It sounds honestly like the most boring topic ever, however, it is actually super important. While you don’t have to sit down and write out a goal for each month or year, it is important to have in mind what you want to achieve with your money in the short, medium and long term!
Ideally you want a SMART goal:
SPECIFIC- A money goal shouldn’t just be ‘save as much as I can’, having a specific number in mind will help you achieve that goal.
MEASURABLE- You need to be able to measure it so that’s means actually making sure you track your savings goals and know your numbers. This can be on a spreadsheet or just going through your bank statements/online banking.
ACHIEVABLE- It needs to be right in that sweet spot of difficult enough that it’s challenging but not too hard that there is no way you will reach it. You also don’t want it to be too easy, pushing yourself will be way more rewarding.
REALISTIC- The goal also needs to be realistic and relevant to you and your values.
TIME-BOUND- This is where our short, medium and long term time frames come into it.
Short Term Goals
I’d say a short term goal would be in that time frame of six months to two years. This may be saving for a holiday, house or even just an emergency fund. These savings would be ideally best kept in a high interest savings account or term deposit. Less than two years is probably not enough time to be investing in shares as they are quite volatile and this would be quite risky.
Medium Term Goals
These goals should be ones that you want to achieve in the next 2-5 years. These can be a variety of things depending on your values and what you want to achieve. These may be buying a house, starting to invest, or even progressing your career to increase your income.
Long Term Goals
Your long term goals will be any that are more than five years away. I find that these probably don’t have to be as specific as your short term goals, but having a rough idea of where you want to be in 5, 10 or 20 years can definitely shape what you do today!
My Money Goals
- Continue to invest in the stock market- $200 a week + a third to a half of every OT shift payment also being invested. No concrete number as this number will vary.
- I am on a part time contract now, so I will aim to complete one overtime shift a month to supplement my income if possible (this will depend on work vacancies).
- Other OT money to be transferred to my savings to eventually buy a new car- planning to buy in May next year.
Medium Term Goals
- Continue to invest at least $200 a week over the next two to five years to continue to build my investment portfolio and to help increase my passive income. I am expecting my income to change in the next few years so if I can make this a priority I can continue to grow my wealth despite these changes.
- Convert my home to an investment property.
- Invest in myself- learn, complete extra training, do what I can to make myself more employable.
(Both of these are assuming a return of 8% per year, you can play with this calculator here: https://moneysmart.gov.au/budgeting/compound-interest-calculator)
Long Term Goals (5-10 years)
- Buy a primary place of residence (PPOR) in the place I want to live.
- Ramp up my investing once I have a more stable income and am settled in a career I love.
Long, long term goal (10 years +)
- Have a large enough investment portfolio bringing in enough passive income that I can work part time or work doing something I absolutely love rather than doing it for the money.
As I said earlier, I swear people automatically yawn as soon as they hear goal setting. If you have read this far, I am honestly super impressed. I’d encourage you to at a minimum, have a think about what you want in life and how you are going to do that. Having a rough idea of what you want in the future, will allow you to make better decisions now. Goal setting doesn’t have to be a strict process of sitting down and writing the exact date you want to achieve something by. Instead, it should be something you have thought about in some depth and you have a plan of how to get there. These goals don’t have to be concrete either, as you change, your goals will too, and there is nothing wrong with that!