It’s that time of year again when many of us are thinking about what we want to achieve in the year ahead. Whether you set financial, career or lifestyle goals, it’s an immutable fact that money will play a role in achieving them. Unfortunately, many people set these goals in January only to have them fall by the wayside as life gets in the way. But in the COVID-era, many of us are more determined than ever to live differently. So what can you do to make sure you achieve your goals in 2022? The answer might lie in having just a little patience.
Apt recently commented in an article in Your Money Your Life which shared the story of Ronald Read, who was raised in poverty and worked in humble jobs, but by investing tiny savings and having patience, amassed $8 million in his lifetime.
This article got us thinking about how you can apply these learnings in a practical sense. So as the new year begins, we wanted to share some strategies you can use to apply a little patience to achieve your goals in 2022.
#1 Align your goals with your values
Aligning your goals with your values helps you understand not just what you want to achieve but why you want to achieve these goals in particular. For example, what will it enable you to do if you save an additional $20k this year? Maybe it’s that time with the family on a fantastic holiday or just not having to stress about bills – it’s that family time or happier life you are working towards, rather than the dollar figure. It’s often the why, not the what that keeps us on track.
Apt’s free Values Roadmap can help you understand your why and make sure you are aligning your spending with your values to focus on what’s most important to you.
#2 Set monthly milestones rather than a singular end goal
We are motivated by success, and slow progress towards your larger goal can have the opposite effect. Break your goal down into smaller parts, such as monthly, weekly or even daily targets that you will hit. For example, if you want to save $20k this year, what does that look like for each pay cycle?
#3 Make a clear plan
Many of us say we want to save more but don’t think about the practicalities of that plan. How will you save the money? What changes will you make to ensure that happens? It could be as simple as setting up an automatic transfer to an online-only account on payday, so you don’t have access to that money through your debit card. You can still easily access the funds if you need them, but you will have to do something to get the money back rather than doing something to save it.
There are some great tools out there to help you work out where you can make small changes, such as Apt’s free budget planner. On this note, remember that a budget isn’t necessarily about frugality; it’s about understanding where your money goes and making tweaks to this to achieve what’s important to you.
#4 Consider how you can grow your investments
As Warren Buffet famously said, “The stock market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient.” Investing is a great way to accumulate wealth, but it takes time and, you guessed it, patience. There are many options out there that allow you to start modestly, some even investing your small change. You aren’t likely to see quick wins, but over time, you are likely to see significant growth. Money in the bank isn’t doing a lot for you in today’s low-interest environment, so think about how you can invest anything above your emergency funds.
#5 Use calculator tools to understand the bigger picture
There are many calculator tools that help you calculate how much you can save, and using these can be a great motivator to see the bigger picture. From superannuation to debt repayment, you can see the larger impact of the smaller decisions you make today.
This can also help build your sense of future self-continuity or your ability to picture what your life may look like in years to come due to your actions today.
#6 Celebrate what you don’t do
When it comes to achieving our goals, we often praise ourselves for what we do but forget to celebrate what we don’t do. If you decide not to spend on something in service of your goal, that’s worth noting. It’s celebrating every behavioural change that will get you over the line.
#7 Get a personal finance coach
One of the biggest misconceptions about financial planners is that we focus on changing your lifestyle to save more money. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth. Your Apt Adviser acts as a personal finance coach who is there to help you make the best decisions to achieve your goals, whatever they may be.
At the end of the day, your money should be an enabler that helps you to do more of what you love and live a more meaningful existence. If you are ready to make 2022 the year you achieve your goals, get in touch with the Apt team for a free, no-obligation chat to find out how we can support you to live the life you want.
General Advice warning
The information provided in this blog does not constitute ﬁnancial product advice. The information is of a general nature only and does not take into account your individual objectives, ﬁnancial situation or needs. It should not be used, relied upon, or treated as a substitute for speciﬁc professional advice. Apt Wealth Partners (AFSL and ACL 436121 ABN 49 159 583 847) and Apt Wealth Home Loans (powered by Smartline ACL 385325) recommends that you obtain professional advice before making any decision in relation to your particular requirements or circumstances.