How to improve your financial health

General principles to help you attain specific goals

The cost of living crisis is putting immense pressure on many households across the country. In order to make ends meet, some people are cutting back on their spending and looking for ways to save money. One of the best ways to save money is to set goals.

How to protect you and your family’s future

Setting financial goals can help you stay on track with your spending and make sure that your money is going towards what is most important to you. When you have a goal in mind, it is easier to resist temptation and make wise choices with your money.

Achieving financial stability
Being financially stable has been identified as the top goal or dream by almost 7 in 10 people according to new research[1]. Over half say setting goals makes them feel motivated to work towards them.

The findings show 9 in 10 of us are working towards some kind of goal or aspiration, with the majority (70%) working to achieve financial stability. This was followed by becoming a homeowner (40%) and then to be successful in their job (37%).

Power to achieve goals
Almost three-quarters of people felt that they had the power to achieve their goals in their own hands, however 1 in ten felt this was completely down to luck. Just over half of people (52%) said financial barriers were the biggest obstacle to achieving their goals leading some to put their plans on hold.

In fact, 28% of respondents said that they had done this because they had less disposable income to put towards their plans. This was followed by having low motivation (23%) and not wanting to take risks during uncertain times (19%).

Organised and in control
For some people, the act of setting the goal was inspiring in itself. Over half, (51%) said they felt motivated by having the challenge. Over two-fifths (41%) said they felt organised and in control of their life while chasing a dream.

However, for others there are different emotions like anxiety or worry experienced by almost a third (29%) when tackling a new challenge. Thinking about what hasn’t been achieved was a cause of upset for just over 1 in 10 (15%).

If you’re not sure where to start with setting financial goals, there are a few key things to keep in mind:

1. Be realistic – it’s important to set goals that are achievable and realistic, based on your current financial situation.
2. Set specific targets – rather than setting vague goals such as “saving more money for retirement”, try to be as specific as possible with your targets, for example, “save an additional £500 monthly for my retirement”

3. Make a plan – once you’ve identified your goals, take some time to develop a plan of action for how you’re going to achieve them; and
4. Review and adjust – as your circumstances change, it’s important to review your goals and make any necessary adjustments along the way.

Achieving a goal or aspiration
The vast majority of us are working towards achieving a goal or aspiration, whether it’s to do with our personal, financial or professional lives. Having a goal to work towards can be extremely motivating, as it gives us that boost to keep going in the face of difficulties and obstacles.

Achieving our ambitions rarely, if ever happens over-night, but don’t be downhearted as making regular small steps towards a goal really can grow into huge strides. A great first step is to seek the help from a professional financial adviser who can create the right path to financial freedom, whatever life throws at us. n

Source data:
[1] The research was carried out online by Research Without Barriers – RWB, between 18th February 2022 and 22nd February 2022, from a sample comprising 1,001 UK adults.

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