Money planning, now is the time to get clarity around your 2024 money goals and how to reach them. Whether you want to pay off a mountain of debt, double your savings, get started with investing, or accelerate your investing goals.
No matter where you are with your finances, going after one (or all!) of these six money goals will help make the coming year a personal financial success!
Money goal #1 – Pay off short-term debts
Make 2024 your year to wipe the financial slate clean by focusing on getting rid of debts like credit cards and personal loans.
Start by reframing how you think about debt. Stop looking at it like something you’ll be stuck with for life and only ever paying the minimum payments. Instead, think of it as a temporary challenge; an obstacle you WILL overcome by a certain date.
Begin by listing out all your debts so you know exactly where you stand. Look at any other expenses you may be able to cut down and channel the money towards debt repayments instead.
If you’ve got multiple smaller debts, the debt snowball method can be an effective strategy to tackle them. You pay off debts in order of smallest to largest, gaining momentum as each balance is paid off.
Freeing yourself from consumer debt is fundamental in helping get control of your finances. Once you’re free of the debt trap, begin to put the money you were once repaying to banks and credit institutions into wealth generating activities.
Money goal #2 – Build an emergency fund
By this time next year, you’ll be patting yourself on the back for following through on your goal to build an emergency fund.
Basically, an emergency fund is a pool of cash you can access only when a real emergency crops up; think medical payments, car and home repairs or job loss. Buying a Friday night takeaway and a bottle of red isn’t an emergency, no matter how tough the week has been.
Exactly how much you want to save for your emergency fund is up to you but making an initial goal of $1000 – $2000 to begin is a good target. I recommend over time that you work toward a minimum of three months of your living expenses. You know what they are, right?
Save aggressively to get your emergency fund started, then you can wind back and continue to add to it on a regular basis. The sooner you get started, the better!
Money goal #3 – Stop buying stuff you don’t need
No matter where you are in your financial journey, culling non-essential spending on random stuff will supercharge your money resolutions.
Whether your goal is to save, invest in stocks or pay off debt, you’ll get there quicker if you have extra cash to throw at it. Make a new year resolution to think more carefully about the stuff you’re exchanging your hard earned cash for and whether you actually need it.
What if you said no to the quick buying high of a new pair of jeans and invested, saved or paid off debt with the $100 instead? Use my tips to help you get past the money sucking trap of lifestyle inflation.
The bonus? With less clutter in your home, you’ll feel clear-headed and energised. It creates mental space too, maybe you’ll finally have the focus to plan and execute on your side hustle in 2024!
Money goal #4 – Start investing
For many people, investing is a vague idea that seems difficult and probably only for wealthy people or savvy stock market investor types.
This couldn’t be further from the truth but sadly this myth stops many people ever truly reaching financial freedom.
Investing is the ultimate wealth generating tool for anyone and you definitely don’t need a lot of money to begin. I’ve put together a few ideas on smart ways to invest 5k but keep in mind, you can begin with much, much less.
Even if you have to start small, make 2024 the year you get started. Creating true financial freedom takes time and the first steps are the hardest but a year from now you’ll be glad you began.
Money goal #5 – Automate your savings, debt repayments and investing
How great would it be to wake up every day knowing your money was all accounted for, bills were paid for and investing happened automatically?
Creating a bulletproof system to automate your personal finances can give you that peace of mind. It’s one of the best ways to keep your financial goals ticking along with minimal effort.
Automating your finances does require an investment of time initially in getting everything set up, but it’s worth it in the long run. Keep things simple by aiming to tackle one aspect of your finances to automate each week.
Start with setting up a direct deposit for savings or debt repayment on payday, then move onto scheduling individual bill payments and finally automating your investments.
Money goal #6 – Create a 5 year plan
Have you got a long-term vision for your money?
What BIG financial goals do you want to conquer in the next 5 years? Buying a house, retiring, starting your own business or even taking a year out to travel around the country.
Set a few concrete goals of where you’d like to be in 5 years then work backwards on what needs to be achieved each year, month and week to get you there.
For example, maybe you want to start your own business but fear of leaving the security of a regular pay check is holding you back. Set a goal to save up six months of expenses to act as a buffer while the business gets started. How much will you need to save each week to get you there?
If you need some inspiration on figuring out what your big goals are, I recommend mapping out your perfect day. It will help you get clear on what really matters in your life; financially and otherwise, and a starting point for determining the steps to get you there.
It’s an energising way to start the new year with motivation and excitement about what is possible when you set your mind to it!
If you need a hand taking charge of your money, check out my 5 Steps to Financial Freedom program. It’s a short, easy to follow solution, with supporting worksheets and materials that you can complete in a few hours.
What are your money goals for 2024? Write them in the comments here and keep me updated with how you progress! Make money planning a thing for 2024.
To kick off the year with a bang, schedule a Smart Investor call here, and let’s get clear on where you want to be, uncover the challenges that might be holding you back, and get started with a plan to hit your money goals in 2024.