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3 tips to kickstart your financial goals in 2020

By Jana Angeles | 10 January 2020


As we start 2020, it’s exciting to set goals for yourself. While money talk can be boring, it doesn’t have to be, especially if you’re aiming to find that balance of keeping yourself afloat and also enjoying life at the same time. 

Setting financial goals not only helps you focus on saving for that property or reducing that high-interest debt, it’s important to be realistic when setting goals for yourself. This means you need to think clearly about what you want in life and how tending to your finances can help set yourself well for the future. 

While we start the year fresh, your financial goals don’t have to be set in stone. You can amend accordingly every quarter or in 6 months if you feel the need to. However, it’s important to keep in mind that it takes time to be financially sound, and even then, you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself if you don’t reach all of your goals in the expected timeframe.

As Money Nuggets writes, “Setting financial goals is essential to financial success. Once you’ve set these goals you can then write and follow a roadmap to realise them. It helps you stay focused and confident that you’re on the right path.”

Referring to the statement above, taking focus on the things that matter to you financially is what you should aim for. Otherwise, you won’t be as motivated if you stick to goals another person has made for themselves.

Below are some financial goals you can start hitting in 2020, helping you check in with your finances and be accountable when it comes to your spending habits. 

3 tips to kickstart your financial goals in 2020

  1. Listen to podcasts that talk about money.
  2. Decide what you want to focus on.
  3. Budget wisely. 

1. Listen to podcasts that talk about money.

young woman smiling and listening to podcast

If you commute regularly on a daily basis to get to and from work, you may be an avid podcast listener. While it’s interesting to keep up-to-date with podcasts that provide comic relief or make you think about that all-too-scary murder mystery, it doesn’t hurt to explore ones that talk about money. 

Not only do some offer interesting perspectives on money management, some also provide great infotainment. From talking about property to learning about the budgeting habits of real-time listeners, there are some great podcasts available you can start listening to during your morning or afternoon commute. 

Here are some of the best finance podcasts for Australians that are worth the listen:
  • My Millennial Money: If you’re part of the millennial demographic and can’t seem to figure out where your money is going, this podcast can help you stay on track when it comes to your finances. With the banter and excellent insights from financial advisor Glen James and property guru John Pigeon, each episode is carefully crafted to ensure that you’re listening to quality conversations with guest experts, while also appreciating the light-hearted approach they take when it comes to money matters. 
  • She’s On The Money: This popular podcast offers a fresh female perspective when it comes to talking about money and financial adviser Victoria Devine effortlessly shares her tips towards financial freedom for millennial women. Episodes address topics such as Afterpay, HECS and more. 
  • The Pineapple Project: This podcast provides insights to financial matters regarding money management, getting out of debt and purchasing your first property. The Pineapple Project was originally hosted by stand-up comedian and radio presenter Claire Hooper however, journalist/TV presenter Jan Fran has taken over, offering a funny and relatable perspective when it comes to your finances. 

2. Decide what you want to focus on.

It can be a challenge to focus on one thing at a time when it comes to money-related matters. You want to save, spend and also reduce the debt that is hovering over your head, but at the same time, you also want to be realistic about what you can actually do about your current financial situation. 

It’s important not to spread yourself thin when it comes to your finances and assess what takes priority. These are some goals that you could focus on for the interim if you’re not sure what direction you should take:
  • Pay off debt: if you have a car loan and credit debt, it can be easy to just get away with doing the minimum payments. However, it’s not worth losing money over high-interest rates. Financial freedom is one of the best things you can do for yourself, so explore your options in terms of refinancing your loan or paying more than the minimum repayment for any consumer debt you have.
  • Put money towards life experience: if you haven’t gotten the opportunity to see the world, maybe now is the time to start saving for your next trip overseas or interstate. Travelling can add value to your life, while also offering a fresh perspective on culture, people and history. You don’t have to blow your budget by booking business class flights or 5-star accommodation. Subscribe to your favourite travel sites and see if you can snag a good deal that can help you save money while also enjoying the trip of a lifetime.
  • Save for future you: in your 20s, you can get carried away with spending, especially when you don’t have that many responsibilities to tend to. However, having the mindset that you’re taking care of future you is worth the hard work and efforts. Maybe you want to get property in the next few years or you want to build significant retirement savings. Either way, it’s important to think about every financial step you’re taking and see how this impacts your future. Ensure that every move you make is a positive one. 

3. Budget wisely.

budgeting concept

With banking apps being more accessible than ever, it’s worth reviewing your recent transactions and seeing how you can spend less and save more. By knowing your fixed expenses and allowing yourself to see where your income is going, it helps to know whether or not your spending money on things that are viable. Maybe it’s worth reviewing your current expenses and seeing what subscriptions are useless, or how much money you’re spending on eating out.

By seeing a full view of your transactions, you can assess your current financial situation that can help you cut costs and save more. If you’re not sure how you can start budgeting wisely, here are some options that can help you organise your finances:
  • Put aside 10% of your income as spending money: depending on your goals for the year, you may want to be more strict when it comes to how much you’re putting towards discretionary expenses. A good rule of thumb is to put aside 10% of your paycheck and leave that budget for when you want to splurge on movies, shopping or general activities that you enjoy. 
  • Follow the 50/30/20 rule or similar: there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to budgeting but following a rule like this can help automate your savings and allows you to allocate your money accordingly. However, using a budget rule should be used as a guide only and you can customise it to fit your own needs. 
  • Use a budget planner: ASIC’s Money Smart website has an excellent budget planner you can use to see where your money is going. You just need to populate information on your fixed expenses such as rent, food, groceries, as well as how much your take-home pay is. After you populate all the information that describes your circumstances, the planner then automatically calculates your spending and deducts it from your annual salary, showcasing how much money you have leftover and whether or not you’re living within your means in a pie chart.

Ready to tick off your financial goals for 2020?

If your financial goals this year is to find a job with a better salary or to get a promotion at work, consider studying a course with Upskilled. With plenty of courses to choose from in business, community services and IT, you’ll have the opportunity to develop your skills and knowledge in some of Australia’s in-demand industries. 

By studying a qualification, you can improve your chances of landing your dream job as learning opportunities like this can help you grow as a professional. If you’re interested in studying an online course, give Upskilled a call on 1300 009 924 and see how studying can help develop your career today. 

This article should not be taken as expert financial advice. Please consult a financial specialist for further advice on your circumstances. 
 
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