How to set financial goals you can actually achieve

The beginning of the year, whether the calendar year or financial year, seems a while ago now and perhaps a good time to check in on how your financial resolutions are going?

Are you struggling to see progress with your savings? Or simply finding it difficult to accumulate and get started?

At Locumsgroup, our aim is to help our clients achieve the financial goals they set at the beginning of the year or help guide them to make the required changes. Simply put, we work with you to identify and then meet your wants and needs.

What are Financial Goals?
A financial goal is a personal, big-picture objective you set for how you will save and spend your money. This can be achieved through short-term, medium-term and long-term goals that will assist you in the milestones that you hope to achieve in the near future.

Why are Financial Goals Important?
Having a goal will alter your perspective on money. You will see how every decision you make affects your financial health. Financial goals give your investing efforts direction and meaning. They allow you to see what you are aiming for, making it easier to make sacrifices or stick to a budget.

Setting goals and having a positive outlook on your financial situation is great. Talking about it is the easy part, change will only occur when you act on your plan. Your financial goals must be attainable and meaningful in order to keep you motivated to achieve this goal.

We have outlined some top tips that will help you, when creating your own financial goals.

1. Avoid setting unrealistic goals.
The most crucial aspect of saving money is ensuring the goals are realistic and achievable. Planning to pay off a significant home loan in two years or save enough for retirement within five years can be far-fetched for most individuals. This can set you up for failure mentally and socially because we do not always consider the greys in our life. Create a healthy financial habit by investing and saving a comfortable amount, and gradually you can increase this to suit your expanding goals.

2. Use your budget to determine what is most feasible for you
Tracking your expenses and spending habits is essential to achieving a realistic goal. Whilst this might be challenging, confronting it is the best way to understand what is manageable in the long and short-term. This can be handled by going through financial statements, recording fees, or using apps to stay on track with regular and ad-hoc payments. Seeing these expenses will give you a reality check in terms of what can be achieved.

3. Accept and plan for financial surprises.
Making financial progress, like paying off credit cards or saving enough money for a new home deposit, can make you feel great. However, it is essential to remember the financial surprises that can pop up, planned or unexpected, such as birthdays, weddings, medical emergencies or home maintenance, so make sure that you allow some grace in your financial plan for these circumstances. While there can be emotional feelings associated with managing your money, it is essential to be realistic and remain flexible in what is achievable for your wants and needs.

Overall, it can be challenging to determine how to make this change. Begin by reviewing your budget so you can set realistic goals for your situation. This way, you can make small but significant changes while still preparing for any financial surprises that may arise.

Like most things in life that are worthwhile, it is not always easy and can be emotionally draining, but the payoff is worth it.

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