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For many property investors, the concept of setting achievable financial goals is often met with frustration. Here are some tips on how to ensure you’re being realistic.
Emily Hollingum, Qualified Financial Planner, Chartered Financial Analyst and COO of Super Rewards, has issued a statement on how to set achievable goals.
The Sydney-based financial expert’s first piece of advice is to write down your goals.
“[This doesn’t mean just] financial… all your goals for the next three months, six months, 12 months, three years and five years,” Ms Hollingum said.
“It’s so important to think about where you want to be in five years (e.g. starting/extending the family, buying your first/second property) so you know what you need to do now to get there. Don’t be afraid to think big!”
Secondly, Ms Hollingum advised to calculate your household’s yearly income.
“Think about how you feel after all the monthly outgoings; barely scraping by, living pay cheque to pay cheque, ‘comfortable but if I tried to I could save a lot more’, earning well above my means and therefore can significantly save etc,” she noted.
Thirdly, list all the “big-ticket items” you want to purchase within the next five years, “including a new house, car or overseas holiday” and “write down the estimated cost for each”. Having this in front of you will ensure you’re conscious of what you’re working towards, Ms Hollingum said.
In addition, Ms Hollingum advised one to research high-earning savings accounts and thoroughly look into yearly sales cycles to determine where the market is heading.
“Create a monthly budget where you list all of your outgoings,” she added.
“List savings as a non-negotiable outgoing at an amount that’s achievable; so you’re still left with an allowance to buy a dress, a birthday present for your friend, attend after-work drinks and your girls’ fortnightly dinner catch-up.
“Get serious about the non-negotiables. Can you replace the fortnightly SNS with an at-home manicure kit, or push those fortnightly appointments out to every three weeks? Do you have to participate in the Friday office lunch or can you change your attendance from weekly to monthly? Do you need Stan, Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon all at the same time? Can you instead have two running at a time and pause the other two until the next season of your favourite show airs again?”
All of these considerations will get you one step closer to achieving your goals, Ms Hollingum said.
“Don’t underestimate yourself. Living the dream isn’t exclusively reserved for retirees. If you’re willing to put the work in and get transparent about your spending and focus on saving for the things that bring you joy, you may just be surprised at what you can achieve,” she said.
“Live for yourself today and tomorrow. Make sure to follow through with your goals, but if they no longer appeal to you when you achieve them, don’t be afraid to shift them.
“If you’ve saved up for an overseas holiday, but realise you’re not far off having enough for a deposit for your first modest home, it may or may not be time to re-evaluate. If a trip was a 12-month goal and buying a house was a five-year goal, but you realise that you could buy a house in two years if you forego this trip and that new car you were planning on buying next year, then you need to think about what matters most to you.”