Dollars and Sense (No. 2) – Setting your financial goals

Last month I urged you to ask yourself some questions:

  • Where do I want to be in five years?
  • What financial goals do I want to achieve?
  • Is financial freedom important to me?
  • What do I owe and what do I have?

If you’ve answered them, you’re ready to start creating your own financial plan.

The first step is to set goals.

This step is about discovering what you would like to achieve for yourself and your family now and in the future. It’s important to identify where you are in your financial life and where you’d like to be in one, two or ten years’ time. What happens now will impact on what happens in the future.

Start by plotting your goals in a timeline for your financial plan. Goals may include things like supporting your children’s education, helping them into their first homes, having a family holiday or buying a new car.

The second step is to include the maintenance of your goals in your financial plan. For example, if you want to help fund your children’s education or buy your first home, then you may want to look at life or income protection insurance as a back up.

At Cole Murray we believe your whole family needs to be involved in making the financial plan. Creating a healthy financial home is vital so your children learn the skills from you, and will be better equipped to manage their own finances.

What should a financial plan include?

  • Your current financial situation.
  • Your goals.
  • Solutions, such as a plan to deal with debt.
  • A budget that reflects what your needs are, rather than your wants.
  • A priority list and tracking for your spending.
  • What life you want to lead beyond paying off your mortgage.
If you’d like to have a financial plan that will map out and achieve your life goals, then the time to start is now.

If you need a hand, give us a call.


‘Dollars and Sense’ is a monthly column Mike writes for the Hastings Leader and Napier Courier. This column is general in nature and should not be regarded as personalised financial advice. A disclosure statement is available on request and free of charge.

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