Long-Term Financial Goals Should Be D.U.M.B.

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The following is the transcript of the video above, “Long Term Financial Goals Should Be D.U.M.B.”. Therefore, it may be awkward to read. If you can, I would encourage you to watch the video. Automatically generated closed captioning is available on the video.

If you and I sat down for a financial coaching appointment and I asked you to tell me some of your long term financial goals, I’m sure you’d come up with the pretty standard, boilerplate responses that a lot of people have.

Things like:

  • I want to buy a house one day
  • I want to get a luxury car at some point
  • I want to get a golden retriever

Those are pretty standard responses for a lot of people because it’s what you see on television. It’s what you see in magazine articles. It’s the American dream.

But if I asked you to dig a bit deeper, I’m sure you probably have some other goals that you may think are dumb. You don’t want to tell me because you think I’m going to judge you.

I’m here to tell you that I don’t think those goals are dumb. In fact, I encourage you to write them down and plaster them throughout your house. They’re very important to you achieving financial freedom someday and we’re going to get into some details as to why that is, right after this. [Video Intro]

Hey there! I’m Adam Hagerman, your financial coach. And if you’re saying things like, “With my income, I shouldn’t feel this stressed about money!”, then you’re in the right place. This channel is all about helping you better understand your money so you can use it as a tool to help you achieve financial freedom.

Long-Term Financial Goals

Today, we’re talking about D.U.M.B. financial goals and as you may have guessed already, D.U.M.B. is actually an acronym and it stands for:

  • Dream-driven
  • Uplifting
  • Method-friendly
  • Behavior-driven

So, they’re not dumb goals at all. In fact, your definition of financial freedom is a D.U.M.B. financial goal and you now need to take some of those goals that you have written down, and create more concrete goals out of them.

Now in the previous video, we talked about setting S.M.A.R.T. financial goals and after taking some of those more concrete, short-term, pretty achievable financial goals and turning them into S.M.A.R.T financial goals, you really need to start thinking about some of these D.U.M.B. or dream-driven types of financial goals.

Now when it comes to these D.U.M.B. goals, the sky’s the limit. I want you to create all kinds of goals that are going to fit this criterion. I already said that the “U” in this acronym stands for uplifting. but I also want you to supplement the word “unique” in there as well.

Make these goals unique to you. Try not to get wrapped into the traditional norms of sports cars, mansions, caviar dreams, etc. In most cases, those things are not going to make you happy. You can find many research articles on that topic. More money doesn’t necessarily make you happy. It’s what you do with that money that makes you happy. So try not to get wrapped in a lot of those things and think about some goals that are very unique to you.

When we talked about setting your definition of financial freedom in a previous video, I used an example definition of somebody that wanted to work at an animal shelter in the future for 40 hours a week. They know the pay is not that great and they wouldn’t be able to support themselves right now if they did that. So they want to achieve financial freedom so they’ll be able to do that at some point in the future. That is the dream of theirs.

So, think about some things that are very unique to you. What do YOU want to do when it comes to your finances and what are YOUR financial dreams?

Now, let’s go over how to construct some of these D.U.M.B. financial goals.


The “D” or dream-driven part of these D.U.M.B. goals is like your definition of financial freedom. What would I do if money wasn’t an issue? That may seem very dreamy right now. You’re going to look at that and go, “I can’t do that right now”. But that’s the point of it. It’s a dream right now. It’s something you want to get to at some point. If you have that goal written down somewhere, you’re going to constantly try to achieve it. And I know you can achieve it if you write it down and consistently work towards it.

Again, it seems like a dream and you may not completely accomplish it by the set time that you might have for it in the future, but if you’re trying to achieve it throughout your lifetime, you’re going to accomplish a lot. A lot more than if you just today said, “you know what, I’m never going to achieve that. I’ll just give up now.” But if you write it down and work towards it, even if you don’t completely achieve it, you’re going to be way more ahead financially than you were if you didn’t write that goal down.

Just like the financial freedom definition, you probably have some other goals that seem like dreams right now. Maybe you want to save your kid’s college education. That might be a dream because you have to take care of some debt first. You still want to write it down and put it someplace you can review it periodically. Say, “that’s a big goal of mine but I’ve got to take care of these smaller things first – let me get back to this college goal later and attack this debt right now.”


Now to the “U” or uplifting. How is this goal going to lift you up? How’s it going to lift up others? If we go back to that example of wanting to work at an animal shelter 40 hours a week, think about the animals that you’re going to be able to help. The sooner you get there, the more animals you can help. That is uplifting to you. That’s going to keep you motivated to do the small things along the way to get you to that D.U.M.B. financial goal because it’s uplifting.


The “M” again stands for method-friendly. How can you implement this financial goal into your daily life? Not in regards to maybe taking money and saving for this specific goal right now, but just reminding yourself of the goal you’re trying to achieve.

Maybe you print it out on a piece of paper. Then, stick it on your bathroom mirror so every morning when you’re getting ready for work you’re reminded of what your goal of financial freedom is. You can start thinking, “I need to make good financial decisions today to ensure that I get to my definition of financial freedom as soon as I possibly can”.

So, what kind of methods can you put in place again to get you there much sooner? What kind of unique things can you do on a daily basis?


Finally, the “B” stands for behavior-driven. What kind of new behaviors can you inject into your life to be able to remind yourself consistently of that goal that you’re trying to achieve?

So, back to again to our example of working at an animal shelter full time at some point in the future. Remember you can’t work 40 hours a week there yet. You can’t quit your job you don’t like to go out and do that. But maybe you can volunteer just one hour a week at your local animal shelter. I assume they would be very happy to have you come in and volunteer. Maybe you just pet the animals or whatever. You take that hour and you just inject that into your life. It’s a new behavior that you’re creating on this weekly basis so that you can slowly work your way towards your goal of working there full time.

Break Down Your Long-Term Financial Goals

As I’ve been talking here, I’ve already kind of showed you how to take some of these bigger dream-driven goals and start breaking them down into some of those S.M.A.R.T. financial goals that we’ve already talked. These goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

So for that big, D.U.M.B. goal of working at an animal shelter at some point in the future, you need to take out a small piece and break them into a smaller goal. So, you might say, “I want to volunteer at an animal shelter for 1 hour a week unpaid”. That is the smaller goal that you take out of that to start injecting those behavior-driven types of methods into your daily, weekly, or monthly life.

So, start taking some of your bigger goals and break them down into smaller ones to get moving towards achieving those bigger, dream-driven goals.

Here’s my question to you. What kind of goal do you have that you would consider to be dumb? Ones that are very personal and uplifting to you, but you feel sound dumb to somebody else. As I’ve already said, I don’t consider them to be dumb so if you’re comfortable with it, certainly go to the comments section and share with everybody else. If you’re not comfortable with that, you can certainly go to my website and find my email. I’d be happy to hear from you as to what those dumb goals you have are. I’d love to take a look at your long-term financial goals.

If you’re new here, make sure you subscribe to the channel to get yourself some weekly videos on personal finance. As always, remember that you deserve financial freedom. Take care of your money, so it can take care of you later. See you next time!

Now get out there and take care of your money, so it can take care of you later.

Your financial coach,