As we dive into the new financial year, it’s the perfect time to reflect, recalibrate, and set some financial goals.
Whether you’re aiming for debt reduction, a healthy share portfolio, or planning for retirement, setting clear and achievable financial goals is essential.
To get you started on the right track, here’s our top tips to help guide you through the process of setting financial goals that will propel you towards success!
top tips for setting financial goals
reflect on the current state of [financial] affairs
Before setting new goals, take stock of your current financial situation. Evaluate your income, expenses, assets, debts, and investments. It’s crucial to understand your cashflow and net asset position as a starting point for setting meaningful goals.
identify short and long-term goals
Short and long-term goals both have their purpose! Short-term goals may include paying off credit card debt, building a cash reserve, or saving for a much –needed holiday.
Long-term goals might involve retirement planning, purchasing a house, or funding your child’s education. Clearly defining both types of goals will help you prioritise and understand where best to allocate resources.
set SMART goals
SMART goals are a framework for setting objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound.
Instead of saying, “I want to retire comfortably,” specify the amount and timeline. For example, “I want to save for retirement to draw an income of $75,000 per annum when I reach 65”.
While it’s essential to aim high, setting realistic and achievable goals is crucial to maintain momentum and avoid frustration.
Consider your income, expenses, and other financial obligations when setting your goals. If necessary, break down larger goals into smaller milestones to make them more attainable.
create a budget
Developing a budget is a fundamental step toward achieving your financial goals. Understand your income and expenses, identify areas where you can cut back, and allocate funds toward your goals. A budget will help you stay accountable, control spending, and make progress toward your objectives.
There are several budgeting tools and apps available to simplify the budgeting process and help you stay on track with your financial goals.
One option is Pocketsmith, a popular budgeting app that allows you to link your bank and credit card accounts and easily categorise your spending. For something more customisable you could use a spreadsheet to create your budget.
You can also obtain additional information directly from your bank. With greater access to data through open banking, banks now provide additional information in bank statements that can be easily downloaded and sorted to give you an understanding of your money habits.
seek professional advice
Consulting a financial planner can provide valuable insights and expertise tailored to your specific circumstances. A financial planner can help you refine your goals, offer strategies to optimisze your finances, understand your risk tolerance, and ensure you stay on track in the face of changing situations and big life decisions.
track your progress and revisit annually
The start of a new financial year is an ideal time to set goals, but this is not a ‘set and forget’ exercise.
Circumstances change and it‘s is important to revisit and adjust your goals accordingly.
Make it a habit to review your goals annually, ensuring they align with your evolving financial situation and priorities.
you’re now ready to set your goals
Setting financial goals for the new financial year is the first step towards securing your ideal future.
By reflecting on your current situation, defining your goals and regularly tracking your progress, you can establish a solid foundation so you can one day quit your day job [or sell your business to] sip margaritas on the beach, or retire comfortably…whatever takes your fancy!
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