When making your New Year’s resolutions, commit to setting and achieving some of these examples of short-term financial goals.
As the clock strikes midnight and we step into 2024, it’s a chance to hit the reset button. Forget the typical New Year’s resolutions that often involve giving up things we enjoy.
Instead, let’s focus on something specific and rewarding this year—setting short-term financial goals you can achieve!
Knowing your financial goals is the first step to accomplishing them.
Financial goals can be grouped into three categories based on the time it takes to achieve them.
1. Long-Term Financial Goals:
These financial goals, taking more than 5 years to achieve, such as attaining financial independence and stability, home ownership, starting a family, and more.
Other examples include saving for retirement, paying off your mortgage, or funding a child’s education.
2. Medium-Term Financial Goals:
These are financial goals you can achieve within 5 years. They include saving for a down payment on a house, paying off loans, or starting your own business.
3. Short-Term Financial Goals:
Short-term financial goals are goal you can achieve within a year.
These could be clearing your overdraft, paying off credit card debt, building an emergency fund, or saving up for a summer vacation.
Short-term financial goals are crucial to financial success because they accelerate progress towards your long-term goals.
Other examples of short-term financial goals include paying off debts, buying a home, saving for travel, or starting a business.
By focusing on short-term financial goals, like getting out of debt, you not only enhance your financial well-being but also fast-track your journey to long-term goals like homeownership.
Spring clean your finances by committing to some of these short-term financial goals. It’s not just about improving your financial situation; it’s about making a significant, tangible difference in your financial life.
Let’s make this New Year the year we take control of our financial destiny!
15 Examples of Short-Term Financial Goals You Can Set
If you decide to tackle your finances head-on with these 15 short-term financial goals, you’ll see a real and meaningful improvement in your financial life.
1. Declutter Your Life and Your Mind
No one thrives in chaos. It’s time to get organised this New Year. A great way to get organised is by selling off unwanted items.
I’m going to sort out my wardrobe and the various unsorted boxes and drawers of goodness knows what, and eBay everything I no longer need.
If it doesn’t sell, I’ll send it to the charity shop so at least it is doing good.
I’m going to take the same approach to my mind, putting aside time each day for meditation, so I can think clearly and will feel less stressed and chaotic.
To declutter your mind, you have to become intentional on where you place your attention and how you spend your time and energy, because it’s lack of clarity that creates chaos and frustration.
Put aside time each day for meditation so you can think clearly and will feel less stressed – it’ll give you the much-needed breathing space to start the New Year afresh.
At the same time, clear out the things you don’t use or need from your home and office, selling them on eBay, taking them to the charity shop, or sending them for recycling.
You’ll be amazed by how much more powerful and in control you feel in an environment you’ve consciously curated.
2. Pay Off Any Bad Debts
Bad debt ties you down, not just financially but psychologically as well: it’s like a weight around your neck. Commit to setting yourself free from the shackles of debt this New Year.
Prioritise paying off credit cards and any other loans with high interest rates. By reducing interest payments, you will have more free cash with which to pay down everything else.
In fact, no modern convenience has threatened our financial security like credit card.
Tackling bad debt will have a positive impact on your credit rating, opening up your options and reducing your monthly outgoings.
Do you want to get out of debt but not sure where to start?
I got out of over £32k in debt, let me show you how to do the same and stay debt-free with my step by step guide on How to Get Out of Debt and Stay Out and Stay Out Once and For All.
3. Maximise your ISA Allowance
An ISA is a savings account where you can save or invest money without paying tax on the return you make on your investment.
You don’t need a large amount of money to open an ISA: you can start a regular savings plan from as little as £25, and you have the option to divide your money between a cash ISA, a stocks and shares ISA, or an innovative finance ISA.
Maximising your ISA allowance in a stocks and shares is a smart financial goal because it makes your money work harder for you: the interest rates are typically higher than in a savings account, and with a Help to Buy or Lifetime ISA (LISA), the government chips in a bonus, too. You’ll therefore reach your savings goals much faster.
4. Know Your Net Worth and Keep Track of Your Expenses
- How much are you worth?
- What do you spend?
If you have no idea, it’s time to track your net worth and finances. Tracking where your money goes is a key part to taking charge of your finances.
Your net worth is your assets minus your liabilities.
You know how they say, what gets measured gets managed. My Financial Success Planner can help you calculate and track your net worth so you can get your finances back on track.
Knowledge is power, as they say, and with this information you’ll not only be able to see where you can make additional savings (or treat yourself!) but also be able to chart your progress and feel a sense of achievement.
5. Update Your Career Goals to Reflect Where You Want to Be
Where do you want to be by the end of this year? Set your professional goals now and it’ll give you the direction and focus you need to keep going when things get tough.
Many of us want to boost our income: that’s a logical, smart financial goal.
If it’s on your agenda too, specify the steps you’re going to take, be it negotiating a salary raise, applying for a promotion, pitching for bigger contracts, or starting a small business on the side.
The steps you decide on might seem small, but collectively they’ll have a much more significant, positive impact on your bank balance by the end of the year.
6. Check and Improve Your Credit Report
Your credit score is like the monster under the bed. If you square up to it and shine a light on it this year, it will look an awful lot less intimidating, and will cease to be a monster at all!
Your credit score reflects your credit history, which companies look at to help them decide if you’re a reliable borrower. It explains how banks and other lenders see you.
If you understand this, and follow these tips to improve your credit score throughout the year, your credit score will gradually get better, and that makes it easier (and cheaper) to get credit as and when you need it.
Your credit score is based on your financial behaviour, so you have the power to change it. The higher it is, the better your chances of borrowing money at the best rates. You can check your score for free here.
Don’t hide from your credit score: engage with it. 12 months is sufficient time to see a noticeable improvement, to move up from “Poor” to “Fair”, or even to “Good”!
7. Build an Emergency Fund for Rainy Days
Not everything is going to go to plan this New Year: that’s life. But you can start preparing financially for unexpected troubles, so that money needn’t be one of your worries.
You can then concentrate your energy on your health, family, job hunt, or whatever else it is you need to do.
The easiest way to starting building your emergency fund is with an automatic savings app such as Plum and Money Box.
Plum monitors your income and outgoings to calculate for you how much you can afford to save each month, while Moneybox rounds up your spending to the nearest pound and saves the difference in a designated account.
The good news is that automatic savings apps help you save money, even when you’re not thinking about it. These apps take the effort out of creating a rainy day pot; you can sit back and watch it grow, enjoying the peace of mind.
8. Negotiate Your Bills
Are you getting the very best deal you can from your utility providers? Probably not!
This New Year, make it one of your smart financial goals to be more proactive in sourcing new deals and negotiating discounts from existing service providers.
Using price comparison sites, such as MoneySupermarket to get an idea of what deals are out there, but do follow up with a call to your own service provider.
Explain that you’re considering switching, and ask them if they can match or beat their competitors’ price.
Even if you only shave a few pounds a month off each bill, by the time you multiply that across broadband, electricity, gas, your mobile phone etc. it quickly adds up. And you’ll refine your negotiating skills, too!
9. Review Your Recurring Bills
Internet banking is incredibly convenient, but because of that we’re not always on top of what goes out every month.
Are you paying for Netflix subscription you don’t use? Is there an old direct debit you’ve forgotten about?
It’ll take just 10 minutes to check the recurring payments on your bank account online. Highlight anything you no longer need or want, and cancel it.
Then check when your other payments are due for renewal, and make a note in your diary to negotiate a loyalty discount or change supplier using MoneySupermarket.
10. Look for Creative Ways to Reduce Your Expenses
Get creative about cutting your outgoings this New Year. This doesn’t mean that you have to go without: far from it.
Rather, find clever ways to get the same thing for less money – think and spend your money smarter so that it goes further.
Shopping around for better deals will certainly help, as will initiatives such as car sharing, using the Uber Pool rather than riding alone, making a packed lunch rather than buying one, and using a refillable coffee cup at work.
All of these things take a little thought but very little effort, and collectively the savings across the year all will add up.
In many cases you’ll also be having a positive environmental impact so it really is a win-win situation.
11. Educate Yourself Financially
One of the most valuable smart financial goal you can set this New Year is to educate yourself financially.
Put time aside to become better informed. With the right information, you’ll not only feel more confident but also make better choices about how you spend, save, and invest your money.
You can learn the basics online: Explore our wide variety of articles, tools & resources to help you get started.
If you need more detailed guidance, you might also consider my personal financial coaching, speak with a qualified financial advisor or joining our new Facebook Group and connect with like-minded women.
Learning together provides great motivation for sticking at it, and it also can broaden your social life.
13. Make Your Money Work Harder for You
You have to have lots of money to invest, right? Wrong!
A new generation of online investment platforms and micro investing apps such as Wealthsimple and MoneyBox make it possible to invest even tiny sums, and also give you the benefit of professional fund managers’ expertise.
It really is a smart financial goal to start investing this year. If your money just sits in a savings account, the interest rate will be miniscule, not even ahead of inflation.
Investing online is not without its risks, but if you choose a FCA regulated platform and invest only what you can afford to lose, you can quickly create a diversified portfolio and generate good returns.
14. Review Your Insurance Regularly
Travel insurance, phone insurance, car insurance, contents insurance… insurance is an essential part of modern life.
This year, consolidate as many of your policies as possible with a single service provider to get the best deal.
Shop around, haggle with service providers to ensure they’re applying all possible discounts to your quote, and also check out the premium account options with your bank.
Although there is usually a small monthly fee, premium accounts often include insurance products for free, as well as other benefits such as access to a designated account manager or lower interest rates.
15. Create A Workable Budget
Budgeting doesn’t have to be a painful experience. In fact, it can be liberating as you’ll see plenty of places where you can save a little, and over the course of the year these small sums add up.
The easiest way to start budgeting is to focus on your long-term goals, take it one step at a time and not worry about being perfect.
If you’ve a friend in a similar financial situation, why not pair up and become budget buddies?
Be sure to include rewards in your plan — whether it’s a meal out or a holiday with friends — to encourage you to stay motivated and work towards specific goals.
16. Create A Financial Plan for the Year Ahead
Starting the way you mean to go on, create a plan for your money. Incorporate your budget and lay out where and how you going to spend, save, and invest it this year.
It is possible to do this in a notebook or on an Excel spreadsheet, but it is far easier to use our Financial Success Planner. Print it out and put it somewhere you’ll look at it often, to remind you what you are doing and why.
17. Start a Side Hustle
A side hustle is like a job or business you do on the side while keeping your regular full-time job. You might do it in the evenings, weekends, or whenever you have some free time.
Side hustles come in different shapes and forms, like freelancing, consulting, starting a small business, or doing gig work.
The idea is to earn extra money alongside your main income and, sometimes, to follow a passion that could become a full-time thing later on.
A side hustle boosts your income, lets you learn new skills, and could turn your passions into profits. It’s like a financial safety net that brings satisfaction and control to your life.
Thanks to my side hustles, I knocked out a £32k debt in just two years!
Ready to make your money dreams a reality this year?
If you’re eager to take charge and reach your financial goals, our Financial Success Planner is the perfect kickstart!
This planner is your companion in discovering what truly matters to you in terms of money.
It guides you in setting long-term goals and breaks down those big aspirations into short term manageable monthly and weekly goals and action plan, seamlessly integrating them into your daily routine.
You’ve read our examples of short-term financial goals you can set this New Year. Which ones of them are you going to adopt? What do you want to achieve by the end of the year? This New Year is in your hands!
You Might Also Like
10 New Year’s Resolutions That Will Change Your Finances
6 Simple Changes That Will Yield Big Results for Your Finances This New Year (+ Free Printable)
How to Set Financial Goals You can Actually Achieve
- Love on a Budget: 12 Budget-Friendly Valentine’s Day Ideas - February 8, 2024
- Mastering Your Finances: How to Budget and Save (Even on a Low Income) - January 31, 2024
- Money Mindset: How to Change Your Mindset for Financial Success - November 28, 2023