​​Setting financial goals

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02 Nov 2018 | 2 min. read

Financial goals are what we want in the future. Let's take a look at some common financial goals and how to plan and achieve them.

Key takeaways

  • Financial goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound.
  • Your financial goals depend on what's important to you and your life situation.
  • Use a worksheet to list out and prioritise your financial goals.

What are financial goals?

What do you want in life? Or more specifically, what do you want to do with your money?

Our financial goals reflect our values, and the things we care about in life. It could be people, possessions, causes, or a lifestyle that we aspire to.

We keep our eyes on those goals as we plan our path to reach them.

What makes a financial goal SMART?

Financial goals, like any other goals, must be SMART:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound

Examples of SMART goals would be:

  • "I want to accumulate $50,000 for the downpayment on a HDB flat in five years."
  • "I want to invest $100,000 to earn 5 per cent returns per annum over 10 years."
  • "I want to have a retirement income of $3,000 a month by the time I turn 65."

Based on these goals, we can create specific plans.

For example, to accumulate $50,000 in five years (60 months), you could plan to open a separate bank account and deposit $1,000 per month in it for 50 months, with a 10-month buffer in case you are unable to save for certain months e.g. if you have an emergency.

Working out your financial needs and goals

How much we save, spend and invest depends a lot on what our life and financial goals are. Your needs and financial goals will change as you go through different stages in life.

Use these examples to list out and evaluate your financial goals – you can even prioritise them according to what is more important to you.

Short-term goal - Jenny, age 27. Monthly income: $3,000.

  • Financial goal: Renovation for a new flat
  • Amount required: $30,000
  • Timeline: 3 years
  • Amount already saved: $5,000
  • Action plan: Save $700 a month by cutting down on shopping

Long-term goal - Joseph, age 35. Monthly income: $5,000.

  • Financial goal: Retirement planning
  • Amount required: $500,000
  • Timeline: 25 years
  • Amount already saved: Illustrated cash value of $100,000 from insurance
  • Action plan: Invest 20% of monthly income yielding an average 3% return

Tip


Use the Savings Calculator to find out how much you need to save every month to reach your goals.

Last updated on 07 Nov 2018