Master your financial goals with SMART planning transcript

by 26 Oct 2023Podcast


Hi, Wealthers. Kylie Sultana here from Creo Wealth, your host of The Money Brew. So, for anyone that knows me and has tuned in before, you will know that I am all about setting goals and financial goals.

So, you may have heard me mention before that Anthony and I went to Cuba and Mexico in March this year, 2023. It is, and that did not happen by chance. It is because we set a goal to go there. We knew that that was coming up, our anniversary, and we knew that we wanted to go away on a nice holiday somewhere for that. So it all happened because we set a goal and we budgeted and we planned for it.

As working professionals, we know the importance of goals. We know the impact that they can have, setting goals and achieving them on our day-to-day lives. And one of the most important areas is to set financial goals in our personal financial life as well.

It can be difficult, so we like to break it down into small, medium, and long-term goals. Now, it’s got to be something that’s also important to you, so it’s got to be something that you want to achieve, and it’s got to be something specific as well.

So you’ll have heard about the SMART goal acronym, the S-M-A-R-T. So it’s got to be specific, it’s got to be measurable, it’s got to be achievable, it’s got to be relevant, and it’s got to be timely. So you’ve got to put a time on it.

We do these things every day, so you’ve just got to make sure that it’s relevant to you and that you’re very specific. “I want to get rich.” That’s not a goal. You’ve got to put a dollar amount on it, and you’ve got to make sure that that dollar amount can be achieved.

Same as with setting a holiday. If you say, “This is where I want to go.” That’s very specific. When do you want to go? How much is it going to be? Are you going to be able to save that much money to get there in that time? Because you want to achieve the goal. You don’t want to set it so high that you can’t achieve it.

I mean, sure, it’s great to have a long-term stretch goal, that big, hairy audacious goal. Yep, absolutely have that, but just have some smaller goals along the way so that, as you achieve those, you’ve got a little feeling of accomplishment and that you’ve achieved something thing.

I kind of liken setting goals to when you’re going on a road trip for the first time. So you’re visiting a new friend or going to a new place, well, I look at the maps. And you’d look at the traffic and if there’s going to be school zones or what time of day you’re leaving, how much petrol you’ll need, snacks along the way. All that sort of stuff, you need to know and you need to plan for it. So the same can be said, I guess, for your life and setting your financial goals for that. Unless you plan for it, you’re just living day-to-day and not setting anything specific.

So let’s start with a short-term financial goal. So that can be, and I know not a lot of people have these, and it’s an emergency fund. So, if you don’t have three to six months of your wages saved up, it’s a really good time to start setting that goal for an emergency fund. I call it my holy shit fund, because what happens if holy shit happens and you need cash fast, you can’t work, your partner’s sick? Or, I’ve become a crazy cat lady. If one of my cats became sick, I would literally sell my soul to save them. And I never thought I’d say that. But you want to be able to have some money available if somebody or one of your fur babies needs some emergency care.

But I mean that can be anything. It could be paying off a credit card. You could have a credit card that you’ve had forever, you want to pay that off. That could be a short-term goal. Or even setting up a budget. That is a short-term financial goal. If you’ve never set up a budget before, that absolutely is a short-term financial goal. So short-term would be anywhere between now and six months, 12 months that you can save for.

So let’s talk about medium. I was going to say midterm, medium-term financial goals. So, they’re a little bit further into the future. And I mean, you don’t necessarily need to set these, but it’s something that you’d be able to reach in a matter of years. So that could be saving for a deposit for a home. You could need to have a certain percentage. If you’ve spoken to your mortgage broker, they may have said, “You need this much.” It could be paying off your student loans. So, it could be that.

I mean, if you’ve got personal loans that you’ve had for cars. I know I’ve had those in the past, many years ago, and you might want to set a goal to getting that paid off faster. It could be that you want to go and go back to university or to TAFE and do a course, and you might need to save for that. So that’s another medium-term goal. So you want to put that down on paper and some steps that you need for that.

Sorry. To backtrack a little bit, you can take small measurable actions as well. So, say if you did want to return and get to TAFE for education or to do a uni course. Research into that, how much it is, what are the steps you need to take to do that? So, starting to make it real and putting the plan into action can help as well.

So, long-term goals. Long-term goals are what we call the R word, retirement. I know, retirement, when you say that, people tune out because that’s an old person’s thing, but it’s actually not. It’s everybody’s thing. It’s just the word or the jargon, I guess, in the industry that we use, retirement. So I say that it’s my cocktail on the beach with the umbrella in it. That’s my goal, my long-term goal. I want to sit on a beach somewhere and just drink cocktails and not really give a shit about anything, apart from where my next drink’s coming from. It could be that you want to set your children up for a financial future.

Maybe you didn’t have wealth. I didn’t when I grew up. So that’s also been important for me, is to leave something and to be able to help our children. Because let’s face it, the cost of everything at the moment, if we can’t help them, then there’s no chance that they’re potentially ever going to be able to afford their own home.

So, to get started, it doesn’t have to be, there’s a million sheets that you can download online. I’ve got one which I will link for you. So, you just want to break them down. Think about what’s important to you. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It’s what’s important to you. That is the main thing, because it’s your goal and it’s your life.

And unless you plan for how you want it to turn out, you’re just going to continue living day-to-day, and you’re going to end up not working anymore. Your time working will be finished.

But hey, if you want to keep working for the rest of your life, that’s entirely up to you. If you do, we need to talk. So, that’s me for today.

Go set some goals.


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Kylie is the Yin to Anthony’s Yang.

With a Diploma in Financial Planning, she’s spent over 25 years in the financial services industry, using her knowledge and skills to successfully weave an adoration of style and travel, alongside business, into her life.

While Kylie brings experience and knowledge from brands like ANZ, HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch, she also brings heart and inspiration to Creo Wealth. This shows in how she manages the Creo Wealth team who feel appreciated by Kylie (oh, and Anthony too!)

But Kylie’s heart and inspiration doesn’t stop there. She’s a huge spender and certifiable shoe addict. This, along with her upbringing, means Kylie truly understands how hard it is to get in touch with your money story.

She’s on a mission to educate people to help them understand their money story. And then give them the tools to begin rewriting it. Kylie loves to use her stylish shoes to kick-start people’s confidence to set and reach their financial goals.

And the fun part for Kylie?

She always looks classy when she challenges Anthony for that last M&M.