­ With COVID-19 well upon us, it’s important to set realistic financial goals and be SMART.

To manage your money and plan for life after work is to get a sense of your goals. When things are uncertain, it’s more important than ever to have a baseline for what you want to achieve – to give you a direction to move towards.

Goal setting is very important, and making your goals “S M A R T”, provides a powerful tool for identifying what really matters to you – and what needs to change to help get you there. COVID-19 should not stop you from planning for the future. Goals help shape your end vision while also encouraging you to develop specific strategies to achieve it.

Getting started is as easy as writing a list, and making sure that your goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely (S M A R T) can help you can stick to them to reach your overall objective.  It’s also crucial to share your goals with your partner and relevant family members – so you can have an accountability partner and make sure you’re on the same page.

“If COVID-19 has changed your plans… plan again.”

Goal setting needs to be flexible. The COVID-19 experience was unanticipated. You may need to change some of your goals in the short and medium term to manage any unforeseen hurdles. That’s where a framework really helps.

Now is the best time to stop, review and reset your plans, your investment options and your retirement planning. Take action and control when it comes to setting your goals for retirement, you’ll want to look at your immediate and longer-term goals, then decide what actions you want to take. That way, you can understand exactly where you’re heading.

Use the S M A R T goals checklist to make sure your goals are clear and reachable; each one should be:

Specific: so, you can focus your efforts and feel truly motivated to achieve. For example, “I want to save $20,000 a year for the next 5 years for a deposit for a house”, not “Buy a house”.

Measurable: so, you can track your progress and stay motivated. For example, “I want to save $12,000 in 2021” and not “I want to save more money next year”.

Achievable: goals should stretch your abilities but still remain possible. For example, “I would like surplus cashflow put into a savings plan”, not “I want to be a billionaire”.

Relevant: goals should matter to you and align with other relevant goals. For “I want to save $200 from my salary every week”, not “I will save money from my pay packet”

Time bound: so, you have a deadline to focus on and something to work towards. For “I will payout my personal loan in 3 years, by 1st December 2023”, not “I will payout my personal loan”.

Don’t feel like you have to manage your financial goals solo. There are a range of experts who can help make a difference.

Note: There are all sorts of risks and factors to consider when it comes to spending, debt management and budgeting. Consult a professional if you need to. If COVID-19 has significantly affected your finances and your plans, please speak to an adviser who can assist with your financial plan and be S M A R T.



Ally Wealth Management is the trusted ally in finance for Australians at home and across the globe. As both Australian expats and residents, the founders of Ally have a unique understanding of the common personal financial challenges faced.

Book your complimentary appointment with our team at Ally Wealth Management to discuss how we can help you to achieve your financial goals.

Ally Wealth Management Pty Ltd is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Sentry Advice Pty Ltd ABN 77 103 642 888. Sentry Advice holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) No. 227 748.

General Advice Warning: The information contained herein is of a general nature only and does not constitute personal advice. You should not act on any recommendation without considering your personal needs, circumstances and objectives. We recommend you obtain professional financial advice specific to your circumstances.