lifestyle

The 4 life goals of smart women and how to nail them.

Westpac
Thanks to our brand partner, Westpac

In Australia, we’ve got it pretty good.

We have the best beaches in the world. We have great lifestyles with long summers and short winters. We are relatively safe and healthy. And we have the Hemsworth brothers.

But our high cost of living and red-hot property market means we often struggle to reach our individual goals – especially when those goals involve money.

Recently though, I’ve discovered there are ways that you can actually achieve your life goals, even when they seem out of reach.

Here’s how.

1. Go travelling once a year.

I try to go on at least one big holiday a year because travelling is my passion. But it’s also a huge cash thief.

To save I try to eat at home as much as possible – but I make it an event. I’ll invite friends over and get everyone to pitch in, or I’ll cook up something big, filling and cheap on a Sunday that will give me lunch for the whole week.

Related: Rich history, incredible food, spectacular scenery: A traveller’s guide to Turkey.

I don’t go on massive spending sprees either. I wait for clothing sales to come up or I hit my closest op-shops to grab cheap, trendy clothes.

I also try and have an idea of where I want to go at the start of the year, because mentally planning a dream holiday makes it easier to reign in my spending.

2. Climb up the career ladder.

I am a career-orientated person and I am constantly setting myself new goals at work.

I do this by building a target plan – aiming to achieve everything on the list within three months. If I manage to accomplish all of these I will meet with my boss, highlight what I have achieved and make sure my manager is always aware of my capabilities and where my next challenges lie.

Related: Feel like a pay rise? Chances are you probably deserve one.

The main tip for achieving your work goals is hard work and communication. Your manager is not a mind reader, so I always make sure to organise regular catch-ups to ensure my manager knows where I would like to be heading and get help on how I can get there in a reasonable time. It sounds simple, but it works.

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Never be afraid to ask for a pay rise, either. The people who get them are often the people who have the nerve to ask for them, so take a deep breath and speak up.

3. Save money instead of spending it all.

The best ‘get rich quick scheme’ is to spend less than you earn. I’m not very good with numbers, but I have many little tricks that I use to help me with finances.

I make sure to never make rash expensive purchases, and I also split my bank accounts into an everyday account and a savings account. On payday I pop my savings away immediately and know I have the rest to spend.

There are also many great budgeting apps out there. I have one and I enter in every dollar I spend. Seeing my spending habits right in front of me makes everything clear and transparent – it’s how I realised I needed to kick my daily and expensive coffee habit, for example.

4. Buying a home.

My next life goal is to buy a home, and until now I’ve been put off by how confusing the process seems, and by the fear that I’ll be paying it off for the rest of my life.

But I’ve done my research, and according to Westpac’s Head of Home Ownership, Melanie Evans, there are many ways to own your home sooner, such as utilising an offset account, being smart with your credit card, making repayments more often, cutting down on unnecessary expenses, paying a little more than necessary each month and asking for help if needed.

“There is so much to know and do when it comes to purchasing a home, but it’s ok to ask for help. Home loans can be complex, and speaking to a financial expert early on could assist in helping you understand some of the intricacies of the process that could help you own your home sooner,” she says.

What is your top life goal at the moment?

And once you achieve that last goal, here are some interior design goals to get cracking on…

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