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Young girl with glasses planning her new exciting future in 2018

New Year’s resolutions…it’s time to change the way people think about them.

Contrary to popular belief, goals can do marvellous things towards improving your lifestyle and continuing to better the life you’re living. Believe it or not many people do figure out ways to stick to their goals and they are making a lot of progress. So why not give it a try? When it comes to setting financial goals, there are a few handy tricks that you can use that will make sticking to your New Year’s resolutions much easier.

Be SMART about it

Before you start making a list of all the things you want to improve in 2018, take a step back to see where you really need to focus your attention. If making resolutions isn’t something that you’ve done before, then it’d probably be best to stick with one for starters. Once you’ve figured out exactly what needs immediate attention in the financial aspect of your life, it’s time to make a solid plan, and it’s as easy as using a simple acronym; S-M-A-R-T.

Specific

‘I want to save more this year’ isn’t too helpful if you’re working towards something specific. Instead decide exactly how much you want to save so that you’ve got an exact number to be striving for during the year.

Measurable

This aspect should be pretty easy when you’re making financial resolutions. Set milestones to split your goal into manageable sized pieces. Instead of directly aiming and focusing on saving a total by the end of the year, create a mini goal that you need to reach each month or week, to help you track your progress throughout the year.

Achievable

A lot of us are guilty of making unrealistic goals and only realise later that we may not be able to meet them in the time that we thought. Unless you’re confident you’re going to win the lotto this year, make sure that the goal you set is reasonable for your current financial situation.

Relevant

As mentioned earlier, your resolution should be centred upon the main financial issue that you’re currently facing. By easing yourself of financial stress according to highest priority, you’ll find yourself in a better financial position quite quickly.

Time-bound

Finally, and most importantly, you need to set a due date for yourself. Without a deadline, you might be tempted to slide and make excuses to cheat. Whether it is in a few weeks or months, setting a specific date for you to meet your goal gives you motivation to be proactive with your financial decisions so that you reach your goal in time.

Give yourself an extra push

A key aspect to developing good habits is to set reminders for yourself daily; stick your goals to the fridge or onto your door. This way, your goals will always be in the back of your mind, constantly reminding you of what you should be doing. To ease the stress on yourself, perhaps get your family involved; if you’re all working towards the same goal, it makes it way easier to stick to a common plan. If your goal isn’t something private tell a friend or someone close, this will keep you accountable and make sure you keep yourself on track. If you have any concerns about your financial situation, seeking assistance with financial counsellors may also be helpful to provide you with guidance and help along the way to reaching your goal.

Make a plan

If your financial goal is to do with saving more money this year, the best tool you can use is a budget. This will give you an idea of how much you can spend on a day-to-day basis helping you meet your goal in time. To give your savings an extra push, make sure your savings account is earning high interest as you’ll reap a little extra as you save. Additionally, making automated payments into your savings account as well as extra payments, will help you to reach your savings goals quicker than you expected.

Don’t forget to celebrate!

As you approach your goal, it’s helpful to self-motivate occasionally. Reward yourself when you’ve reached a milestone (but make sure these are planned not spontaneous). Set milestones every month or so and decide on what your reward will be ahead of time. This way you won’t be tempted to do any unnecessary splurging.

It’s never too late to start making positive changes to your financial situation. It doesn’t matter if you’ve missed January 1st, today is the day you should start getting back on track to living a financially stable life.


Important information

Information on this website is general and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether this information is suitable for your objectives, financial situation and needs before acting on the information provided.