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Athletes: Setting Financial Goals

By Marianna Kazazi, The Sports Financial Literacy Academy, Nicosia, Cyprus

Goal setting is a crucial part of the financial planning process for athletes aiming to transform their financial dreams into reality.

Once athletes determine and assess their current financial situation, the next step is deciding where they want to be financially over a period of time: that is, developing and setting financial goals. This is particularly important during the present global financial crisis!

What athletes need to keep in mind is the importance of setting financial goals which are in line with their personal values, since these may affect the decisions they make in their daily lives, as well as the way they handle money.

Setting goals based on what other people are doing, by comparison, never helps since each person finds fulfillment in different things.

It is also significant that athletes are very specific and clear about the goals that they set, to ensure that they can be achieved successfully. Having goals that are specific or even measurable will allow them to break down the goal into steps more easily, as well as track their progress over time.

When setting financial goals, athletes need to be able to differentiate these goals into short-term ones, medium-term and long-term ones, since their duration, size, magnitude and effort towards their achievement may differ.

For example, a short-term goal may be to make a purchase which will require saving for 4 months, to buy a new phone. A medium-term goal on the other hand, could be saving for a big trip overseas in a year, whilst a long-term goal could be buying a car in 4 years’ time.

Moreover, writing goals down and adding a visual element to the process helps put things into perspective. Putting financial goals in writing by making a list on paper, or even virtually in their notes app, can encourage athletes to commit to these goals. It would be even more helpful to have these goals somewhere they regularly look at, such as a vision board, for motivational purposes.

Additionally, athletes should try to connect each of their financial goals to a purpose, to give them a deeper meaning. This will help them identify the underlying benefit and motivation to each one, helping them prioritize their goals effectively, as well as add an element of accountability.

Finally, when setting financial goals, athletes should give themselves a deadline for each one so that they can actively start working towards fulfilling them.

However, that does not necessarily mean that the deadline cannot be altered or that it is not flexible. Financial circumstances and priorities may change over time, so goals may need to be revisited.

To conclude, setting financial goals which may seem too easy to reach or too unattainable, is only normal. However, any goal can be successfully reached as long as athletes are willing to put in the required work, by showing dedication, maturity and commitment to the financial planning process.

Through its education programs, the Sports Financial Literacy Academy (SFLA) has the vision to financially educate and empower athletes of all ages to become better people, not just better athletes. 

For more information on our courses, our SFLA Approved Trainer Program®, and how they can benefit athletes and their advisors, please e-mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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