instead.

Summer is notorious for destroying budgets and eroding progress on financial goals.

Family trips, summer camps, spontaneous recreation, and a generally indulgent, relaxed vibe – it all takes a toll.

Indeed, according the CNBC, nearly half of all summer vacationers spent more than planned.

Perhaps your only financial goal this summer should be to avoid losing ground financially.

The #1 financial goal of summer is don’t lose ground.

But if you’re up for it, consider also setting a micro-goal or two this season. As seen in a graph from Farnum Street inspired by James Clear*, a tiny improvement over time can compound beautifully.


Be lazy: embrace micro goals and the natural flow of summer.

Summer is a natural time to favor micro-goals over grandiose major goals.

After all, summer is limited – just twelve weeks in June, July, and August. (Or from 6/21 to 9/21 if we’re being scientific.)

Also, half of the year is already behind us. It’s time to get realistic and focused about what we can accomplish.

Finally, who wants to tackle major goals when it’s time to swim, explore, and kick back.

Regardless of the season, achieving micro-goals provide a sense of accomplishment that can support bigger future progress.

Examples of micro-goals for the summer might include:

  • Track your spending daily or weekly over the twelve weeks of summer
  • Set up an automatic savings plan
  • Brainstorm how you might earn a little extra income
  • Make a plan to ask for raise
  • Rebalance your credit cards
  • Pay down one credit card 20% or more by September
  • Set a weekly a money date with your spouse or partner
  • Set up a money tracking project with your kids
  • Check up on the budget you created and likely abandoned months ago
  • Make a list of financial habits, goals and practices you’d like to achieve

Of the above micro-goals, tracking your spending will likely have the biggest impact on how you engage with your finances.

Enter to Win 1 of 10 Hardcover Copies of “Atomic Habits” by James Clear

The graph at the top of this post was inspired by the insights of writer James Clear. His work on setting goals and making habits is relevant to anyone interested in personal finance and money.

That’s because daily actions, goals, habits, and systems can compound just like wealth. As noted on the Financial Mentor podcast, this is “the identical principle applied to two different resources in your life – money and time.”

Atomic Habits” is James Clear’s best selling new book. It’s a “comprehensive and practical guide on how to create good habits, break bad ones, and get 1 percent better every day.”

We’re giving ten hardcover copies away to subscribers of the Tiller Money Memo. If you’re already subscribed, you’re already automatically entered to win.

If you want to subscribe, sign up here.

See you by the pool!

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Edward Shepard

Edward Shepard

Marketing Lead at Tiller. Writer. Spreadsheet nerd. Get in touch with partnership ideas at edward @

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