Q: Hi Dav, I’ve got some ambitious plans for myself over the next few years so I need to get my finances right. How can I make sure my goal setting is on point so I meet my targets?
This is one of the things I never get tired of talking through, as setting financial goals is so vital to achieving the wider aspirations we have for our lives. Laying out achievable steps – and working out how much each bit of progress will cost you – is your first move towards true financial freedom.
When we’re setting goals, it can be incredibly helpful to follow a framework designed to keep us bang on track. Personally, I like SMART: helping you set Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Bound milestones to hit.
Whatever outline you use to set your goals, when it comes to the money behind each one, make sure you’re asking yourself the right questions. Let’s work through one of my personal goals: to buy a beachside caribbean apartment so I wake up to sea views every day.
Here is the process I work through:
- How much does it cost?
- What’s the best way of financing it? Leverage (aka debt) or buy it outright?
- How much do I already have in savings and how will I finance the shortfall?
- What’s the time horizon within which I want to achieve this?
- How many sources of income do I have and can I generate any new ones? (side hustle? Gig economy?)
And perhaps the ultimate question: what’s your why? Lots of our big ambitions come with hefty price tags attached, whether it’s the physical cost of purchase, or the opportunity cost of choosing to spend your time on path A instead of path B (swapping corporate life for more time at home is a good example of this). That means you need to be truly dedicated to the task at hand and able to avoid distractions. One of the best ways of doing this is to mak sure the goal is truly yours. Not someone on instagram’s or borrowed from a friend or family.
If you’d like to have your question featured in a future post, then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us your questions with the hashtag #WWDD. Remember, Dav cannot give you financial advice, so will be speaking from personal experience. We love hearing from you!