Setting a new financial goal? Here are the 4 questions to ask yourself first.

Thanks to our brand partner, MONEYME

The thing about being an adult, is that often our dreams are rooted in the realm of finance.

Everything and anything we want in life, that we aspire to or hope to achieve in the short-term and the long-term, usually requires some money to make it happen. That’s just the tangible aspect. Alongside money, our hopes and dreams require some effort on our part. We need to be smart, stable, savvy. 

Watch: Trying to budget? Try the 50, 20, 30 rule. Story continues after video.

Video via Mamamia.

It’s often overwhelming when you have this grand plan, idea or goal you wish to achieve and you’re not 100 percent certain on the steps that will allow you to reach it. 

So when you set yourself up with some sort of financial plan, there are few key questions that you should ask yourself. In fact, I recommend starting with these four. 

1. How can I be saving more on the day-to-day?

Everyone has varied short-term financial goals they want to make happen, with the niggling question on how to fund them. Adopting smart and easy money hacks on the spending you're already doing everyday (on things like groceries, skincare and food delivery) can often make the biggest impact on reaching your savings goals quicker.

If you’re one to love a great deal when you see one, a handy option can be using the MONEYME Freestyle Virtual Card on your everyday spending. It's a credit card that gives you credit back offers on everyday items you’re already spending money on. It’s a virtual card – one you just add to your mobile wallet, and use like any other credit card – and gives you up to 40 per cent back on your purchases when you shop online at over 2,000 Aussie retailers (think your groceries at Woolies, your clothes at The Iconic, your devices at Apple etc).


One of its best features is that the money you earn from your everyday spending will arrive back in your account in a matter of days, rather than waiting weeks or months (hallelujah). 

This credit card is just really flexible. You can choose a credit limit that suits your needs and select no-fee options, plus you also get up to 55-days interest free on purchases, meaning you won’t pay any interest if you pay off your balance each month (big yay for that last one).

It’s a quick online application to get the Freestyle virtual card too and ready to use instantly once approved, so no staring out the window longingly for the postie.

This option can feel a lot less intimidating than other credit cards from the major banks too, are there are no lock-in contracts or hidden fees. Freestyle spreads minimum repayments over a maximum of 5 years, compared to banks that spread them over decades with more interest to pay.

Something to always keep in mind too: applying for loans and credit cards can both impact and rely on your credit score. I recommend getting a free credit score check (like the handy one on the MONEYME app) – and knowing where yours is sitting at before applying for anything. That way, you have a better understanding of your approval chances. Makes it a whole lot easier and takes out a lot of the fear or unknowns.


2. How much could I be saving from my income?

A ~very general~ rule of thumb is to live off of 80 percent of your income (50 per cent towards essentials, 30 for everyday spending) while saving 20 per cent away for rainy days and longer-term goals – but only if this is feasible (everyone’s circumstances are different). You want to ensure all of your bills and recurring expenses are covered, that you pay yourself enough funds to live comfortably within your means. 

Now, putting away too high of a portion of savings might mean you’re not giving yourself enough money to cover yourself day-to-day – and could result in the risk of transferring money back out of your savings account to compensate. It’s far more satisfying to watch it build up in the background, knowing it’ll be put to good use someday.

3. What's achievable for me in my timeframe?

This is where you can really map out your goals, when you're benchmarking your saving with a timeline. Are you wanting to start a new business venture in the coming months, or buy your next car? Maybe you’re wanting to renovate your outdated kitchen, grow your spending money for Europe next month, or have a destination wedding to attend next year. Whatever it may be, planning your saving tactics now against a concrete timeline will bring clarity on what's realistic.

Examine: is this achievable in the timeframe I'd like this to happen? What expected bills can I cut down on or scrap altogether, like streaming subscriptions or petrol usage? Analyse your income and outgoings, and list the small steps that it will take to get you there and tackle them one at a time. This sort of planning can help you map out the steps to achieve smaller, short-term goals that will help guide you to that big, glistening one in the future.


4. What do I want my future to look like?

So beyond this specific goal you might have in mind, what about your long-term future? Not just one decade on, but two, or maybe three. Have you thought about retirement? It’s important we think about our mid-range goals within the context of our lifelong ones. 

It’s absolutely something we avoid thinking about because it feels like, so far away. When something seems completely untouchable, it’s easy to assume we don’t need to put any thought into it just yet. But the boomers who have set themselves up and planned financially, are now living their best lives. If they had children, they’re likely out of the home by now. Maybe they sold off their long-time family home for something smaller, more rural or coastal. The dreams they always aspired to have arrived. Older age doesn’t have to be scary financially if we’re prepared for it.

When it comes to this lengthy style of thinking and planning, take into account your superannuation. Could you consolidate multiple funds you have into just having one, to save on fees? Think about the fund you want your super with and if it aligns with your values and future ideals. What about investments: do you have any, do you want any? This could all be the fuel that helps you arrive at your destination.

Check out MONEYME's Freestyle Virtual Card, a feature-packed card for interest-free terms, flexibility on your credit limit, and credit back offers at over 2,000 retailers with MONEYME Perks.

MoneyMe Financial Group Pty Ltd ACN 163 961 236 holds Australian credit licence number 442218.

Feature Image: Canva/Mamamia.

MONEYME is a digital lender and non-bank challenger offering a wide range of innovative credit products, including personal loans, car loans and credit cards. We're nothing like your traditional finance institution, and we don’t do paperwork, ATMs or brick and mortar stores. We know today's savvy consumers don't have time for outdated processes, so we create digital-first experiences that meet, and exceed, the expectations of Generation Now.