In order to get where you want to go, you need to define your destination – and that’s why it’s important to have goals.
Goals provide the short-term motivation needed to achieve your long-term objectives. They can be BIG (like buying a house) or small (like saving for a new smartphone). Setting goals will help you to think about what you want to achieve in life – for yourself and your family.
When setting goals, it’s important to think about what you want to get done, and by when:
Short-term goals – What you’d like to achieve within the next 6–12 months
Medium-term goals – What you’d like to see happen within the next five years
Long-term goals — What you’d like to achieve in more than five years’ time
Trying to plan for your future without a budget, is a bit like changing lanes without checking your blind spot!
Budgets often get a bad rap, with many believing that they stop you having fun with your money. But budgets are a great way to reduce financial stress by giving you visibility of your spend, so you know you’ve got the important stuff covered.
For your budget to work it needs to be accurate. Here’s a few things to keep top of mind when creating your first budget:
Start with the essentials
This means food, shelter and utilities
Time expenses like rent or utilities so they arrive around the same time you get paid
Create a budget buffer
Where possible, try to set a bit of money aside to put toward your goals and cover unexpected costs
Whether a Porsche or a Prius, financial freedom is a goal everyone should one day hope to achieve. It means having enough money saved and invested to allow you to stop working and enjoy a high quality of life. But it’s important to work out exactly how you want to spend your retirement – whether you’re comfortable with ‘no frills’ or are looking forward to a retirement that includes the luxuries many people dream of.
Your budget will help you to determine the cost of your current lifestyle, so you can work out how much you’ll need to have saved and invested to maintain it once you stop working.
While we only travel this road once, there are others who have helped hundreds or even thousands on their journey.
If you have a goal but aren’t quite sure how to get there, one of the best things you can do is to have a conversation with a Financial Adviser.