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As we prepare for the new year, it’s a good time to think about how we handle our money.
The New Year is like a fresh start, a chance to make decisions that can make a difference in our lives, especially when it comes to our finances.
But here’s the catch – you’ve got to be serious and real about your goals. A dream without a goal is a wish, and a goal without a plan is just a dream. So it’s time to take action and take control of your financial future.
Explore practical tips to reach your financial goals in 2024. Let’s move beyond a mere list of resolutions; create a solid financial plan and actively follow through with it.
What is a financial goal?
A financial goal is a personal plan for how people want to save and spend money. These goals can include things to achieve in the short term or in the future.
They cover various aims such as building an emergency fund, paying off debts, saving for specific things like a home or children’s education, planning for retirement, investing wisely, managing budgets, making more money, and dealing with insurance and estate planning.
When individuals set clear and measurable financial goals, it’s like creating a map that guides their money decisions. This helps them stay on track and work towards long-term financial success and stability.
Use the following tips to reach your financial objectives:
Reflect on 2023
As we approach the new year, it’s a good idea to pause and think about how things went with our money in the past year, 2023.
By carefully looking at the outcomes of your financial decisions, you can gain valuable insights into what worked well and what presented difficulties.
If you want to organise your finances more wisely for the upcoming year, this is basically the first step.
Review your financial situation
Take a moment to review your financial situation, assessing both income and expenses. Understanding where your money comes from and where it goes is crucial for effective financial management.
Consider your sources of income, whether it’s a salary, freelance work, or other means. Next, review your spending habits and identify areas where you can cut back or optimise.
This review provides a clear snapshot of your financial health, enabling you to make informed decisions, set realistic goals, and work towards a more secure and stable financial future.
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Set your goals and decide your budget
Establish clear goals before you begin your 2024 financial planning; this will help you stay focused.
A straightforward way to begin is by organising your household budget.
Look at your monthly spending—can you find places where you could spend less?
We provide a free personal budget planner that can help you properly manage your finances. You have more control over your financial situation, can create monthly budgets, keep track of your earnings, expenses, and investments, and can decide where to save money.
Budget as a couple
If you and your partner share common financial goals, budgeting together can be a powerful and unified approach.
The saying “two heads are better than one” is true, especially when it comes to managing finances as a couple.
Not only do you benefit from shared insights and ideas, but there’s also the combined strength of two wallets working towards the same objectives.
However, budgeting as a couple can present its own set of challenges. To navigate these challenges and make the most of your joint financial journey, read our article on this topic, where we provide insights and tips for effective and harmonious financial planning as a couple.
Budget even if you have short-term goals
While the goal may seem simple, without a good plan, it’s easy to end up with unexpected debt just to handle school costs. That’s why including budgeting in your financial plan is important—it helps you avoid unnecessary financial stress.
Understanding the impact of debt on financial well-being is essential for anyone seeking lasting financial stability.
High debt levels contribute to stress, strained relationships, and limited financial freedom. Additionally, it affects future opportunities, damages credit scores, and jeopardises long-term financial security and retirement planning.
Make a conscious effort to pay off all outstanding debts or bills, including credit card payments, car loans, student loans, and overdrafts, as soon as possible.
This will save you from paying extra interest or fees on the debt and allow you to plan your outgoings for the coming year better.
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Review bills or switch providers to save money
Achieving financial goals starts with optimising your regular expenses.
Explore the possibility of switching providers or negotiating better rates.
These small adjustments can lead to significant savings, helping you free up funds to make progress towards your financial objectives.
Build an emergency fund
Life can throw unexpected challenges our way; that’s where having an emergency fund comes in handy.
This fund acts as a safety net, providing quick access to funds and ensuring you can navigate unexpected expenses without disrupting your overall financial stability.
Automate your savings
Savings automation offers a practical approach to achieving long-term financial goals.
By setting up automatic transfers to dedicated savings accounts or investment portfolios, you can effortlessly contribute to your financial future without actively managing each transaction.
This method provides several benefits, including consistency in savings and a reduced likelihood of forgetting to save.
Automating savings helps you stay disciplined with money and steadily move towards your long-term goals. It makes saving money easier, smoother, and more effective for achieving your financial objectives.
Claim tax back
Claiming taxes is a smart financial move that not only puts extra money back in your hands but also opens up new opportunities for saving.
Claiming tax back is a practical way to put more money in your pocket. Many expenses, including medical fees, education fees, rent, and mortgage interest, are eligible for tax relief.
To maximise your savings, take advantage of these opportunities by exploring the full list of available tax reliefs on Revenue.
Do you have extra money coming in after all of your expenses and bills have been paid? If so, does it sit in the bank?
If this money in the bank was invested instead of being on deposit at a low-interest rate, it could be making more money for you.
When you invest your money in a fund, the aim is to grow your savings faster than the interest rates offered by regular savings on deposit.
Consult with a financial advisor
Seeking guidance from one of the financial advisors at True Wealth is an important step in achieving your goals.
We are experts in providing valuable insights and advice to help you navigate the complexities of personal finances.
By taking action today, you pave the way for a future where financial goals are not just dreams but tangible realities.
Consulting with a financial advisor at True Wealth is an investment in your future self, ensuring that you make informed decisions today for a more prosperous and stress-free tomorrow.
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All our content has been written or overseen by a qualified financial advisor. However, you should always seek individual financial advice for your unique circumstances.