Achieve Your Money Goals in 2018 with these 5 Tips

Here's how to plan and manage your financial goals for 2018 to help you get the most out of the financial opportunities available to you in the coming year. By Arturo Cuevas

When it comes to money goals, having a specific objective is one of the five ways to achieve them.

There are some good reasons to be optimistic that 2018 bodes well for achieving our financial goals. Economic analysts, for instance, expect that disposable incomes, particularly those earned by the Filipino middle class, will get a boost from the Philippine government’s initial package of tax reforms slated for implementation during the early part of 2018.

Additionally, the country’s comprehensive tax reform program is projected to bring significant revenues to the government for its infrastructure and social spending. The economic tailwinds of higher government infrastructure spending, moreover, is anticipated to draw further strength from the intensified reconstruction projects in Mindanao as a result of the resolution of the Marawi crisis.

Be SMART

Positive indicators or developments like these underscore the importance of having the right financial approach for the coming year. To help ensure that you are well-positioned to meet your financial targets in 2018, consider these five tips for your target-setting exercise as expounded by management guru Peter Drucker.

Briefly, Drucker outlines this planning track through the SMART criteria mnemonic of action steps which are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. These criteria appear a succinct but effective tool to help achieve money goals in 2018.

1. Let’s Specify

Setting financial goals should necessarily start by defining exactly what you want to achieve. Since they constitute your roadmap for the year, you need objectives that are exact, specific, well-defined, focused and detailed.

Jot down what you want to achieve using verbs for emphasis on the specificity of your goals and their exact outcomes. If your desire for next year is a residential property purchase, set your goal for instance as: Save for a down payment/meet mortgage payments for a condo in Avida Towers Turf at the market hotspot of Bonifacio Global City.

2. Make Goals Measurable

It is a given that you must be able to track and review your progress in whatever financial objectives you set for the year. Hence, measurement methods or procedures are extremely important in the money goals you have in mind.

In our example of a condo purchase cited above, some pencil-pushing is a must. You need to compute how much you can regularly save from your monthly income or cash flow in order to raise the down payment required for a condo unit and pay for its monthly amortizations. With such information on hand, it is easy to check if you are on track to meeting your 2018 financial goals.

ALSO READ: Start Saving for Your New Home!

3. Set Attainable Objectives

At the outset of your goal-setting exercise, you have to determine if your objectives are achievable within your given timeframe of one year. This also stresses the importance of making your objectives measurable whether you’re buying a condo or a car or saving for a dream vacation.

As a goal, the purchase of a unit at Avida Towers Turf BGC is achievable for those in the right income bracket, given that its units are priced in the P6.6 million and P12.6 million bracket. Again using this example, you need to check if the resources you have or the annual income you expect are sufficient to meet your goal of saving a down payment in this condominium and meeting the monthly mortgage payments.

You need to determine the financial resources available to you so that you can be sensible in your goals

4. Be Realistic

It is imperative to be sensible in setting your financial goals for any given year. Determine the limits of the resources available to you; knowing them will save you from the frustration of being unable to meet your set objectives.

This step will also allow you to examine or categorize your goal. Determine whether the financial objectives you have in mind are doable in one year, given the resources you have. Being realistic allows you to be flexible as well and to split your goals into short-term objectives which could be accomplished in a year; others could then be set as mid-term and long-term financial goals in an extended timeframe.

An objective, as in our example, of saving for the initial down payment on a property or a condo may take more than a year. In this case, you need to plan further ahead to ensure that your cash flow is enough not only for the planned residential purchase. You also need to ascertain that your finances are also sufficient to cover your expected future needs including any emergency spending that may arise.

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5. Set Time-bound Objectives

A one-year target for accomplishing your financial goals, as discussed above, may just be a prelude to a longer timeframe. This would especially be the case if you are building up financial strength necessary for a major goal, such as a purchase of a new car or a condo.

In any case, setting a deadline or a series of milestones would be necessary to measure your progress toward your goal. This would provide you with a sense of urgency in whatever financial objective you have set. Having a firm deadline prompts you to take action and focuses your mind on the things that need to be done to hit the target you have set for the year.

The best of luck and a Happy New Year!