10 Future Plans You Can Make for Your Finances
23 May 2023
If you think of your future as a map, laid out in front of you, do you have a clear idea of the destinations you want to visit on that map? Where you’d like to go, and what you want to see?
Setting out on a journey without a clear destination may sound spontaneous and fun, but it can be helpful to have some idea of the direction you’d like to take, and the things you’d like to do along the way if you want to make it a more fulfilling experience.
If you have hopes, dreams and aspirations for what type of life you want to create and live in the future, then you’re going to need a plan (and some destinations on the map) to help make those dreams come true!
What is future planning?
Future planning is all about getting clear on how you want your future to look. It can be as simple as writing down your goals for the future, creating a vision board on the things you’d like to create in your life, or might involve creating a detailed financial plan and action plan to achieve your strategic plans and goals.
The more connected you are to your future, the more like you are to plan, and work towards creating that future and seeing it unfold the way you envision or desire it to!
The Power of Connecting to Your Future Self
Research suggests that connecting to your future self can be a powerful tool for achieving your goals. One study, conducted by psychologists Hal Hershfield and Daniel Goldstein, found that people who were shown computer-generated images of their future selves were more likely to save money for retirement than those who were not shown the images.
Another study, conducted by researchers from New York University and the University of Colorado Boulder, found that people who felt a strong connection to their future selves were more likely to make healthy choices, such as exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet.
The more connected you are to a future self and the better you understand your long-term goals means that you can make more aligned decisions. By visualizing your future self and thinking about the person you want to become, you can create a sense of continuity between your present and future selves, which can be a powerful motivator for achieving your goals.
5 Tips for connecting to your future self:
- Visualise your future self: Take time to visualise the person you want to become. Imagine what you will look like, what you will be doing, and how you will feel. Try to create a vivid mental picture of your future self.
- Write a letter to your future self: Write a letter to your future self outlining your goals and aspirations and the quality of life you’d like to have. Be specific about what you want to achieve and how you plan to get there. Put the letter in a safe place and read it periodically to remind yourself of your long-term vision.
- Create a vision board: A vision board is a collage of images that represent your goals and aspirations. It can help you visually connect to that dream future you want to create.
- Practice self-reflection: Take the time to reflect on your values, beliefs, and priorities. Consider how your current actions are aligned with your long-term goals and make adjustments as needed.
- Use technology: Consider the many tools and apps that can help you connect with your future self. For example, you could use an aging app that shows you what you will look like in the future, or a financial app that helps you plan for retirement.
Understanding the future planning process
The level of detail your future plans involve will depend on what it isyou’re planning. For example, for those seeking affordablehousing, a plan might involve researching and applying for appropriate housingoptions, such as caravan parks, housing alternatives or residential carefacilities. For individuals with disabilities, it may involve developing a careplan, applying for disability employment, and accessing appropriate supportservices.
Those concerned with climate change may focus on developing a sustainability strategy that outlines personal, professional, and community-level actions that they can take.
The planning process for future major projects, such as new residential or commercial developments, involves obtaining planning approvals and designing sustainable and accessible built environments, integrated with public transport network. Urban design and land use planning are crucial components of this process.
10 Future Plans You Make for Your Finances
Future planning can encompass all aspects of your personal and professional life, from career planning to estate planning, and everything in between. We’ve come up with 10 key areas that you might wish to consider in your future planning:
- Big Picture: Looking into the long term, developing a plan to achieve your financial goals and aspirations, repay debt, and save for retirement. This planning is about knowing what is important to you and creating a strategy to achieve it. Then Set some goals to make that happen, whether it’s saving for a home deposit, paying off debt, or taking that trip.
- Confidence: It’s also about envisaging the type of future relationship you’d like to have with money. Identifying the way you want to relate to money, and how you feel and behave with it, working out the financial education and financial literacy skills you might need and who you might work with or gain support from to improve your financial education.
- Spending: Planning your spending a.k.a. creating a budget to track and monitor your future spending and help you move towards your financial goals and priorities.
- Career Planning: Looking towards your future career aspirations, and income goals and identifying a study or pathways that may help you achieve your career goals.
- Giving: Planning your giving strategy. Getting clear on the people and causes that align with your values and that you’d like to provide financial support to.
- Investing: Planning your investment strategy. Make sure your future investments are in alignment with your values.
- Growing: Developing business or development plans that will see the expansion and growth of your business, capital or resources.
- Protecting: Creating an emergency fund to plan for those unexpected expenses such as medical bills or car repairs.
- Supporting: Considering and planning your future health requirements for you and your family members. Looking at levels of insurance to protect your health and finances in the event of an accident, illness or death, or planning for future considerations around disability or aged care and associated costs for aging parents or loved ones.
- Legacy: Estate Planning is having a plan for your assets and affairs in the event of your death. It involves considering who, what and why you’d like to give things to, and what kind of legacy you’d like to create in your passing.
Whilst the list is large, we suggest choosing one are at a time to start planning your future finances. In the famous words of Malcolm X, "The future belongs to those who prepare for it today.".
This article contains general information only and does not take into account your personal circumstances, financial situation or needs. Before making a financial decision, you should read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determination of the specific financial product and consider whether the product is right for you and whether you should obtain advice from a financial adviser.