How to set financial goals based on your personality
3 min | 1 August 2022
When you combine goal-setting tools with a better understanding of what makes you tick, you're more likely to achieve your financial goals.
Many of us know that visualisation can help us achieve our goals. But did you know that having a vision for your finances can help you manage your money better?
A study from Stirling University found that people who set financial goals are more successful with their cash.
Business coach, Polly Arrowsmith, says it's easier to motivate yourself if you have a target.
"You have to have a big enough reason why," she explains. "If there is no purpose set, you have no motivation."
Here’s how to find your ‘why’, make it into a ‘how’ and then a ‘now’.
What’s a SMART saving plan?
Business practice dictates that targets must be SMART. Good money goals follow the same pattern:
- Specific – to save enough for a car or holiday or to clear your credit card, rather than something vague
- Measurable – break the sum down into monthly chunks so you can see how much progress you are making
- Achievable – try to avoid setting a fairytale sum: make it a target you can hit
- Realistic – go through your monthly budget and check that you can still pay the bills
- Timely – set yourself a time limit to achieve your objective, and assess it regularly
How personality traits influence financial goals
As you work towards your goals, your mind may try to sabotage your progress. Money mindset mentor, Emma Gosling, says that guilty and complex feelings from childhood can make us overspend, or even lend money we can't afford.
"Working to improve your self-worth and examining your subconscious beliefs about what you deserve can help you to feel more comfortable about having money, talking about it and managing it better," she says.
Apps can reward spenders to save
Those who enjoy instant gratification could try gamification. A study from Bayes Business School found that using apps with elements from video games – such as badges, leader boards and progress bars – made people almost 20% more likely to hit a financial goal.
How to save automatically if you're disorganised
Automated saving means you won’t miss a payment. Set up a separate savings account for your goal and channel a standing order into it on payday or, if you're paying off a credit card, set up a Direct Debit.
How to track your saving targets if you love detail
Use a spreadsheet to keep track of your progress towards your goal. Or try the kakeibo method, which allows you to control how much you spend and save.
Steps to better money management when you’re neurodiverse
The tips above may help you to save efficiently. For more specific help, read on how being neurodiverse can affect your pocket.
How to achieve financial goals consistently
Once you’ve hit a financial goal, don’t stop there. You can use what you’ve learned to continue to motivate yourself towards the next one.