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New Year Goal Review!

It’s that time of year again! It’s time for an end of year check in of your financial goals before the new year. This is your reminder to re-evaluate your goals and ensure your spending habits align with these goals. Is it time to shift your priorities? Limit spending? Tidy up those expenses? We’ve compiled some helpful ways you may be able to evaluate and implement your financial goals for 2023 and beyond.



Goal Management:


It is imperative to establish checklists with the aim to formulate, evaluate and achieve the financial goals you set for the new year. It can be quite a large task to take on, however investing in a professional such as a financial planner may greatly benefit you and your financial goals. We have an article dedicated entirely to financial planners and how to generate higher benefits for your circumstances, called “Financial Planners 101”, this will be linked at the end of this article for your convenience.


A good place to start when setting your goals is completely from scratch. This ensures you are continually maintaining goals best suited to you and your circumstances.


5 steps to setting your yearly financial goals:

Envision your short and long-term future: This allows you to set goals accordingly as to where you are and where you want to be within a certain timeframe.


It may be difficult to set these goals too far in advance and plan for circumstances. If you haven’t thought about what kind of life you have and what kind of life you want, now may be the time to consider this.


Categorise your goals as short, mid, or long-term:

o Short-term goals are around 6 months to 5 years.

o Mid-term goals 5-10 years

o Long-term goals 10+ years

This form of labelling and allocating also ensures you are always on top of your financial goal timeline.


Set target timeframe deadlines: What can you do six months from now? What can you do six weeks from now? What can you do today? Staying with a timed goal or point for re-evaluation ensures you are setting attainable, realistic goals


Prioritise your goals: Isolate your goals and mark them as critical, needs, and wants. In labelling each goal, you know what you need to prioritise first.


As an example, if you want a new car, but plan on purchasing a house in six months, will the car impact the house goal?


Factor in the current state of your savings: Once you know the amount you need to save and the timeframes of your goals, you can add in your pre-existing savings. Some goals may not have any yet and that’s ok, now it’s time to start.


How to set a goal:


SMARTER goals refer to an easy to remember acronym extended upon the popular SMART acronym, that can allow you to guide and manage your goal setting. To ensure each of your goals are clear and attainable follow the below:


IMPORTANT NOTE: Don’t set goals relying on factors others have power over. For example, “get that promotion!” is someone else’s decision and hinging your goals on such factors sets you up for potentially failing goals.



Specific:

At the stage of drafting your goals ask yourself the 4 “W” questions:

· WHAT do I want to accomplish?

· WHY is this goal important to me?

· WHO is involved?

· WHICH resources or limits are involved?


Measurable:

Ask questions framed with a measurable time frame. Such as:

· How much?

· How will I know when it is accomplished?


Achievable:

· How can I accomplish this goal?

· How realistic is this goal, based on my financial factors and risk tolerances?


Relevant: you should be answering “yes” to the questions set:

· Does this seem worthwhile?

· Does this match our other efforts/needs?

· Is it applicable in the current socio-economic environment?


Time-bound: When?

· What can I do six months from now?

· What can I do six weeks from now?

· What can I implement today?


Evaluated:

· How carefully have I considered these goals?


Reviewed:

· Have I allowed for other professionals to weigh in?

Enlisting the help of a financial planner, accountant, or solicitor can be advantageous to ensure your goals are attainable, relevant, and specific to you.



In going through this process of resetting and re-evaluating your current financial goals, ensure you are saving the highest amount possible, and spending what is best suited for your goals and current conditions. We all know it is easy to let goals slip throughout the year, but now is your chance to start fresh and have processes throughout the year to ensure your goals are constantly being met.



Blog Post: Financial Planners 101

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