A new year signals a fresh start and it’s a great time to consider what you want to achieve in life.
This is the time to think about those big-picture goals – such as saving for something big, buying a property, or setting your kids up for the future.
But while it can be easy enough to identify your goals, how do you turn them from dreams into reality?
Start at the very beginning
Firstly, make a list. By putting your goals down in writing, you are more likely to achieve them.1 It’s important not to judge yourself at this stage – no dream is too big or too crazy.
Is one of your goals for 2017 to save for something big? It could be the trip of a lifetime, your wedding, a boat, or that car you’ve always wanted.
Perhaps it’s a property goal – to buy a home, holiday house or investment property?
Or maybe it’s a goal focused on helping the ones you love, like giving your kids the best future by putting them through private school or university, helping them get on the property ladder or helping out with the cost of their wedding.
Information is power
Your second step is to gather the information you need to make your new year goal a reality.
The internet is a great resource for researching almost anything, or else you can tap into the knowledge and expertise of professionals.
You could visit travel agents, car or boat dealerships, buyer’s advocates, real estate agents, schools and wedding planners – whichever professionals are relevant to your goal – to understand your options.
Research not only how much achieving your goal will cost, but also other relevant information. For example, look into property market conditions, insurance costs for big purchases like boats and new cars, immunisations or visas required for travel, or waitlists that may apply for schools and universities.
Our Q& info centre could also be helpful in providing tools, articles and online learning modules to give you the best chance of realising your goals and owning your tomorrow.
Money, money, money
The third step is to work out how you’re going to afford your goal. Most big goals have a financial element, and often working out how to pay for them can be one of the toughest challenges.
- Quick wins
Luckily there are some quick wins to be achieved in this area. By conducting an audit of your current finances you might discover that you’re doubling up in some areas, such as having multiple super accounts, or more bank accounts or credit cards than you need. All of these come with individual fees and charges, so look to simplify where you can.
Consolidating your insurance with one provider can also save you money, as most offer multi-policy discounts. So do utility providers, so bringing your gas and electricity together, or consolidating your WiFi, mobile phone and home phone with one provider could also save you money.
The added benefit of an account audit is that it will make managing your finances much easier on an ongoing basis, and also at tax time, giving you more time to enjoy your goal once you achieve it.
- Examine your budget
Doing the above may save you some money, but to achieve a really big goal you’ll probably need to take a close look at your incomings and outgoings.
If you don’t have a budget and want to plan for the new year, there are some great planning tools around to help you get a handle on your spending. If budgeting is not your strong suit, our new Bett3r bank account automatically budgets for you.
How else can AMP help?
Your financial adviser may be able to help you to explore and plan your goals for 2017. If you don’t have a financial adviser you can find one here or give us a call on 131 267 and we’ll help you find one in your local area.
So what are you waiting for? 2017 is just around the corner!
Whether it’s the war on waste, human rights abuses, animal rights or climate change that is your issue of choice (or perhaps you’re concerned about all of them), more of us are taking an interest in making decisions with our money that reflect our values.