Strong financial resolutions
Posted January 2016 by Melissa Abraham-Smith
The dust has settled a bit from the festive season, most of you have headed back to work and you’ve probably spent some time thinking about your plans for the year ahead. Now is the perfect time to set some strong financial goals and a plan to achieve them. Below are some tips for helping you write realistic and achievable goals.
1. Be positive
Word your goals in a positive manner, instead of saying “I will stop spending money on silly things” say instead, “I’m only going to spend money on things I absolutely value”. Repeat this statement in your head and say it to yourself whenever you go to make a purchase.
2. Keep focused
It’s easy to get caught up in New Year’s resolutions and think that you will change every aspect of your life. Focusing only on a couple of goals at once will allow you to put in the time and effort required to achieve them. Once you’re in the habit of achieving these small goals it will be easier to set new ones. The sense of achievement will motivate you to keep going.
- Open a Christmas Saver account and set up an automatic payment of $10 a week.
- Commit to taking your lunch to work 4 out of 5 times a week.
- Increase the payment on your highest interest debt by $10 a week.
3. Be specific
Keep your goals SMART.
Have you heard of a SMART goal? Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Relevant. Time bound. Creating a specific goal rather than a general one helps keep you focused and on task. For example, saying “I’m going to save money” is too general, a more specific goal would be “I’m going to save $10 a week for 52 weeks”.
4. Make your goals measurable
Being able to track your progress will help with your motivation as you can see yourself getting closer to the finish line. If you have a goal of paying off a $2,000 credit card, break it down into smaller measurable goals and celebrate the victories along the way as you pay off $500, $1,000, $1,500 and then see it through to the end.
5. Keep your resolution attainable
You are likely setting yourself up to fail with a near impossible goal. Ensure your goals are realistic to avoid becoming demotivated as they are too far out of reach. Give yourself a reasonable time to achieve your goals. For example, “I will save $200 in a week” may quickly be deemed unrealistic and you’ll easily give up on it. Work out what is feasible for you and set your time frame accordingly.
6. Choose a goal that’s relevant
A goal needs to be relevant to you and what’s going on in your life right now, if it doesn’t matter to you personally it’s hard to be motivated enough to make a change. Instead of “I’m going to save money”, try “I’m going to save $5,000 to buy the new car that I desperately need”. Connect your goal to a personal objective and reward.
7. Set a deadline
A deadline ensures that you have something to aim for and keeps you on track. For example, “I will pay $2,000 off my credit card by 1st May 2016”.
Once you’ve made your resolutions remember to check in regularly and measure your success. Remind yourself why the goals are important to you and don’t lose sight of the end result. Always remember to celebrate the small wins along the way. After a month, two months, six months... look back and be proud of what you have achieved – you’ve come this far, proving what is possible.
If you would like some help setting and achieving your financial goals for 2016 feel free to call our friendly team on 0800 229 943 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We can help you put a manageable plan in place to help you reach your goals.