Key steps to achieving your financial goals

Everyone has financial goals. And very often these goals simply manifest in dreams of being rich: suddenly, overnight, while you sleep, without effort, and reflected in stupendous amounts. But dreams, while good, are nothing without practical steps in real life. So the message is clear: we can all make those financial dreams real – yes, everyone. But it takes focus, diligence, tenacity and hard work to keep the plan alive and functioning and moving forward.

Begin with the dream, but set the goals – these are the vital milestones along the road to the picture we dream. Remember that most people begin in the same place…the trick is to follow the habits of those who succeed. Money follows motivation, determination and unwavering vision.

Begin with the basic steps


Define and set your goals

A goal is the first step that sets you on a path. How will you achieve that goal? What is your plan for this goal, and how will you stick to it? A goal should be achievable – and one at a time. Don’t try to achieve six goals at once. Put money aside as needed – and that may mean sacrificing things like a new car, or a trip overseas. And celebrate each goal that you achieve, even if you just go on a picnic with a bottle of champagne. To get rich is not a goal. Your first goal is to get something done that will move you closer to your dream picture – and that something should be tangible and measurable.

Give your goals a time frame

There will always be goals. Just different kinds and levels of intensity. Some can be achieved quickly, short-term goals of around 2 or 3 years, and others may take longer, your medium-term goals of 5 to 10 years. Going beyond that takes you to long-term goals such as retirement, second careers, that flashy car you’ve always wanted, or a wonderful overseas holiday. For your long-term goals, you will need to have really planned your investment portfolio over 2 or 3 decades with a professional’s guidance. As you reach this level, the disciplined contributions and investments will be paying you the financial rewards you first dreamed ab

Keep track of your progress

Monitor your progress towards achieving your goals. Check-in with your financial advisor regularly. Be ready to make adjustments both in your lifestyle and your portfolio if necessary. Review your progress every 6 months on short-term objectives, and every year for longer-term goals. And set up an emergency fund that will allow you quick access to funds without disturbing your financial plan should an unexpected event make landfall.

Manage your money on a daily basis

This is about the way you behave with money. You don’t have to be mean with yourself, but at the same time evaluate what you are spending, and what you are spending it on. Prioritise each financial goal: is it something you need or is it something you want? Keep commitments and essentials to the fore.

Pay yourself first

Once your contributions and savings are out of the way first, take care of commitments. Then be sensible on how you spend the rest. Money is mostly a manner of behaviour – that’s why in essence, it’s available to anyone – meaning anyone can make money provided they curb, control and focus their behaviour. That’s all it is. There is no magic wand – only discipline and continuous action.

Pay down debt, including your bond

This one is a no-brainer – and yet one of the most difficult things for many people to deal with. If you are in debt, don’t borrow more money to try and solve your problems. Rather focus on getting that debt out of the way, even if it means putting some of your savings plans on hold for a few months. Debt is the greatest detractor from wealth you can imagine – so your dream picture can never be painted with borrowings and credit cards that you cannot afford to repay in a concentrated period of time.

Buy your own home

If you’re paying rent, you’re paying someone else to get rich, when you pay a bond you are paying yourself; when your home becomes yours in full, it will be one of the best investments you hold in your portfolio – so paint that picture rather than let it become an albatross around your neck.

Give your money a “job”

Money is a tool. It’s not a burden or a curse – it will only become that if you don’t take charge of yourself and the way you think. When you understand that your money can work for you in so many different ways then – with the help of someone knowledgeable in the field of finance – you can plan how to drive the energy of that money. Learn about the stock market, read up on insurance, understand the pitfalls, evaluate your career and your salary and benefits, work on your plan – and work on what you need to accomplish each week, each month, each year. Be flexible, agile, adaptable, but be canny. Be curious. Never let your money be the boss.

The four simple tips for life

The budget: Create a practical budget and stick to it. Have a spending plan. As your receive your income, you should already know where it will go.
The savings: Make savings automatic. Set aside an affordable amount every month, and stick to it.
The investments: Invest small amounts regularly. Most people make the mistake of waiting for their savings to grow substantially before investing it. Once you invest, forget about it so that you will not be tempted to pull it out before you hit your objectives.
The knowledge: It is always a good idea to learn about finance and investments. So buy books about finance, attend finance seminars, read. The more you learn, the more you can keep track of your goals.

Find the top-class professionals who can meet your expectations

Complete Financial & Business Solutions (CFBS) comprises a group of top-class professional financial advisors and business analysts committed to sound financial and business solutions based on a highly personalised approach. Passionate about ensuring peace of mind through the in-depth analysis of individual financial and business circumstances of our clients, we are able to create unique solutions, and regularly review these solutions to consistently meet service expectations and lifestyle goals.

Find us at:

Key steps to achieving your financial goals