One of the most essential starter points to achieving your goals is to set yourself a realistic time frame.
The following 5 financial goals by Anthony Bell can be achieved in 5 years:
1. Set Goals & Budgets
In order to achieve your financial goals, you must first work out exactly what your goals actually are then prepare a budget to help you achieve them. It sounds simple doesn’t it?
Well, it never ceases to amaze me the number of people that don’t at the very least set financial goals let alone a plan on how to make those goals come to fruition. As the old saying goes, “failing to plan is planning to fail”.
When preparing your plan, visualise what you want the end to look like and work backwards from there.
It can be useful to keep thinking about yourself as a business. Businesses keep a record of their income and expenditure so that they know where their money is coming from and what it is being spent on. If a business owner doesn’t know this vital information about what’s happening now in their business, how can they possibly create a proper plan for the future? The same logic applies to you personally too.
Record your income and how you spend it for a couple of months and I am sure that the results will amaze you. Visibility is the key here as it is this visibility that allows informed decision making for the future.
2. Eliminate “BAD” Debt
You are probably thinking to yourself, isn’t all debt bad? While you might be thinking that, the truth here is that many of us who are home owners, whether investors or owner occupiers, have the ability to save enough money in our lifetime to purchase a property.
Borrowing from the bank is how most of us achieve the great Australian dream. This type of debt I consider to be “good debt”.
The “BAD” debt I am referring to is credit card and other debt such as personal loans for discretionary items such as cars, holidays and entertainment that do not help to build wealth over time.
With careful planning and budgeting, you may well find yourself in a position where you do not have to pay another cent of interest on your credit card again.
3. Increase your income
The reality is that achieving your financial goals can be difficult as naturally you will be limited by the amount of money that you receive. Investing in your personal growth to develop your career and the financial returns that you receive should not be ignored.
Setting aside some funds in your budget to invest in educating yourself will help you achieve your goals sooner. Knowledge is power.
Superannuation remains one of the lowest tax investment vehicles available, and while yes, money in super is generally locked away until retirement, that in itself can be a positive forced saving decision.
Currently, if you are employed, for most people 9.5% of your base salary is being paid by your employer into a superannuation fund on your behalf, whether a self managed, industry or public offer fund.
Taking into consideration legislated limits, often you can contribute more than the 9.5% minimum. Superannuation should form part of your overall financial plan to help achieve your financial goals.
Remember you can (with some exceptions) invest in most of the same things in super as you can in your own name, so it is what you invest in rather than superannuation itself that will drive investment success, but usually at a lower rate of tax.
5. The Great Australian Dream
Most Australians grow up with a dream of owning their own home. While of late, there has been a lot of speculation about where the property market is heading, a well-constructed savings plan will have you well on your way to accumulating a deposit for your own home, whether it be an investment or a property that you call home.
Generally, most banks will lend up to 80% of the value of a residential property however your ability to service the debt will be tested by the banks. With so many products available to the consumer, engage the services of a mortgage broker to find you the best possible loan product for your circumstances.
Having an independent professional look at your personal circumstances and develop a plan for you that takes into account where you want to be financially and by when is vital.
Assistance with defining realistic goals and a plan to achieve them with help from someone with experience who is less likely to be emotionally invested in the decision making is just so important. It’s no different to why businesses routinely engage experts to advise them.
For more advice from Anthony Bell, visit bellpartners.com
For financial planning, superannuation and investment advice as well as home and investment loans visit www.bellpartners.com
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