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With the right approach and sensible planning, it's possible to achieve personal goals - from paying for a car or wedding to taking an overseas holiday. With some simple strategies in place you can take financial control and start ticking off your personal wish-list.
We all have goals – things we’d like to achieve for ourselves and our families. A key starting point in turning goals into realities is writing down what you’d like to achieve. This provides something concrete to work towards.
Now, divide your goals across timeframes.
For instance, you may want to buy a car in 12 months; have sufficient funds for an overseas trip in two years, or be ready to buy a first home or upgrade your current home in five years.
It’s likely you’ll need to build personal savings to fund your goals and it’s important to develop a road map that sets out the specific actions you need to take here.
As a guide, planning to ‘save more’ can be very vague. A more effective approach is to set concrete actions like “I plan to save $50 each week”.
Most goals cost money, making it essential to build a pool of savings. That means spending less than you earn and the most effective tool for this is a household budget.
Your budget will show how much income you earn; how much you spend – and highlight areas where cutbacks can be made to set aside savings to fund your goals.
Once your budget has pinpointed how much you can save on a regular basis, the next step is to transfer those savings to a suitable savings account or investment. It’s an area where expert advice can help, letting you select the investment best suited for your goals and tolerance for risk.
Staying up to date with your savings process will tell you whether you’re on target to meet those goals. Some fine tuning may be necessary so it pays to maintain a flexible outlook.