2020 Goal Setting vs Goal Kicking: Five ways to win

I get an influx of clients with optimism and determination booking appointments at the start of every year. They plan to buy an investment property, or help get kids into their first property, and couples start getting serious about a first home purchase. You are likely to get the same sort of enquiry at the beginning of every year. Clients and customers who have had time to reflect on things over the festive break, and come back in January motivated with some big goals too. Research shows that although many people make a New Year's resolution, only 14 per cent stick to it, with 55 percent giving up before March! 

Studies show that financial resolutions seem to be easier to stick to. Kiwis believe it’s easier to pay down debt and save more than to lose weight or give up smoking. Shockingly, come the start of February (according to NewsHub) a quarter of gym goers have thrown in the towel and half of smokers have lit back up. 

So how can we help more of our clients achieve their financial New Year’s resolution?

1. Make it visible. Write the goal down, and break it into monthly and weekly and daily increments. Then display it somewhere visible and accessible in their house. Seeing is believing!

2. Give it an address. Ensure there’s a location for the savings or debt repayments to be directed, set that up in the first few weeks of the year. Whether it’s an account, an app, a credit card that’s been literally frozen (in a freezer, trust me, this works!), or an automatic payment to kiwisaver.  Set up the framework early and make sure they automate what they can.

3. X-ray of 2019. Where did they spend? What did they spend? What themes and costs can be eliminated or reduced? Pulling out your client’s bank accounts and doing a transparent review of incomings and outgoings for the year past will allow you and them to identify and reverse costs that will become hurdles to achieving their financial resolutions. Compare actual to budget for the year, and examine where things went wrong, quite often budgets hide in the bottom drawer never to be seen again.  

4. Individual accounts. Creating separate accounts in line with your client’s objectives can be useful: a travel account, a savings account, a home deposit account and a separate shopping account if they are a self-confessed chronic shopper. . .

5. Consolidating debts. Many homeowners will resolve to pay down their home loan. This can be achieved by direct debiting a little extra from their salary or by setting up automatic payments. But in this competitive time of low rates, they might have the opportunity to refinance and save with lower interest rates. Credit card debts, too, are a common resolution topic. There’s a real opportunity for turning those debts into personal loans or consolidating them into the home loan, (if the credit card is no longer needed). Of course, as always, I can help you with any of your client’s debt related or borrowing needs. 

Let’s get our clients kicking goals in 2020!