Figuring out your financial goals

Updated: Nov 16, 2021

In three years from now, what would you like your financial life to look like?

Setting goals for what you want to achieve with your money can give you an actionable plan to follow and a reason to stay motivated. But which financial goals are the most important?

Here are a few financial goals to get you thinking about your financial bucket list.


Living within your means

Living within your means is about ensuring that you don’t spend more than what you earn each month. This may seem like a relatively small target to include on the list of your financial goals but it can have huge implications for your finances.

  • When you live within your means and follow a budget each month — you don’t overspend.

  • When you don’t overspend — you don’t incur a load of debt.

  • When you’re not bogged down with debt payments each month — you have money that you can use to pursue your other life and financial goals.


Be prepared for financial emergencies

Even if you live on a budget and carry a low amount of debt, you can’t predict life’s twists and turns. When an illness or injury leaves you unable to work in the short term your emergency fund can save the day.


Get out of debt

The great thing about this goal is that anyone can do it, regardless of income or wealth level. If you want to get the most out of your finances, looking at your debts is the best place to start.

Some reasons why it’s such a good idea to get out of debt as quickly as possible:

  • Getting out of debt means that you’ll have full control over your income — and that’s an incredible feeling.

  • It will leave you with more money for savings and investing — and even more for spending.

  • It will free your mind of the worry and stress that comes with debt


Plan for early retirement

The sooner you begin saving for retirement the better. This is because you have more time to take advantage of the power of compounding interest. Here’s why planning for retirement is crucial:

  • Poor health could make early retirement a necessity — if you’ve planned and prepared to retire early, then you will be ready.

  • Family circumstances often require more of your time. Early retirement will help you to prioritise these important commitments.


If you need immediate financial help and you’re in New Zealand, you can call the free financial helpline Moneytalks on 0800 345 123 or text 4029. Moneytalks connects people and whānau with their local foodbanks, helps them find their way through Work and Income processes and entitlements and supports people to manage their money.