McDonald's partnered with Visa to develop a " practical money skills for life " web site to help employees manage their money. A Budget Journal (attached) is offered "to help you make financial goals, build budgets and track your spending." That sounds very similar to the functions of management of planning and controlling. A budget is a plan for spending money. Tracking is control because it determines what was spent and compares it to the financial goals. In addition, guidelines are given for writing goals . In management class, we refer to these as "objectives," because "you cannot do a goal." Semantics aside, the guidelines below can help you write objectives. A realistic goal is SMART (in more ways than one) S pecific M easurable A ttainable R elevant T ime-related Specific - Smart goals are specific enough to suggest action. "Example: Save enough money to get a refrigerator, not just save money. Measurable - You need to know when you've achieved your goal, or how close you are. Example: A refrigerator costs $600, and you have $300 already saved. Goals which aren't measurable, like "I'd like to have more money," are much harder to achieve - and you don't even know when you get there. Attainable - The steps toward reaching your goal need to be reasonable and possible. Example: I know I can save enough money each week to arrive at my goal within one year. Relevant - The goal needs to make common sense. You don't want to struggle or work toward a goal that doesn't fit your need. Example: You don't need to save money for 18 pairs of shoes. Time-related - Set a definite target date. Example: The repairman says my refrigerator won't last another year. I need a new fridge in the next six months. McDonald's has been criticized for the sample budget journal . Annie-Rose Strasser of Think Progess wrote , "Not only does the budget leave a spot open for 'second job,' it also gives wholly unreasonable estimates for employees' costs: $20 a month for health care, $0 for heating, and $600 a month for rent. It does not include any budgeted money for food or clothing." A McDonalds spokesperson provided this statement to ThinkProgress : "In an effort to provide free, comprehensive money management tools, McDonald's first used the Wealth Watchers International budgeting journal when this financial literacy program launched in 2008. As part of this program, several resources were developed including a sample budgeting guide, an instructional video and a web resource center that had additional tools and information. The samples that are on this site are generic examples and are intended to help provide a general outline of what an individual budget may look like. " -- How important is it for employees to develop 'practical money skills for life"? What do you think about the Budget Journal? Does it help employees develop practical money skills? How could you improve the sample? rite a management objective that a first-line supervisor at a McDonald's restaurant could use to encourage employees to develop money skills for life.