Five Proven New Year Goals For Financial Success - Twenties

Five Proven New Year Goals For Financial Success - Twenties

Try to save something while your salary is small; it’s impossible to save after you begin to earn more.
— Jack Benny

The New Year resolution and goals have become so clichéd. With most of these goals quickly discarded before the end of the first month.

However, I believe there is power in at least trying to follow a different path of self-improvement and ultimately better living. Resolutions and goals are usually varied and cuts across different areas of your life. So my focus will be to help you set the financial aspect of your goals.

The financial priorities we place on certain things vary based on our age and phase of life which is why I will be running a four part series to help with setting your financial goes if you are in your

  • Twenties

  • Thirties, and

  • Forties

I believe these four groups of ages are quite unique when it comes to financial matters. Before we go into goals for the specific age bands, it is worth noting that to truly monitor and achieve your goals then it has to be SMART. By this I mean it has to be Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Reasonable and Timely. Basically you don’t want something wooly and difficult to judge if you have acheievd it or not.

Now that we are aware of all these, let’s kick off with Five Proven New Year Goals For Financial Success - Twenties

If you are in your twenties, you are probably

  • Still living at home

  • Starting your career or an entrepreneurial path

  • Completely weighed down by student loans and other debts that may have helped you through University

  • Starting to think about owning your own place someday

These things should form the basis for your financial goals.

I remember vividly after my graduation from university over a decade ago, I had to move back home before finding a job. Once i got a job I could not wait to leave home as I longed for the independence i had whilst in university accommodations.

At the top of my list of priorities as a twenty three year old back then was to have my own place. I pretty much saved and invested a significant proportion of my salary to achieve this goal. Therefore I highly recommend that saving and investing forms part of your financial goals in your twenties.

Goal #1 - Start investing for retirement

Whilst retirement may feel like a very long way away, contributing early into a pension will give enough time for your contributions, your employer contributions and tax benefits to compound into a very good retirement fund. In some cases, the benefits from tax exemption and employer contributions gives you an additional 70% over your initial contribution.

I talk more about saving for retirement and how to get more free money for your pension here. You may argue that your focus is on saving for a property like I did. However, I believe you can do both. If you want to know more about how this can be achieved then get in touch.

If you are still not convinced then let me leave you with some numbers. Assume you have a salary of £30,000 which increases at 3% a year. You contribute 3% of your salary to your retirement, 2% from your employer and tax exempt benefits. If these investments grow at 5% a year, then after forty years you would expect to have built a pension pot of about £150,000.

Goal #2 - Start a regular investing

Most of us feel more comfortable in saving into our bank accounts and not in investing into the financial markets (stocks, shares, bonds and other investments). It is important to note that whilst savings accounts feel safer, the interest rate earned for keeping you hard earned cash in such bank accounts are usually low.

In fact your money is expected to grow slower than the rate at which property prices or general prices of goods (inflation) rises.

As such, It’s important to invest in the financial markets in order to achieve higher returns over the long run. I suggest you invest regularly to average out the cost of buying into your investments. This minimises chances of investing at the “wrong” time. By wrong time I mean buying into investments when the market is most expensive. I talk more about regular investing here.

There are so many options and platforms for investing and a list of some are set out below

1. Wealthify

2. Nutmeg

3. Moneyfarm

4. Hargreaves Lansdown

5. Moneybox

The list above is not an exhaustive one and there are other reputable platforms out there.

Before you choose make sure their fees are transparent and reasonable, ask about customer service, also make sure they are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Finally, if property purchase is not your immediate goal then still maintain discipline of regular investing to help cover other projects or put you in a position to achieve financial stability or financial independence in a short time.

Goal #3 - Pay down your debt

You may have left university with credit card debt, bank loans, and of course student loans. With loans I usually focus on three things

  1. How efficiently can they be paid down?

  2. If for whatever reasons you can’t meet payment, what are the consequences?

  3. What impact it could have on your credit score

By thinking about these three points, it quickly emerges that the student loan (in the UK) should be a lower prioty as it’s not actually a loan but a tax on your future income once you earn above a certain threshold.

With UK “Student loans”, If you lose your job no one comes after you to repay it and it does not affect your credit rating or score. So, it’s important to gain control of other loans first like payday loans, credit card debt and bank loans.

One of our MoneyNoters shared their journey from the depths of debt which we hope will inspire you too.

Need practical steps to tackle your debt? Then let’s have a chat

Five Proven New Year Goals For Financial Success - Twenties - Pinterest

Goal #4 – Read five personal finance books this year

Books are a great way to kickstart resolve. A good book should challenge your preconceived ideas, inspire and hopefully get you motivated for your journey ahead.

So, if you have to read any personal finance books this year then I hugely recommend these five below. Some are classics you may have heard of before, but I recommend you revisit them.

Goal #5 – Start a side hustle

The main reason most people start a side hustle is to supplement their income and hopefully accelerate the pace at which they achieve their financial goals.

That was also my motive when I started tutoring on Saturday mornings after I had graduated. Four hours every Saturday morning gave me an additional £80 to spend every week on food and other items and really helped supplement my income.

However, I later realised that the benefits were way more than financial as I developed skills which were transferrable to my day job and really helped with my career.

  • Communications skills – Explaining complex ideas to my students in simple manner

  • Strategy and marketing – advertising and gaining customers for your side hustle

  • Time management – juggling your side hustle, a day job and your social life to achieve the best of all

There are a lot of side hustles you could explore to find which one which fits your lifestyle and skills. Side Hustle Nation has a pretty comprehensive list and I hope you find one or two ideas that work for you from the list.

Bringing it all together

So, there you have it.

I hope the five goals relisted below are consistent with your thoughts for your financial goals this year.

Goal #1 - Start investing for retirement

Goal #2 - Start a regular investing

Goal #3 - Pay down your debt

Goal #4 – Read five personal finance books this year

Goal #5 – Start a side hustle

If you would like a more in-depth and bespoke review of your financial goals for the year, then why not have a Money Chat with me. I will even help you review these goes come mid-year to help with accountability.

Good luck as you strive for better living.

Cyprian at MoneyNotes

A Pension Not Property Is best For Retirement

A Pension Not Property Is best For Retirement

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