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When you sit for a job interview, your interviewer might talk about your goals in life. Teachers work with young adults offering guidance to achieve career goals, sporting team talk much about season and team goals, and then there is goal weight, our exercise goals, our wellness goals and health goals. But what of your financial goals? What are they and how do you go about setting real, achievable personal financial goals?.
We all want to save more, invest better, spend less – but how do we do it, besides avoiding smashed avocado on toast? We start with a stocktake to understand what you have, what you need and what you want to achieve. This is a valuable tool to provide you with a clear understanding of what position you are in and how we can work with you start the next phase.
Setting a financial roadmap can be daunting but having financial plan for now, for the medium term and the longer term gives you tangible, achievable milestones to work towards and sets you up with some targets to get there. Knowing where you are starting makes it easier to determine how you get to the first milestone.
The first thing is knowing what matters to you. Each of our journeys is different – we may not all want to drive a fancy car, buy a house or retire early. Think about your dreams and set that as your first goal.
Know what’s within your reach – we can all dream about owning a beachfront home with a pool, but can we do that on $80,000 a year? How do we go about making that dream a reality? We plan.
In everything we do, our goals should be SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely. Set out your goals and know what you need to do to realise them.
We can guide you so your plan for your future is all of those things – but the plan is the most important and small things now become the big things of your future. Plan a budget – and stick to it. Pay off bad debt to improve the income you have to pay off the good debt sooner. Have an emergency savings fund for that rainy day or small emergency. Live below your means – you don’t have to spend all that you earn. Save for items you want rather than buying them on credit, holiday closer to home or choose cheaper holidays, use flyer miles where you have them – all of these things should be part of your plan.
The hardest part is knowing where to start, how to get rid of the debt you already have, where to invest so your plan can work and what to do when emergencies happen. It’s best to know exactly what you need to do to achieve your goals, whatever they may be.