Give yourself the headstart, set your new year financial goals now!


The new year always brings about renewed hope and excitement for the year. For many, this is the time to set new year’s resolution or goals. For example, at the beginning of 2019, one of my goals was to run at least 1, 000km for the year and because I have never considered myself a runner, I had to come up with a plan to achieve my goal. I calculated that if I ran at least 5 km for 4 days of the week, I would certainly reach my goal by December.

This year, instead of setting goals at the beginning of the year, why not give yourself a head start by writing down your financial goals now for the new year? This can positively affect your spending habits throughout the festive season. By thinking about your financial goals now, it can put you in the right mindset about the choices you will make during the holidays.

How many of us take the time to set measurable and time-bound financial goals? I often hear people say their goal is to get out of debt, for example, but that same person is not clear about how much debt they actually have. They don’t know how much interest they are being charged on their debts, nor do they have a clear idea how they are going to rework their budget to pay extra money into their debt.

Financial goals must be S.M.A.R.T (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound). In this way, the task ahead of you does not seem impossible.

I often ask my audience if they set financial success as part of their goals. This means working on better financial habits overall. Spend less than you earn, saving some money and enjoying what is left.

So, how do you give yourself a head start so that your overall finances improve in the year 2020? Here’s how:

  • Review your 2019

    Reviewing our money patterns can tell us a lot about our habits and how we handle money. It can show us our spending triggers and help us to avoid them in the future. This is the time to review all your statements, like your savings and investments, insurance, loans and other debts.
  • Set specific goals

    If, for example, you want to increase your net worth (assets – liabilities), you could say: I will pay down my debt by at least 40% by 31-11-2020 and I will achieve this by directing funds from my eating out budget to accelerate my goal. This goal is specific, time-bound and has an action plan on how you will go about achieving the goal.
  • Save

    Savings give us a sense of freedom. It starts with the belief that, no matter what comes your way, you will still be financially fit. That is why opening an account with the best bank to save money is important. For example, with MyWORLD, you can automate your savings through online banking by creating a debit order for your savings. This offers convenience and SA’s best interest rate on any positive bank balance.

The road to financial freedom can be a challenging one, but if you set goals that inspire you, you can achieve it.

Up Next

How to save money monthly
Many people are unsure of the best way to save money. As a result they’re not saving smartly, or not saving at all. Follow this guide on how to save money monthly.

Publish Date: 07/03/2019
Read more
Budgeting is as easy as 50/20/30
While most people know that a budget is necessary, many simply don’t know how to put one together. We’re here to tell you, drawing up a budget isn’t as confusing as you think it is.

Publish Date: 19/03/2020
Read more
Investing in women: An African Bank priority
Many women are now the main breadwinners in their families and form the support structures of their communities.

Publish Date: 01/12/2017
Read more
Three types of credit card fraud – and how to protect yourself
Read this blog post to familiarize yourself with these scams and know how to protect yourself.

Publish Date: 17/04/2018
Read more
Know your rights when applying for a loan
With times being so tough for many consumers, applying for a loan could give you the means to change your circumstances.

Publish Date: 17/04/2018
Read more

About African Bank

Our mission is to be a successful Retail Bank offering a wide range of products and services to the consumers of South Africa. The people who work for African Bank represent the diverse population of South Africa; therefore we are a reflection of you, of all South Africans. We seek to provide value - more than our consumers expect of us. We promise to live our purpose 'humanity through banking' in all that we do and we are confident that we can, because 'We are You'.