OMG, I can’t believe I ate ALL that food over the holidays! Sound familiar? What about, I swiped my cards HOW many times over the holidays? At this point, many New Year’s resolutions have been made.
The food issue can be handled by giving away leftover goodies and establishing a healthy eating plan (no diet word here).
The money issue can be handled by establishing a good budget plan. But why not expand this year’s financial resolution to more than just budgeting? Make 2018 the year you get your overall financial house in order. Here’s how:
You do need to establish a realistic spending plan in order to meet your ongoing expenses, pay down your debt and save for the future. This year, consider tracking your expenses as well (our helpful Monthly Tracker makes it easy to do) so that your budget actually reflects your true spending.
2. Pay Down Your Debt
Why pay all that interest in 2018? Set a goal to pay down or pay off your debt. Our monthly Debt Calculator can show you the interest you are paying when you make the minimum-only payment as well as demonstrate the power of increasing your monthly payments.
3. Don't Use Credit For a Month or Two
Prove to yourself that you can use restraint by purchasing only what you have enough cash for. This will also help with paying down your debt as you won’t be adding to your debt.
4. Establish A Savings Plan
Put money into an Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), or similar option and forget about these funds. Your bank or credit union has staff that can help you with your savings plan, or you can speak with a financial advisor. Over time, these funds add up. Your future self will thank you.
5. Make Or Update Your Will
People of all ages should have a current will that reflects their wishes and current situation. Life can take unexpected turns, so be prepared. Make sure you have named a guardian for your children. And if your kids are older but still too young to handle getting the full funds from your estate, your will can stipulate that the funds are released at certain intervals over time.
6. Make Sure You Have Powers of Attorney
These are very important if you aren’t able to make financial or health decisions for yourself. You can determine who you want to make decisions about your care and finances.
7. Set Up A Filing System
Are your important documents in a shoe box under the bed or in the corner of your closet? Invest in a file cabinet and set it up with labelled file folders. That way, when bills are paid, insurance policies are received, etc., you can easily put the paperwork in the appropriate file. Doing this gives you easy access to any needed documents, potentially saving you hours of time searching through stacks of paperwork.
Go through your file cabinet once a year and see what can be destroyed. This prevents you from having to purchase a second cabinet.
These 8 financial New Year’s resolutions can have a profound effect on your life and once in place, they will become almost second nature to you. Get started now, and by next year the only financial resolution you may need to make is to finally take that cruise around the Hawaiian Islands.
If you need help with these resolutions, we are only a phone call or click away. Call 1-800-267-2272 to book a free counselling session with a credit counsellor today.
Here’s to a fantastic 2018! Happy New Year everyone!
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