7. Set goals

Take Control of your Money

Step 7, set goals
Step 7, set goals
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Goals guide our journey towards success, whatever success means for you.

Why are goals important?

Goals give us something to aim for. They provide a purpose to save towards and help us remain motivated.

Goals also serve as a reminder of how far we’ve come.

In this guide:









Set goals

Creating goals

Creating goals for your finances is an amazing way to set your sights on the future.

This is the last step before you set off on your financial journey. Be proud of yourself for making it this far and for what you’ve achieved.

Different types of goals

Our goals are personal to each of us. But coming up with goals from scratch can be surprisingly difficult.

It can be helpful to have some thought starters to get you on your way.

Here are some of the types of goals to think about.

Experience goals


Do you live to experience all that life has to offer?

Maybe you’re saving up for a holiday, a show-stopper of a wedding, or to take time off work to focus on a personal passion or project you love.

Travel the world, find your community, build your own community — this kind of of goal is designed for the type of person who craves adventure and experiences beyond the everyday.

Is that you? Setting goals that align to the experiences you crave could help keep you motivated in a way that other goals wouldn't.

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Are your goals more centred around the people in your life? Maybe your goal is to fund private education for your children, or to put yourself in a position to be able to work less so you can spend more time with family and friends.

It could also be a goal of generating wealth that you can pass down to your children, or leave to a charity you care about.

Goals that are built around the people you care about can often be the most meaningful for us.

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Some goals look to increase or establish your financial security.

Goals in this category can be on a grander scale, such as paying off your home and achieving your retirement plans. Or they can be smaller and more foundational, like establishing your emergency fund.

Whatever the scale, this kind of goal can be the challenging but hugely rewarding to achieve.

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Last but certainly not least, some goals are centred around the objects that bring us joy.

Think cars, boats, clothes and electronics. Or whatever makes you happy.

Sometimes, it’s nice to spoil yourself, particularly if you have worked hard to be able to pay for it.

How to set targets

How to set targets

The best way to set personal goals will depend on the type of person you are. For example, do you like to aim big, or have a number of smaller goals to tick off?

Setting S.M.A.R.T goals can be a great approach for a lot of people:

  • Be specific: Having a general aim to 'be better with money' will be harder to achieve than a goal that is tightly defined.
  • Make it measurable: It's important to be able to track whether you are succeeding or not. This will keep you motivated and focussed.
  • It should be achievable: Having goals that are too ambitious might end up being disheartening if you can't achieve them.
  • Keep it relevant: It's important to have goals that are relevant to what YOU want to achieve. Copying other people's goals or setting generic ones won't be as meaningful.
  • Set a timeframe: Having open-ended goals could mean you never end up getting to them. Set a timeframe (e.g. one or five years) and stick to it.
Goal Planner

Goal planning

The saying goes a 'goal without a plan is a wish'. Think about what will be required for you to achieve your goals and come up with a plan to make them happen.

It can help to number your goals by importance so you can prioritise then. This will make the planning process easier.

It's also important to regularly check in on progress. Doing this twice a year is a good rule of thumb. Check ins at the start of the year (New Year's resolution time) and at the end of the financial year (30 June) can be good points to do this.

Now it's over to you

Congratulations for making it this far! By taking the time to work through these steps, you've put yourself in a good position to plan for a better financial future.

What we've covered should give you the confidence to set exciting and meaningful goals, and the knowledge and tools you need to follow through on them.

Good luck with your money journey!


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Written by

Helen Baker

Financial Expert

Helen Baker

Reviewed by

Sean Callery Editor Money.com.au


Sean Callery

Important information: Any advice or information on this site is of a general nature only and has not taken into account your personal objectives, financial situation and needs. Because of that, before acting on the advice, you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your personal objectives, financial situation, and needs. Helen Baker is an Authorised Representative(s) of Godfrey Pembroke Group Pty Ltd ABN 38 078 629 973, AFSL number 245451, an Australian Financial Services Licensee, with offices at The Bond, Level 3, 30 Hickson Road, Millers Point NSW 2000.