Guessing that most of us have come across the “#10YearChallenge” craze that’s been raging around social media this year. You just post a pic of yourself today next to one from 10 years ago. It started as a fun way to chart how time changes us (or not), then became a celebrity contest, and spawned a generation of new memes.

The environmentally aware crowd posted some of the starkest time-lapse images – perhaps the best use of the 10-year challenge fad.

But there’s another

Simply put, here’s what we don’t want to repeat for the next decade:

So instead of looking back 10 years, financially we need to look ahead to the next 10. Will we all be in a better position by 2029? That’s the idea.

Depending on where you are now, chances are you need to be growing moneywise for the future. Future needs tend to increase.

Even if you are winding down your innings, you’re probably thinking about the whānau and the future. So it’s still about growth.

Push your goals out

Looking ahead to the next decade helps us set some long-term goals, which generally are the hardest to get into focus.

The short-term stuff (three years or less) is easiest – the next holiday, next birthday, next gadget, next concert. It’s easy to visualise where you want to be.

Medium-term goals (four to nine years) take a bit more planning, but are doable: killing the student loan, saving a house deposit, the kids’ education, becoming debt-free. Fun goals too, like that OE to Europe or Asia.

But the long-term goals (10 years plus) are truly a #10YearChallenge: paying off a mortgage, investing for retirement, etc. Time is on your side, so you can achieve much more than you anticipate.

Sorted’s goal planner gets you started spreading your goals through each of those three timeframes: short, medium and long term.

May your net worth trend up!

Another way to look ahead to the next decade is to chart where your net worth will be 10 years from now. Net worth, which is the amount you own minus what you owe, is a helpful measure to check if you’re really getting ahead financially.

In assessing your net worth, the numbers are less important as the direction in which they’re trending. Hopefully it’s up… and sharply up. The steeper the curve, the better off you’ll be.

Sorted’s net worth calculator is where you can plug in some numbers and get an idea of where you’ll be in 10 years. You can even make it a #20YearChallenge to look further out and take a longer-term view.

For now, I’ll just leave you with my favourite 10-year challenge so far:

In 10 years, will our situation be better or worse? Financially speaking, let’s make sure it’s better.

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