Financial Advice Blog

Personal finance DIY – Goal Setting For Your Finances

Everyone these days tells you that you need to set goals for yourself to reach. Don’t have any goals? You won’t achieve as much as a result you’ll be told. So if you’re going to set yourself some financial goals, which ones should you focus on? How big should they be? Should they be small, easy and realistic, or should they be Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs)?

There are pros and cons to setting goals but generally speaking, it’s usually a good idea. Goals give you something to work towards, something to aim for – and importantly, you develop a pathway to get there that gives you the essence of a plan.

So how big should you dream? As big as you want really. Some people are big dreamers, some people are much more practical. There is no one way of setting goals for yourself, so you have to find something that works for you. The most important things, however, is that you have to believe in what you’re trying achieve. Do you want to own a helicopter one day? Well, that will be around $500,000 for your basic family four seater with air-con – a Porsche 911? $250,000 with a few options. While it’s great to know how much they cost, what are the steps you need to take to get there? Most importantly, what are YOUR steps. Is it going to take you 2 years or 20? Is it possible?

If you can build a basic plan to help you achieve your goals, then it becomes more than just blind faith – it becomes a plan. The clearer the plan, the more likely that your’e going to believe in yourself to achieve it. The more real belief you have rather than faith, the greater the chance of you actually achieving your goal.

Imagine you’re standing on a hilltop looking across the valley to the next hilltop. All you can see is dark, dense forest in between. There is no pathway, there is no track to follow. You are much less likely to start heading in that direction if you have no idea where your’e doing, or how you’re going to get there. If when you’re looking towards that hilltop you can see a clear trail leading between the trees up to the other side, you’re much more likely to head out towards it and have a crack at making it.

Work out what you want, run the numbers to see if it’s a mathematical possibility (or get someone to help you if you’re not mathematically or financially minded) and then work out what steps you need to take to turn it into a reality. If you follow those basic steps, you’re most likely to come up with significant goals that are real and achievable.

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