When We Should Change Our Metrics

Aiming to achieve something ‘exciting” is common in the personal finance community. The goal might be to get out of debt, or hit a net worth of zero, or become a millionaire. Naturally, we set up some type of metric to gauge our progress along the path. An important element of success is knowing when we should change our metrics.

In 2016, we set a goal to hit a net worth of zero. This was the overarching goal and since it was such a high priority, we succeeded with only a few days to spare.

Along the way, we set many other goals to help achieve the larger goal. We set 20 goals, to be specific, of which we successfully hit 17 helping us net over $50K in savings.

A big component was understanding when good was good enough versus when to strive for  better or, “best,” results:

This lesson is often intertwined with knowing when to say no:

The end result was achieved because I knew the metric of hitting a net worth of zero was too important to compromise on.

A drastic example would be a goal to successfully cross the street. No matter how you look at it, the metric by which we gauge success will never change.

Blogging Metrics


Blogging brings up an example of when we should change our metrics.

My experience with blogging so far has taught me there are a plethora of numbers we can look at. We can spend all day analyzing and receive some excellent feedback.

There are also metrics that seem important, but really aren’t.

In my case, I used to be focused on affiliate income since so many bloggers share successful income reports. In response, I’ve decided to move my metrics. I’ve scaled back my site’s sidebar and plan on removing more of the ads.

The metrics should be how well is my audience doing with their money; not how well am I doing with their money.

Simply because I see a measurable number that can go up, doesn’t mean I should make it priority number 1.

So, to wrap, changing our metrics is critical when we see a more optimal solution.

Being flexible in our approach allows us to dance in the moment. If we live life with blinders on, we may achieve our goal at the expense of the bigger picture.

When do you decide to change the metrics on a goal or a task?


3 comments… add one
  • [email protected] Mar 15, 2017, 5:09 am

    Good perspective. My blogging goals have always been around reaching people and figuring out the market. Are people interested in what I have to say? What kinds of articles do well, and what don’t? How do I get people to learn about my site? I decided early on that I was going to spend at least a year focusing on writing and helping people, working to reach others, and then take a checkpoint and see where I am.

  • Eliz23 Mar 15, 2017, 9:39 am

    Great podcast Matt, thanks! We are constantly changing our metrics. The first draft budget for 2017, which was made in November 2016, has been updated about 8 times as we realized there is ALWAYS more to squeeze from our day to day expenses. I paid $124 for a manual washing machine and $20 for ingredients for washing powder for a whole year, hoping to see this reflected on our electricity bill (and to see my arm muscles grow!) Im hoping the machine pays for itself within 3 months, and the resale value of the device is real too. By far the best decision made was to move to just a walk away from work, saving me approx. $100 a week on transport 🙂 Look forward to the next podcast! best of luck and happy saving!

  • Mrs. Picky Pincher Mar 15, 2017, 3:35 pm

    I really like how you changed your goal on your blog; very commendable. 🙂 I think it’s always high time to change your metrics when you change your goal or you realize the metrics just don’t work any more. We changed how we measure our food costs a few months ago. We used to calculate our food cost per day, but now we track our average food cost per meal. I’m proud to report we brought it down to less than $2 per meal, which is a real feat for us!

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