It’s the start of another new year which is when most people take some time to reflect on how far they’ve come over the past 12 months. It’s also a great time to hit the refresh button and jump on the opportunity to set new goals for ourselves or improve upon past goals throughout the upcoming year.
Here are some of our favorite financial resolutions for inspiration:
1. Make a Budget
If you’ve been thinking of starting a budget, now is the time. Creating a realistic budget that you can stick to day-to-day is important and is 100% worth the effort it takes. Gather all your monthly expenses including costs for housing, transportation, debt repayment, savings, etc. and get a full picture of where your money goes each month, then adjust as needed. If you’re not sure where to start, check out this handy budget calculator.
2. Start a Retirement Plan
If you haven’t started saving for your retirement yet—do it now. For every year that goes by, retirement is that much closer and every little bit of savings will matter in the long run (no matter how small). The easiest way to start is to choose a percentage of your income that fits within your budget and have it automatically transferred to an RRSP or another savings product on your payday. If you’re unsure about what product is right for you, contact us.
3. Set a goal to sell $500 of Stuff
Look around your house and see what unused items you might have lying around. Buy-and-sells have become extremely popular over the last few years with people selling anything from electronics and décor, to furniture and clothing. As the saying goes, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Plus, on top of the extra cash you get to de-clutter your home of unwanted items taking up space.
4. Complete the 52-Week Savings Challenge
The 52-week savings challenge is a great way to test your savings skills by following a weekly savings plan. It involves stashing away $1 the first week of the year, followed by an extra dollar each week for the rest of the year. After 52 weeks, you’ll have saved $1,378 and you can choose to invest it in a registered plan (which will benefit you come tax time). You can also do the challenge backwards starting with $52 the first week and decreasing the amount by a dollar each week. Click here for a printable chart to keep you on track.
5. Take a break from Shopping
Challenge yourself to a month or two of no shopping. Obviously, this would exclude necessities such as groceries and transportation, etc. Then, at the end of your shopping hiatus, consider saving the extra money you would have normally spent or put it on outstanding debt. On top of the savings, you might find it’s easier than you think to do without a new outfit every week and can adopt this new-found habit year-round.
6. Consolidate your Debt
Debt…it’s an ugly word, but most people have it. If you’re having a hard time trying to pay off multiple balances of credit cards and loans, consider consolidating (if it makes sense). Debt consolidation is combining all of your debt into a single loan. Outstanding balances and credit cards are paid off and you only have to worry about one payment over a specific term. In some cases, you can also save on interest. Getting your debt under control is a great resolution that can only lead to a brighter financial future. More information about our debt consolidation loan can be found here.