Goals help you stay focused. The same goes for your financial ambitions. Having a purpose and a plan drives you to work towards your dreams. Without it, it’s easy to fall into the instant gratification trap.
As a Debt Negotiator and DirectAxis employee, Motlomelo Koloko has seen it first-hand.
Here he shares his insights on what you can do today to stay focused on your financial goals:
Set Small, Attainable Goals
“Before you tackle a larger, loftier goal like buying a house or a car, start with something you know you can achieve – like saving a certain amount each month,” says Motlomelo. “An easy way to do this is by ‘paying yourself first’, so setting up an automated monthly deposit or debit order that goes straight into a savings account.”
Some banks also have a savings pocket that ‘banks your change’ and automatically saves your leftover change whenever you purchase with your card. You’ll be surprised how quickly it all adds up.
Remember Your Why
Know, and remind yourself ‘why’ you’re working towards a goal. Not only will it keep you inspired and motivated, but it will also make you think twice before splurging on a big purchase or spending money on unnecessary things you don’t need.
“Instant gratification is just that – satisfying in the moment, but it doesn’t last and won’t serve you in the long-term,” says Motlomelo.
Set up Separate Accounts
When it comes to goals, it helps to compartmentalise them. Start by setting up dedicated accounts for different purposes: a savings account for that holiday, an emergency account for unexpected situations, and an investment account for retirement.
Build Goals into Your Budget
Make saving for your goal a priority, just like any other essential expense. Knowing how much money is coming in and going out shows how much you have to allocate towards it each month.
“It doesn’t matter how small you start,” says Motlomelo. “I’m still surprised at how fast money can grow when you consistently keep putting an amount away each month.”
Keep Emotions from Distracting You
Feeling sad, angry or stressed? Studies show that our emotions can influence our spending behaviour, and what we buy. “When you’re not feeling like yourself, try to avoid making big purchases,” says Motlomelo. “It’s not called retail therapy for nothing. But buyer’s remorse is real. So, stop and think before you spend. Tomorrow is another day and another chance to make better decisions.”
See Your Money as Empowering
As someone who works with debt, Motlomelo knows about minimising debt around things that will not benefit you in the long run. However, a loan for something like education is an investment in your future.
“Money spent on learning or advancing your career or future interests is never wasted. See money as a means to empower yourself and you’re already closer to reaching your goal.”
Know and Understand Your Credit Rating
Your credit rating is an important indication of your overall financial health, and one of the main criteria banks and credit providers use when deciding whether to help you finance a car or house. It also affects how much interest you pay.
“Your credit status can help or hamper your progress and impact your future plans. Make sure you stay on top of your credit rating and keep improving it, says Motlomelo.
Work Towards Your Goals Daily
Whatever your future goals, it’s important to consistently work towards them every day. Patience is a virtue when it comes to getting to where you want to be. Set clear goals and have a plan and timeline in place. “My next big goal is to buy and invest in property. Like most goals, it’s not going to happen overnight and will take serious dedication. But I’m focused on the bigger picture and working towards it day by day.
Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you build your better tomorrow, together.