How to Set and Track Your Wealth Goals for Financial Success in 2023

Alevin Chan

Alevin Chan

Last updated 08 February, 2023

Achieving your wealth goals requires discipline and hard work. But that doesn't mean it has to be terrible – not if you understand and follow these principles.

We all want to be that little bit (or maybe a lot) more successful, especially when it comes to our finances. The thing is, financial success means different things to different people, which is why strategies, tips or hacks that work for your cousin may not work for you.

But yet, realising that we all have different definitions, goals, objectives and pathways is a crucial first step that will set you on the right path to achieving financial success.

So here’s how you can really set and track your wealth goals for financial success in 2023.

First, start by understanding where you want to go

It’s not enough simply to say “I wish I was richer”, or “I want to have more money,” or “I wish I didn’t have to work to pay the bills.”

When you make statements like that, all you’re doing is describing your current circumstances – i.e., not having enough money, or not being able to spend your day as you please.

Instead, you need to clearly define where you want to go.

Now, most of us have no trouble imagining the fabulous life we want to lead. But we either don’t believe it, don’t know how to get there, or don’t want to put in the necessary effort.

But that’s ok. This isn’t about belief, and if you don’t know how to get there, there are plenty of resources you can tap into, from books to webinars to personalised coaching.

What’s left is effort, another way of saying, “It’s up to you”. But to start with, we need to define where we want to go, and we need to do better than “anywhere but here.”

So, you want a million dollars? Ok, set that as your goal. Or maybe you simply want to get out of debt, increase your savings, start an investment portfolio, save up for your home renovation, etc.

Whatever it is, create your wealth goal by stating clearly where you want to be.

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Next, make your wealth goal SMART

 

Once you’ve come up with your wealth goal, you need to sharpen and improve it to be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.

  • Specific: How much money do you want to save or invest? Or how much debt do you want to clear? How large of a retirement nest egg do you want? You need clarity in order to understand what you actually need to do.

  • Measurable: Is your goal measurable in an objective and quantifiable manner? This means no such thing as “I feel I have less debt now” – is your credit card balance smaller than last month, and the month before that?

  • Achievable: Goals must be achievable; if they are not, they are fantasies. Is your wealth goal realistic, and do you have a reasonable chance to achieve it? What tweaks or changes will make your goal achievable?

  • Relevant: Why have you chosen this wealth goal, and how does it fit into the big picture? For instance, if your goal is to save money for downpayment on your flat, then taking an education loan to further your qualifications to eventually improve your career prospects probably isn’t the most efficient way of going about it. You will be better off saving more, or setting up a side hustle to increase your income.

  • Time-bound: And the final piece is your wealth goal must have a deadline, and the more defined the better. Vague deadlines like “this year” or “by December” won’t cut it. Instead, you need to commit to clear and specific durations, such as “Setting up my investment portfolio by 15 April 2023”.

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Then, break it down into a workable plan

After you have come up with your wealth goal and refined it using the SMART checklist, the next step is to break it down into a workable plan.

This will be easier than it sounds, as most of the work would already have been done in the previous two steps.

Making a plan to achieve your wealth goal is simply listing down the steps and tasks you need to perform and by when.

This is also where you break down your final goal into smaller ones which are meant to be achieved on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

For example, if your wealth goal is to raise a S$40,000 home renovation fund over the next 20 months, you will need to set aside at least S$2,000 each month. Or S$500 every week. So, how are you going to make it happen?

However you go about achieving this – the steps and actions you need to take, whether it be splitting off that amount from your paycheck each month, or taking on two extra clients each week, etc – that’s what the plan is.

Related to this topic: Personal Finance Planning 2023: 7 Financial Things To Do This Year

Now, work the plan (and track your progress)

By now, what you have done is defined your wealth goal, ensured it is achievable and valid, and have worked out the exact tasks you need to do and the exact steps you need to take.

You’re now finally ready to take action.

Work the plan by doing the actions and taking the steps you have set out. This will take discipline, commitment and sacrifice, and you will likely discover things that you don’t like about yourself.

Hey, no one said it would be easy, but you know what? That’s how you achieve your wealth goals – by getting clear about what it would take, and by being willing to do what it takes.

If renovating your home in 2 years' time requires you to put aside S$2,000 every month starting tomorrow, then that’s what you need to do. How simple or difficult you make it is entirely up to you.

Now, that makes it sound like achieving your goals is gonna be arduous. Well that’s why it's important to track your progress.

When you see yourself getting closer and closer to achieving your wealth goal, you’ll start to have more and more motivation and drive to keep going.

Refine and repeat until you get to the finish line

But what if you’re falling short and can’t keep up? It simply means you need to make some tweaks.

If it is impossible to set aside $2,000 a month, then could you wait longer to renovate your home or opt for a lower budget?

Or, if putting S$500 each month into clearing your credit card debt is causing you to have to skip meals, lower your monthly repayments to S$400, and tell yourself to practise financial discipline until you pay off your debt.

Here’s the crux – all too often, we fail at achieving our wealth goals because we aren’t willing to do what it takes. But it’s also easy to fail by making things too difficult for ourselves.

The secret is to find a sweet spot, where you’re steadily working towards your wealth goal in small but important steps, but doing so breezily enough that you’re cruising by, almost on autopilot.

Until one day, you’re suddenly – and finally – there.

Read these next:

How To Plan And Achieve Your Financial Goals For 2023

Money Confessions: Top 5 Personal Finance Goals SS Staffers Aim To Check Off 

Q2 Financial Check-In: Am I On Track For My Financial Goals?

An ex-Financial Planner with a curiosity about what makes people tick, Alevin’s mission is to help readers understand the psychology of money. He’s also on an ongoing quest to optimise happiness and enjoyment in his life.

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