Life comes at you fast, and if you don’t set concrete goals for yourself, it’s easy to fall behind. This is especially the case when it comes to planning your finances. If you have certain benchmarks you’d like to hit in terms of savings and investment, it’s best to draw up an exact schedule for when you’ll hit them, and soon. Otherwise, you’re likely to lose sight of your long-term vision.

Did you have certain plans for what you wanted to accomplish financially, but you couldn’t pull them off? If so, don’t get discouraged – this is a common problem. The way to overcome it is to learn from your mistakes and do better next time.

In 2017, it’s time to put solid financial plans in place, then execute them. Here are three ideas.

1. Establish savings benchmarks and hit them

If you’ve set your sights on working with mortgage broking professionals and purchasing new property this year, the first step in that process is saving effectively. It’s not enough just to break even each month between your paycheck and your expenses; you have to stash some money away, if only a little each month.

Unfortunately, the majority of Australians are currently failing in that regard, according to research from Members Equity Bank. A recent study found that 53 per cent of Aussie households are failing to set a weekly or monthly budget. As a result, many fail to keep track of how much they’re spending, and they end up struggling to save.

“The key to getting ahead is tracking the real costs of your household expenses, setting a realistic budget and committing to every single detail, consistently,” said Nic Emery, head of deposits and transactional banking at Members Equity.

In the past, many Australians have struggled with this. The hope is that 2017 is the year they do better.

2. Set a target for your next investment

There are a lot of people out there who have resolved to take out property investment loans and begin investing soon. The problem though, according to FPAA research, is that not enough of them have specific plans in mind. The organisation found that 27 per cent of Australians did not invest as much in 2016 as they had hoped to.

Do you have a target for your next investment?Do you have a target for your next investment?

Often, the reason for this was the lack of a clear target. It’s a lot easier to save if you know what you’re saving for. If you set your sights on a specific house you want to buy, know how much that house is worth and know how to finance that purchase, the whole picture becomes a good deal clearer.

3. Learn how to plan your investing future

It’s possible that when it comes to your financial plans, the real problem is not a minor snag with saving or investing, but a fundamental flaw in your strategy. You might need an entirely new focus, or a different structure for the home loans that you’re taking out.

The best way to find this out for sure is to talk with mortgage brokers who have been through this process before and understand all the ins and outs. You can contact a Smartline Mortgage Adviser on 13 14 97 for mortgage advice. Or complete our call request form and we’ll call you!