Reaching your financial goals

Why your imagination is your best financial asset

It’s true. If financial management to you is simply paying the bills and monitoring your credit card balance, then it can get a bit dull. But by adding goal setting and a little imagination into your routine you can create the power to change your life. Yes, you really could turn your dreams into reality! 

Meet Lee. They bought a new car a few years ago with car loan. The loan seems unmanageable and it’s making it hard to get excited about the future.
1. Imagine your ideal future

Any goal begins with imagination. Picture your ideal financial future and then imagine a life where your dreams come true. Obviously, you’ll need to put in work to achieve your financial goals, but self-fulfilling prophecies are scientifically proven to reduce negative influences in your life and help make goals happen. They can also work the opposite way so remember to keep those thoughts positive!

Lee imagines a future when the car loan is paid off, they own their own home and have savings for their future.

2. Get your ducks in a row

While imagining your future can be exciting, budgeting can seem tedious. However, a great budget is a fantastic motivator for achieving your dreams. It puts you in charge of your money and lets you know exactly where it’s going while identifying wastefulness and opportunity. 
Your budget doesn’t need to be complex or involve lots of spreadsheets either. There are numerous apps out there that make budgeting simple and keep everything in one place. 

Lee creates a detailed budget and allocates $500 a month to pay off debts.

3. Become the captain

Step up and take responsibility for the financial choices you make. 

By recognising your role in shaping your financial future, you give yourself the power to make SMART goals—specific, measurable, achievable, reasonable goals within a set timeframe. Financial success doesn’t come from positive thinking alone. Instead, it’s the result of deliberate planning and informed decisions that set you up for success.

Lee develops a SMART goal to pay off the car loan in 18 months. This allows for the standard repayments set by the bank, plus an extra repayment of $500 each month. In case of emergencies Lee has set aside three months where the $500 can be used for other bills.

4. From little things big things grow

Imagining and then achieving your financial dreams can be an enormous multi-layered goal. This may seem overwhelming but breaking down your dreams into smaller, manageable steps can make them more attainable.

Identify key milestones, and then work out the steps required to achieve them. This approach stops your dreams being thrown in the too hard basket and provides a clear roadmap for progress. If at this point you’re feeling frazzled, it’s never a bad idea to chat to a financially savvy friend or an expert to get advice.

Lee’s big dream is to have enough money to reach financial freedom. This dream is huge, so it’s broken down into multiple smaller dreams including building a healthy super balance. Lee attends a CareSuper webinar which helps set up a roadmap of smaller steps to grow their super balance and milestones of when to ask for further help. Lee also has a look at the CareSuper Small Change Calculator to see the wonders of compound interest on super savings.

5. Check and then check again

Regularly checking in on your progress is essential to keeping your dreams alive—as is adjusting your plan as needed. Set aside time, maybe once a month, to grab your favourite snacks and monitor your budget against your financial goals.

Making budgeting and goal setting a positive activity where you can celebrate your successes helps you stay motivated and keeps your imagination working over-time on what else you can achieve.

Lee sets aside a Thursday once a month have a glass of wine and look at the incomings and outgoings of their budget. When the car loan has been repaid Lee invites a few friends to celebrate. They talk about the joy of saving and how used cars are better than new cars…but that’s a story for another time. 

We can help

Imagine that. We host regular webinars at no extra cost for our members on budgeting and getting ahead financially. Have a look at what’s coming up.

We also have professional financial experts who can help. Give us a call to get your super sorted, or for more comprehensive financial and goal-setting advice you can book in to see one of our experienced financial planners for a competitive fee. Book a call-back today.

Information correct as at 14 November 2023.

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