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Crafting Your 2024 Financial Goals




Welcome back for the 2nd blog in this series on financial goals!  In the previous post, we talked about reviewing your 2023 finances, and how that can help you prep to get your 2024 in order. That brings us to today where we’re happy to give you some tips on setting achievable goals for this year. It might already be February, but it’s still early days as far as setting and achieving goals is concerned! So, even if you didn’t get an early jump on your goals for this year, the next best time to start is now. Here are just a few things to think over. 


1. Defining Your Financial Goals for 2024 

First, it’s good to outline the things you’d like to achieve. Is the aim for this year to save money, reduce your dept, or perhaps make some new investments? When defining your goals, keep in mind that they should be SMART. I.e. they should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. So, as an example, rather than just having the general goal of making some investments, you can have a goal of investing £1000 in a stocks and shares ISA by December 1st. 


2. Budgeting for Success 

Next up, it's crucial to have a budget that you can stick to. To come up with this budget, you can embrace any number of fintech tools or budgeting apps, better yet you could go the old-fashioned route and create your own spreadsheets to keep track of your spending. If you noticed areas that you overspent in last year, use that knowledge to help yourself set clear limits for non-essential expenses this year. 


3. Boosting Your Savings 

Be sure to look over your current savings strategy. Are there steps you can take to increase your monthly savings rate? For example, high-interest savings accounts or automatic payday transfers to a savings account may be of interest. If there’s something specific, you’re saving for, like a car, vacation, wedding, or home, it could be good to create a dedicated savings accounts for each specific goal. 


4. Tackling Debt with a Plan 

If you are experiencing debt, as many of us do, it's essential to outline a clear repayment strategy. In the previous post we covered the snowball and avalanche methods, each may be a useful approach to tackling dept, combined with an effective plan that works with your current earnings. For example, you can aim to pay off £500 more than the minimum requirement on your highest interest debt each month. 


5. Improving Your Credit Score 

Pinpoint steps to enhance your credit score, this might be anything from paying your bills on time to reducing your credit card use. Whichever method you land on, be sure to set a goal so that you can review your credit score every few months and measure it up against where you would like it to be. 


6. Investment Strategies 

Get your investment goals and financial plan working together. An option could be to diversify your portfolios to cast a wider net, or increasing contributions to investments you already have. If you’re new to investing, start small with an amount of money you can survive without as it’s important to keep in mind that when investing, your capital is at risk. Different investment services have different minimum contribution requirements. As an example, Wealth8 lets you start out with as low as £8.  


7. Regular Financial Check-Ins 

Be sure to review your financial plan at regular intervals. This is a great habit to build, as it helps you stay on-track and identify when some course correction is necessary. This can be monthly, quarterly, or even fortnightly if you choose. Additionally, you can do this with a friend or family member to help keep yourself accountable. 


8. Educate and empower yourself  

As we all know, knowledge is power. Try to give yourself some leverage by learning a bit more about personal finance this year. If you already have some basic knowledge, then try to take that to the next level or expand your learning into areas you’re less familiar with. There are many routes you could take, such as attending webinars, reading books, taking an in-person course, or even just joining some kind of finance focused community. If you are able to immerse yourself and dedicate more time to learning, then the knowledge will follow. Even on social media channels, such as Instagram or YouTube, following reputable personal finance experts can provide a more passive inflow of information. 

9. Celebrate Milestones 

Be kind to yourself by celebrating the wins you achieve, big or small. Did you reach a saving goal? Manage to pay off a big slice of your debt? Or even just manage to stick to your budget? Recognising your own victories is important for helping you stay motivated.  


10. Seek Professional Advice 

If you find your financial situation is too complex to readily handle alone, consulting a professional financial advisor is an option you should consider. They can help analyse your situation, and give advice tailored to suit your specific needs. 

 

Thanks for reading, hopefully these points will help you along on your financial journey. Here’s to a 2024 filled with grit, effective planning and conquered goals. Let’s do our best to make this year one of personal success. As always, please note that when investing your capital is at risk. The value of your investments can go up as well as down. You may get back less than you put in and you may lose all your initial investment.


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