The start of a new year could be a good time to start checking in on your financial well-being. Whether it’s renewing your savings plan, forming new monthly budgets, or planning for future investments – setting your financial goals as early as now could help grant you the confidence in managing money-related matters for 2023.
Why should you set financial goals?
Having proper financial goals in place could not only grant you greater control of your expenses and savings – it could also help you make the right investments, improve your financial situation for the better, and provide you with a clear-cut way of measuring your financial progress. They could help set the direction you need for financial wellness, as well as keep you motivated and focused on achieving the desired outcomes or milestones you’re striving for.
These could range from short-term, everyday goals such as keeping within your grocery and travel budget – to larger, long-term investment plans such as buying a house, saving for an emergency fund, or saving up for a wedding.
5 financial goals to pursue this new year
Boost your savings
Having sustainable savings goals in place could help you more easily set money aside for important expenses, as well as unexpected costs. Budgeting could go hand-in-hand with this, as it allows you to set strict limits for what to spend on a daily, weekly, monthly – or even yearly basis. This could ensure that you’ll always have enough to cover your essentials, while still having enough left over to save.
It may be worth setting your savings goals using the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timebound) method:
- Specific: What are you saving for?
- Measurable: How much do you need to save?
- Attainable: Is your goal realistic?
- Relevant: How valuable is this goal to you?
- Timebound: When do you hope to achieve your goal?
You may also wish to open a savings account to help you better reach your goals. We offer a selection of savings accounts suited to varying financial needs. Whether it’s saving up for an investment sooner (i.e. a home or emergency fund) with our Bonus Saver account, racking up additional Qantas Points with our Qantas Points Saver*, or simply seeking out competitive interests rates, we offer a wide range of options that could help you grow your savings with greater ease and convenience.
Investments can fall under two categories: defensive investments and growth investments. The former aims to simply provide you with extra income and protect your capital while diversifying your investment portfolio. They are typically used to meet short-term financial goals and include cash investments such as bank accounts, term deposits, and high-interest savings accounts; or fixed interest investments such as government bonds and corporate bonds.
On the other hand, growth investments could offer higher financial return, though are often considered “higher risk” investments. These include investments such as property, shares, and private equity.
Investing could be a rewarding financial goal for the coming year and may provide you with a new income stream or two. If you’re looking to start a low-risk investment with guaranteed returns, you may wish to consider our Term Deposit savings account, a service that aims to help you meet your savings goals faster. With $0 keeping fees and a competitive interest rate, it’s a convenient option that may be worth exploring as you set your money goals for the new year.
Repay your debts
Repaying your debts could be a good step towards better financial health, helping you take back control of your expenses and start fresh on a clean financial slate.
You could start by listing out the exact amounts you owe (and whether a minimum monthly repayment is applicable), to whom, and when these payments are due. It’s then generally recommended to begin paying off debts with the highest interests first (i.e. credit cards), followed by those with the second-highest interest (i.e. car loans), and working your way down to the debts with the lowest interest rate.
Alternatively, you could also begin paying off your debts from the smallest to the largest – helping you knock them off your list faster.
Build up your emergency fund
Emergency funds function as a financial safety net for urgent or unplanned expenses. These could include medical bills, car repairs, or urgent travel costs.
Establishing an emergency fund can begin with small, incremental goals, such as delegating a small portion of your budget each week towards your emergency savings. This could slowly, yet surely build your savings in time – and the more regularly you’re able to put towards this fund, the better.
According to Moneysmart, a good rule of thumb is to have enough in your emergency fund to cover at least three months’ worth of expenses. This could provide you with a comfortable financial cushion in the case of urgent or unexpected situations.
Improve your financial knowledge
Finally, it could pay (literally!) to bolster your financial knowledge through educational resources such as financial magazines, books, podcasts, or websites.
Taking the time to learn more about our financial landscape, current market trends, and popular, tried-and-true money advice could ultimately bolster your financial literacy – potentially setting you on a more self-assured path towards achieving your goals. In fact, a 2022 study by the University of Newcastle found a strong correlation between high financial literacy and reduced financial hardship, emphasising the importance of continuously learning healthy money habits and financial management.
Kickstart your journey to financial wellness
With the right ways to save, you may find yourself better capable of achieving your financial goals this 2023.
Consider opening a savings account with us to help you meet your investment or savings goals faster.
As the information in this article is of a general nature and has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs, before acting on the information, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances.
* Qantas Points accrue in accordance with and subject to the Qantas Points Banking Terms and Conditions. You must be a member of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program to earn and redeem Qantas Points. A joining fee may apply, however, Qudos Bank has arranged to provide Qantas Frequent Flyer membership with the joining fee waived to Qudos Bank members who are not already a Qantas Frequent Flyer member and who apply at qantas.com/joinffqudos. Membership and the earning and redemption of Qantas Points are subject to the terms and conditions of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program available online at qantas.com/terms. This offer is non transferable and not available in conjunction with any other offer. Qantas Frequent Flyer membership and each application is subject to approval by Qantas. Qudos Bank recommends that you seek independent tax advice in respect of the tax consequences (including fringe benefits tax, and goods and services tax and income tax) arising from the use of this product or from participating in the Qantas Frequent Flyer program or from using any of the rewards or other available program facilities. Qudos Bank is the issuer, offeror and administrator of the Qantas Points Banking Products and is a credit provider and credit licensee under National Consumer Credit laws.
Before opening an account with us, you should read our Terms and Conditions for Savings Accounts and Payment Services, Supplementary Terms and Conditions for Term Deposits and Financial Services Guide.
Qudos Mutual Limited trading as Qudos Bank ABN 53 087 650 557 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 238 305.
1. Kat Boogaard. 2021. “How to write SMART goals”. https://www.atlassian.com/blog/productivity/how-to-write-smart-goals
2. Moneysmart.gov.au. “Choose your investments”. https://moneysmart.gov.au/how-to-invest/choose-your-investments
3. Australian Unity. 2021. “Sure-fire ways to wipe your debt sooner”. https://www.australianunity.com.au/wellbeing/money-and-finances/tips-to-pay-off-your-debts
4.Moneysmart.gov.au. “Save for an emergency fund”. https://moneysmart.gov.au/saving/save-for-an-emergency-fund
5. Christina Boedker et al. 2022. “FINANCIAL WELLBEING AND GENERAL LIFE SATISFACTION IN AUSTRALIA”. https://www.newcastle.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/816039/2022-1041-Greater-Bank-report-v241.pdf
Published December 2022