Create Your Own Dollar Plan: Step 2

Posted by Madison on May 1, 2008

Now that you have step 1 complete and have a nice list of goals, it’s time to put the goals in a working order.

Step 2: Assigning Numerical Values

This isn’t necessarily a priority order, but rather an order to work on the goals as you fit them together in your dollar plan. Consider it the map or to-do list in putting together your dollar plan.

Create a grid. The grid will need five columns (I use excel). List all your goals down the left column and label the remaining columns with: Time frame, Cost, Priority, and Total.

It should look like this:


Goals Time Cost Priority Total
Goal 1        
Goal 2        
Goal 3        
Goal 4        

Assign values to each.
You will assign a value (1, 3, or 9) to each goal. Complete an entire column before moving onto the next one.

Here’s how to assign the values in each column:

  • Time: 1= short term, 3= medium term, 9= long term
  • Cost: 1= low cost, 3= medium cost, 9= high cost
  • Priority: 1= low priority, 3= medium priority, 9= high priority

Total the rows. Add each row across and put the total in the final column.

Your total is now your working order. We will begin with the highest number and work down to the lowest number. If you don’t agree with how the numbers came out, don’t worry, it’s not necessarily importance, but a working plan. It will give us somewhere to start in the next step.

Spousal Consideration. If you are working on the plan with a partner, you can each assign values, then average the totals to come up with one list that represents your combined values.

My Example

This is how some of my goals lined up in this exercise when I did it a couple years ago:

Goals Time Cost Priority Total
Early Retirement 1 9 9 19
Build a new house 3 3 9 15
Buy a new car 9 1 3 13
Vacation House 1 3 1 5

Next up? Step 3.

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Comments to Create Your Own Dollar Plan: Step 2

  1. I’m confused by your chart. You list Early Retirement as a “1” (short term goal), and Buy a New Car as a “9” (long term). Yet in Create Your Own Dollar Plan: Step 3, the early retirement is a 20-year goal, and the car is a 4-year.


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