How to set personal finance goals

[ and smash them! ]
by John Forwood Published

As a small business person, we have long been schooled in the need to have goals, and many of us have a person or people that help us down this path. 

For some, their bookkeeper is the person that helps with setting goals, and more importantly, keeping them on track to achieve these goals. For others, a business coach is a regular part of their business planning sessions. A business coach will always find out where your business is at now, and where you want to take it. From there, they will coach you about your habits and the direction the business needs to take over time.

No matter who this person is for your business, the process and regular contact provides you with a break from the day to day of your business and allows you time to work on your business. Most business owners find the process and ongoing conversation very rewarding, and rarely is the payoff negative.

The mistake that often occurs though is that the process of business planning and the ongoing conversations provide a sense of having “everything” on track. However, your business is not you.

Whilst where you are today may be heavily tied to your business, it doesn’t mean that where you want to go must be. Indeed, at some point in time your personal goals should diverge from your business goals. A business by its very nature is designed to be a perpetual entity whilst we are not.

So, who do you employ to give you the break from your life to consider where you want to go? Who can be your business coach for your personal goals?

Is it your partner in life? When was the last time that you and your partner gave yourselves the headspace to enable a fruitful discussion about the future, and what each of you want to achieve in life?

Research shows that very few people make the time to talk through medium and long-term goals for the family unit. We talk about the cost of groceries this week, or the next holiday we are thinking about, or even the high school our kids might attend.

The question of how you want life to look, now and in the future is not a topic that happens. What do you want to achieve in life? Places you long to visit? Charities to work with? Challenges to attempt? Things to create?

So again, in this world of competing priorities, how do you give yourself the time as a couple, as a family unit to discuss your personal goals, and secondly, as in business, how do you road map the funding and timing of these fabulous goals?

Finally, beyond your personal goals, other questions you should be asking yourself are:

  • Do we map a way of paying for any of these things?
  • What is the best structure for your investments and savings?
  • Do we forecast our cash flows?
  • Do we forecast the growth of our passive income?
  • Do we plan for a time to reduce or remove the need to work?
  • Do we assess the risks?

If you need assistance with any of these questions or processes, please get in contact with a registered Financial Adviser.

John Forwood and Forwood Planning Pty Ltd ATF Forwood Planning Trust are Authorised Representatives (No. 1007813/1238510) of MyPlanner Professional Services Pty Ltd AFSL 425542 ABN 51 159 696 830.

The information provided above is general in nature and does not constitute financial advice.Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate. Individuals must not rely on this information to make a financial or investment decision. Before making any decision, we recommend you consult a financial planner to take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation and individual needs.Please visit www.forwoodplanning.com.au for a copy of our full disclaimer, our Financial Services Guide and our privacy policy.

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