Keep your money goals on track this year.

Did your New Year’s resolutions for 2022 include financial goals? Maybe you want to pay off debt or save more money? Are you determined to improve your credit score? Whatever your goals are, here are some ways to stay motivated throughout the year so that you have more to celebrate when 2023 rolls around.  

 

1. Smash all obstacles

According to research by psychologists at the University of Virginia[1], there’s a good reason we like making New Year’s resolutions. When we think about a date in the future, we indulge in a bit of magical thinking, whereby the obstacles that get in our way now cease to exist. So, while it may motivate us to set our goals on an auspicious date, we need to also put a plan in place to reduce hurdles. Say you know that impulsive payday spending is getting in the way of your savings goals – set up an automatic deduction into a separate savings account that coincides with when you get paid.

 

2. Make your goals more meaningful

No doubt you already know about SMART goals; that is, goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. But what does that mean in practice? “Save a home deposit” may feel like an impossible task – especially in Australia’s very expensive capital cities – but saving $6,000 a year or $500 a month or $250 each fortnight starts to make it feel real. Reward yourself for hitting mini milestones along the way to stay motivated. Hit your quarterly savings target? Treat yourself to that massage, new shoes or big night out – you deserve it.

 

3. Break it down

No doubt you already know about SMART goals; that is, goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. But what does that mean in practice? “Save a home deposit” may feel like an impossible task – especially in Australia’s very expensive capital cities – but saving $6000 a year or $500 a month or $250 each fortnight starts to make it feel real. Reward yourself for hitting mini milestones along the way to stay motivated. Hit your quarterly savings target? Treat yourself to that massage, new shoes or big night out – you deserve it.

 

4. Set yourself up for success

In his best-selling book, Atomic Habits2, habits guru James Clear outlines some smart  strategies for building better habits that can help you smash your goals while banishing behaviours that get in your way. Clear suggests redesigning your environment to decrease cues for bad habits and increase them for positive ones. If you find yourself overspending on takeout, consider removing meal delivery applications to remove the temptation. Find yourself overspending in online stores? You can avoid visiting those websites or unsubscribe from tempting brand emails. At the same time, begin using a budgeting app that tracks your spending by category and alerts you when you’ve hit your spending limit. 

 

5. Make sure you're credit fit

Knowing you’re on top of your finances and constantly improving your situation is key to staying motivated and identifying where you could be doing better. Your credit score is usually a key part of your financial health and success, so it’s important to know where you stand. Make this the year that you understand your credit score and the key contributing factors driving your credit score. 

A healthy credit score helps you kick important life goals such as buying a home or investment property or securing business or personal loans

Get Credit Score offers a range of ways to manage and improve your credit score. Find out more today.

References

[1] Converse, B and Hennecke M. Next Week, Next Month, Next Year: How Perceived Temporal Boundaries Affect Initiation Expectations. December 2016. Social Psychological and Personality Science https://osf.io/wehbq/

[2] Clear, J. Atomic Habits. 2018. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones. Penguin Random House, LLC.


Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Therefore, you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your circumstance before acting on it, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a finance professional such as an adviser.