Steps to achieve financial goals
Many people dream of a better future and financial freedom. It is important to know that financial success in life depends on proper and well-organised planning.
While it is good to adopt savings culture, knowing how to organise and set long and short-term financial goals is a life skill. Think of planning long and short-term goals as you budget your resources.
Short-term financial goals refer to financial goals that can be implemented within a relatively short period of time, usually a year or less. These goals usually focus on improving your current financial situation and may include things like paying off debt, building an emergency fund, or saving for a specific short-term expense such as a vacation or a down payment on a car.
Such goals are important because they help individuals and businesses to manage their current financial obligations and build a foundation for achieving long-term financial goals. By focusing on short-term goals, individuals can establish good financial habits and build momentum toward achieving their larger financial objectives over time. Additionally, achieving short-term financial goals can provide a sense of triumph and encouragement to continue working towards larger financial goals.
Long-term finance goals require a lengthy period of time to achieve, typically more than a year. These types of goals are set for wealth building, financial freedom, and independence. In fact, your long-term finance goals also include retirement planning, investments in stocks and real estate. Although this is considered a worthwhile strategy, this type of goal requires a strong blend of patience, consistency, and sacrifice.
By setting and working towards long-term financial goals, individuals can establish a clear path toward financial success and build a legacy for themselves and their families.
In general, achieving financial goals is an important aspect of financial planning for individuals and businesses alike. Whether saving for a down payment on a home, paying off debt, or investing for retirement, clear and attainable financial goals are essential to building a secure financial future. To achieve financial goals, it is important to develop a plan that includes both short-term and long-term strategies. Some personal finance experts explain to The Punch the steps individuals can take to set and achieve both short-term and long-term financial goals, and explore the tools and resources available to help individuals along the way.
Have a clear vision
The Director of Finance at the Innovation Support Network Hub, Mrs Fayo Williams, says, “The first thing is to have a vision. Paint the big picture about what you want to achieve.
“For example, look at how much you need to be making in order to achieve financial freedom. And then, you now have to find out how much you need to invest in order to make that amount. Also make sure your money is working for you.
Williams explains that individuals need to determine how much they “need to invest in stocks, bonds, commercial papers, in businesses that will yield dividend for you even after you have exited.”
William adds that, “For businesses to be transgenerational, you need to find out how much can come in from such sources. And then, when you add it up together, you will know what you have to do now in order to achieve the financial freedom so, let’s look at short term goals because we don’t want it to seem so huge and gigantic.”
According to her, using fintech apps to save can help make short term goals easier to achieve, “so that whatever revenue is coming into your business, a portion of it can go into saving immediately.
“So you can have targets and from that target, you break it down. If you break your target down over 12 months, it will tell you how much you need to save each month.”
William advises on setting up automated systems so that “your your debit card is registered audit and you can also have the deduction been made monthly. You can even have a deduction made daily. You can save as little as N500 daily and with the power of compound interest, you cannot believe how much you will get at the end of the year.
“Three years, five years, 10 years, this is how people can become millionaires by saving small amounts consistently. So the second secret is to be consistent.”
Have an accountability partner
She adds that a major aspect of crushing financial goals is by having an accountability partner. “So you choose somebody like a mentor, a colleague, who will check on you, who will ensure that what you said you will do, you’re actually doing it.
“Then a fourth step will be to conduct a review. So from time to time, you conduct a review to see whether you’re on track. You are not married to any particular type of investment if the investment is not doing well. You can stop that and go into another one.”
She advises that you need to watch your portfolio and do a regular review. And finally, you should celebrate small wins.
“Take yourself out to have a drink if you reach a particular milestone,” she says.
An investment banker, Founder, FinTribe – Women only Finance Community, Jennifer Awirigwe, says, “It all starts with the decision. First, decide you want to get it right with your money. Then draft a plan for your income and how you will disburse it. If you don’t tell your money where to go, billings will.”
Awirigwe emphasises the need to save.
She says, “You must remove a savings/investment portion. This is the way you pay yourself, else you will keep paying every other vendor and nothing for you.
“Make savings/investment a bill that you have to pay every month.”
She says this is easier to have a financial goal you are working towards.
According to her, “It can be to save for retirement, buy a property, go on vacation, and build a robust investment portfolio among others. So take time to decide what you want to achieve with your money.”
Awirigwe says that by urging individuals to build an emergency fund, clearing any debt and having adequate investments is good.
She says this is very important because as much as a person is saving monthly, he cannot save himself to wealth but investment will do that.
“So please, send that money to go make more money in an investment vehicle,” she says.
In recent report by the United Bank for Africa, the lending institution advises on the need to clear pending debts from car loans to business capital loans, student loans, mortgages and any other high-interest consumer loans which are toxic to wealth growth.
“However, interest loans are important and can help you achieve some of your life goals but on-time payments will build your credit and help your financial portfolio, the report says.