“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” might sound like something an ‘influencer’ might glibly post online to motivate their audience, but it is a quote credited largely to Winston Churchill early last century, and possibly uttered by Benjamin Franklin way back in 1790.

And it has stood the test of time.

Planning, and then implementing that plan, is the foundation of success; with small steps, taken consistently over a lifetime making a big difference.  So we all need a financial goal, or north star.  And what better time than the beginning of a new financial year to consider our goals, or reflect to see whether we are still on track.

Whatever your financial goal, make it SMART:

S Specific
M Measurable
A Achievable
R Relevant
T Time-based


What actually is your goal?  Be as Specific as possible, which will allow you to Measure your progress towards achieving it.  On that note, it needs to be Achievable!  “I want to be richer than Elon Musk” is a nice ambition, but perhaps, “I want to pay for an upcoming holiday using only my own cash” is more realistic.  Ensure the goal is Relevant to you, so you can remain committed to it.  And finally, making it Time-based enables you to track your progress, and keeps you accountable against the given timeframe.

Once you have outlined your goals, consider some simple steps towards achieving them:


Check your Budget

Budgeting is the fundamental building block to wealth planning.  Understand what comes in, and what goes out, and what can be allocated to savings or investment.  It can sound daunting, however there are some excellent tools online, including the Australian Government’s Moneysmart website which offers a budget planning tool to track your expenses over a year, and see if you finish each year ahead or behind.


Check your Outgoings

Budgeting is good in theory, but how is your spending in practice?  If you have online banking, there are usually some tools available that will show you where you are spending your money.  It can be surprising!  If you don’t have one already, it’s useful to make a list of your outgoings to track your spending over time, and feed that information back into your budget calculations.

The second part of checking your outgoings is to look at utilities and other fixed costs.  Are you on the best value offerings for phone and internet, insurances, and other ongoing costs?  Little wins can add up, and switching to better value offerings are sure ways to release additional income each month.

Is your money working harder for you?

If your budgeting and outgoings are in order, hopefully you will have identified capacity to save or further build your wealth.  As you’ve worked hard for your money, your money should be working hard for you.  Consider ongoing savings and investment plans which align with your time-based plans, and of course, only those which align with your appetite for risk.

You should also consider your superannuation.  Consider consolidating if you have multiple accounts, and understand if your fund is performing, and aligned with your risk profile.


Build your financial knowledge

Whether it’s readjusting your budget to meet cost of living pressures, planning for a holiday, or taking steps to ensure a desirable retirement lifestyle is met, we each have our individual financial goals.  And, if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.

Embrace the process and along the way take steps to build your own financial knowledge.  This can be obtaining information and resources from reputable sources such as the MoneySmart website.  There are a wide range of financial literacy sites that offer insights and updates.  You might also consider seeking personal financial advice to really make sure you are on the right path, and stay on track.

Whatever your financial new year resolutions, La Trobe Financial is looking out for you.  If you would like to learn more about our range of investment offerings, contact our Asset Management Team on 1800 818 818.

Any financial product advice is general only and has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should, before investing or continuing to invest in the La Trobe Australian Credit Fund & La Trobe US Private Credit Fund, consider the appropriateness of the advice having regard to your objectives, financial situation or needs and obtain and consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement for the fund.

La Trobe Financial Asset Management Limited ACN 007 332 363 Australian Financial Services Licence No. 222213 is the responsible entity of the La Trobe US Private Credit Fund ARSN 677 174 382. It is important that you consider the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) when deciding whether to invest or continue to invest in the fund. The PDS and Target Market Determination are available on our website.

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

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