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How to Set Personal Financial Goals in 2024

A powerful approach to articulating your goals is by creating a personal financial plan

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Ask any personal finance expert and they will emphasize the transformative power of setting clear goals and putting them in writing. A study conducted by Harvard Business School revealed that when students were asked if they had set clear, written goals for their future and made plans to accomplish them, only 3% of them had done so. Surprisingly, 13% had goals but had not written them down, while the remaining 84% had no specific goals at all.

Fast forward 10 years, and the results were striking. The 13% who had goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84% without any defined goals. Even more impressive, the 3% who had clear, written goals were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97% combined. This evidence underscores the importance of having clear, measurable, and time-bound goals in steering one towards success.

>> How to Budgets Your Salary to Ensure You Save More

The initial step in achieving your financial and personal aspirations involves defining what you want to accomplish. A powerful approach to articulating your goals is by creating a personal financial plan. This structured schedule breaks down the specific areas you want to focus on and complete effectively.

Developing a personal financial plan offers the following benefits:

  1. Taking Control: It empowers you to take control of your financial situation.
  2. Focus: It helps you concentrate on essential areas and communicate your objectives clearly.

Seven Steps to Formulating Personal Financial Goals

  1. Focus Areas: Define specific areas crucial for achieving your financial goals.
  2. Where Are You Now? Evaluate your current financial standing.
  3. Destination: Summarize where you aim to be upon achieving your goals.
  4. Measurement: Specify how you will measure progress in each focus area.
  5. Activities and Resources: Identify the tools or resources you will utilize to achieve your goals.
  6. When? Be realistic about the timeframe for accomplishing your goals.
  7. Reward: Establish a reward system to anticipate upon reaching a target.

 Below is an example of a simple plan.

Focus area Now? Destination? Measurement? Activity Resource Timing Reward
Eliminate my debt Currently have a HELB loan, bank loan and 2 mobile loans. Reduced to a desirable level or eliminated completely Fewer loan repayments, if any Use 20% of my monthly income to repay loans starting with higher-interest loans. Budget At the end of year 2025.
Planning for my retirement No pension arrangements besides NSSF More financially prepared to retire Systematic means of saving for retirement Join and contribute regularly to a pension scheme Zimele Guaranteed Personal Pension Plan First contribution at the end of January
Build up my emergency savings Not enough money to cover an emergency Save enough money to cover 6 months of expenses Track the amount in the emergency savings account every month Start a savings plan Zimele Savings Plan Before June of this year


Setting goals is a pivotal activity in life, especially in personal finance. Use the provided template to set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic & Timebound) goals. However, remember that setting goals is just the beginning; the key lies in following through to conclusion.

>> Guide to Mastering Financial Wellbeing and Stability

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ZIMELE ASSET MANAGEMENThttp://www.zimele.co.ke
Zimele Asset Management is licensed and registered as a Fund Manager by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) and the Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) and has been in operation for 25 years. Zimele offers saving and investment solutions that prioritize convenience, flexibility, security, and affordability. www.zimele.co.ke [email protected] Call: 0722-207662 WhatsApp: 0733-111106
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