Struggling to meet your money goals? Frank Conway, financial literacy expert and founder of MoneyWhizz and Irish Financial Review, shares his top tips.*
Write down your goals
The first thing to do is to work out your money goals and write them down. Do you want to pay off a credit card bill, save enough for a deposit on a new home or build up an emergency fund? Studies prove that setting goals then planning to reach them is effective at delivering positive results.
Live within your means
Once you’ve identified your goals, you need make sure you know exactly what your income and your outgoings are each week, month or year. This is your start point to effective budgeting. Look for ways to increase your household income if possible and cut costs by shopping around for the best deals on electricity, gas etc..
Time is the great secret ingredient when it comes to achieving your financial goals. Start as soon as you can so that you have time to recover if you face challenges later.
Save it before you spend it
A good way to make sure that you save money is to arrange to have some of your income automatically taken directly from your wages and deposited into a savings account as soon as you get paid.
You can take the same approach to building up retirement savings by joining a company pension scheme which automatically deducts your contributions or by setting up a personal pension plan.
Review and adjust if you need to
Your budget is like a roadmap to help you get to your financial goals. It is important to review it regularly to make sure you are still on track and adjust things if you have to.
Stick to the plan
It can sometimes be a little overwhelming when life changes and your plans get disrupted.
However, setting goals, creating a plan to get you to your goals, and reviewing your plan regularly means that if events take a turn for the worse you should be in a better position to recover.