Tips for Setting and Achieving Your Financial Goals

Tips for Setting and Achieving Your Financial Goals

Where do you want to go, and how will you get there? These are the questions you need to ask when setting your financial goals. At the heart of financial life planning are the actions that will bring your personal ambitions to fruition. When you start taking a more targeted approach to your money, a world of potential opens up.

Hansford Bell is a chartered financial life planning firm based in Tavistock, with years of experience helping clients set and achieve their personal and financial goals. We know material gain isn’t at the heart of personal fulfilment. That’s why we’re committed to doing things differently, and taking a fresh approach centred around your personal dreams and values.

In this guide, we explain the importance of financial goals, and offer some top tips for getting started.

What Are Financial Goals?

Financial goals are any targets you set for your money, whether they concern savings, investments, big purchases, or just achieving a sense of financial security and wellbeing. Anyone, at any stage of life can benefit from financial goals, but the nature of the targets that matter will differ from person to person. Factors like your overall financial and personal situation, your job, your home life, your personal motivations, and your age will all have a part to play in determining your focus. Simply put, financial goals form the basis of any robust financial life plan, giving you direction, motivation, and holding you accountable. Once you know the destination, getting there is a lot simpler!

Why Are Financial Goals Important?

Making progress with your money can sometimes feel impossible, but setting goals makes tangible even the most distant monetary dreams. By breaking down long term goals into a series of steps, you’ll start to see how each decision you make on a day-to-day basis connects and contributes to your overall financial wellbeing. You’ll be motivated to change your mindset, spending habits, and determine what actions you can take today to make your vision for the future a reality. Above all, financial goals can reduce the stress and anxiety you might have surrounding money. It’s easier to track progress, understand your position, and make each day part of a plan for your future.

Short Term, Mid Term, and Long Term Goals

Financial goals can be split up into three different categories: short term, mid term, and long term.

  • Short Term Goals – these are highly focused targets with an immediate time horizon that you hope to achieve in the near future. Anywhere from, the next couple of months to a year. Examples might include a bathroom renovation or setting a budget.
  • Mid Term Goals – sitting somewhere between short term and long term, mid term goals have a timeframe of 3-10 years and are typically conceived of as stepping stones to larger ambitions.
  • Long Term Goals – these are the goals that have a much longer time horizon such as financial security in retirement. Because these goals take a long time to achieve, splitting them down into short term and mid term goals is an advisable approach.

How to Set Financial Goals

Ready to start setting some financial goals? Here’s what you need to do.

Establish Where You Are Now

Before you decide where you want to go in the future, it can be helpful to assess your current financial situation. This might include savings, debts, investments, and cash flow forecasting. Taking stock will help you identify what’s attainable, and decide on realistic timeframes for each target.

Consider Personal Values and Ambitions

Financial life planning is exactly what it sounds like: financial planning for your life – not anyone else’s. That means you need to have a long hard think about what matters most to you, considering everything from core values to personal aspirations to family.

Make them SMART

Most people use the SMART framework when setting financial goals. This refers to setting goals that are SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ATTAINABLE, RELEVANT, and TIME-RESTRICTED. Taking this approach means setting financial goals that are much more likely to come to fruition.

Write Them Down

Once you’ve established the financial targets that will bring about your vision for the future, it’s time to write them down. This will make your goals feel more concrete, and will help keep you on track. With a written document detailing your plans, you’ll be better able to hold yourself accountable.

Tips for Achieving Financial Goals

The methods you use for achieving your financial goals will differ depending on where you are in life, what your goals are, and other personal factors. For more detailed advice, why not get in touch with one of our professional (and very friendly!) financial life planners? We’d love to have a chat.

Before we go, however, we’ve summarised some general tips that will benefit everyone with targets for their money.

  1. Set a Budget – it goes without saying. Anyone with spending, investment, or purchasing targets needs to have a budget. Otherwise, you may be living a lifestyle that is not sustainable or in line with your future plans.
  2. Prioritise – it would be nice if everything was achievable here and now, but it’s likely this isn’t the case – that’s what makes them goals! Think about which targets are critical, which are necessary, and which are desirable. Then you can plan your approach.
  3. Risk Protection – sometimes, unexpected events can get in the way of your plans. That’s why some people choose to take out things like health and life insurance, and build up an emergency fund. That way, you’ll be better able to stay on track.
  4. Be Kind – if things take longer than you thought, or something gets in the way of your plan, don’t worry. Instead of beating yourself up about it, reassess the situation and adjust your goals, finances, and approach as required. Need support? We’re here for you.

Achieve Your Goals with Devon Financial Life Planners.

If you’re ready to transform your approach to money, Hansford Bell can help. Our team of chartered financial life planners are committed to helping people discover that their money can do more than merely tick over. By shifting the focus from material gain to personal fulfilment, realising your vision for the future is easier than you think.