min read
· Posted on
February 21, 2024

How to set financial goals to smash 2022

The beginning of the year can sometimes feel more overwhelming than losing your fave Grey's Anatomy character.

What's the key learning?

  • Setting goals can actually help inspire new behaviours - and help you maintain your focus, and build that savings balance, throughout the year
  • You don't always need to go for gold. Instead, break your big goals into smaller ones by setting time-frames around them
  • Set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely) goals.

We all know Christmas time, and the end of the year, is pretty much pure bliss. However, the beginning of the year can be more overwhelming than your favourite character getting killed off Grey’s Anatomy.

It’s that time of the year when those not-so-little Afterpay debts creep up from the Boxing Day sales, and the prospect of returning to work or uni suddenly becomes real…

And while closing your eyes and pretending like the stress isn’t there seems like a reasonable solution, the truth is.. It ain’t. But goal-setting around your money could just be the perfect antidote. 

Here’s something worth paying attention to: setting goals can actually help inspire new behaviours (for example, saying bye-bye to buy now, pay later) - and it can help you maintain your focus, and build that savings balance, throughout the year.

If you don’t know how to actually set goals though - let alone financial ones - read on. We’ll break it down for ya.

Separate goals into long and short-term

When it comes to setting financial goals, you don't always need to go for gold. What we mean by that is, even though, say, saving a $50,000 house deposit is a financial goal…it can be a pretty daunting one.

So, break your financial goals down into time-frames:

  • Short-term goals - anything from the next 3 months to six months
  • Medium-term goals - anything from the next six months to three years
  • Long-term goals - anything from the next three years onwards

Your short-term goals could involve anything from establishing a budget to creating an emergency fund. Your medium-term goals could be targeted at building a juicy savings pool for a house deposit. While your long-term goals could be things like saving more into your super fund, or preparing for a family.

Setting time-frames will make striving for goals way more manageable, and time-frames also give you a sense of achievement along the way (and let’s be honest, we all love a good old self indulgent pat on the back… that no one else ever sees).


We know you’ve heard this one before…and who doesn’t love another acronym?! SMART goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measureable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

An example of a SMART goal would be:

I am going to save $2,000 (specific)… and track my progress in my savings account (measureable)... I’ll do so by transferring $100 of my pay cheque every fortnight into my savings account (achievable)... it fits into my current budget, so I know I can do it (realistic)...and by X date I will have achieved this goal (timely).

With each goal you set, try to make it a SMART one. And before we wrap, here are a few key things to remember are:

  • Make sure the goal fits within your current budget, and is not contingent on your financial situation changing (i.e. getting a new job, a promotion…if your financial situation does change, you can always adjust your goals)
  • Add deadlines to your goal
  • Continually check-in with your goals - are you on track? Does your budget need to be adjusted? Does your goal need to be adjusted?

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