10 Financial New Year’s Resolutions You Need to Make This Year
As 2022 comes to an end, I’m sure a lot of us are thinking: “good riddance!” It has been a very tough year for many people. Inflation has been hitting record highs, and interest rates have followed, making buying and borrowing expensive and difficult.
Let’s look forward to 2023 and hope that, with cooling inflation and a slowing down of interest-rate hikes, we can take a chance to catch our breath and get to grips with our finances. One way we can do this is to start the year off with some financial New Year resolutions.
New Year resolutions have been made since the dawn of time and for good reason. They help pave the way for what’s ahead and give us goals to work on. This year, change up your old resolutions routine and focus on bettering your personal finances.
Here are 10 easy financial resolutions that you can make (and achieve!):
- Look at Last Year’s Financial Mistakes and Victories
You can’t plan for the future if you don’t look at your past. Go through your bank and credit card statements and see where you’re currently sitting. What financial mistakes did you make last year? What did you succeed in?
- List Your Financial Goals
Once you’ve taken a look at your past financial mistakes and victories, make a list of your financial goals for this New Year. They can be overarching, big goals or smaller, specific goals. Whatever you wish to achieve, jot them down somewhere you can see them every day.
- Start a Budget
Now that you know what financial goals you want to achieve this year, create a budget to make them happen. How much money do you bring in each month and how much of that goes to household expenses, childcare, commuting, entertainment, clothes, paying off debt, etc.? Take a good, hard look at your money and then make an action plan to stay ahead of the game.
- Change Your Spending Habits
Once you know how much of your money will be going to each category, think about how you spend your money on any given day. Do you buy coffee each morning? Go out for lunch once a week? Pay for services you never use? Assess your spending habits and then commit to changing at least one of these habits to save you money.
- Automate Your Online Banking
Technology has given us the power to save money more easily and efficiently. By automating your online banking to withdraw money from your chequing account to go into your savings, TFSA or RRSP accounts, you’ll never have the excuse of forgetting or not planning for it. This is also a great way to start an emergency fund.
- Pay Fast, Buy Slow
To make sure you stay on track with your finances, live with this simple rule: pay fast and buy slow. Pay your bills as soon as they come in to avoid late fees and help you understand exactly how much money you have leftover. And adopt a slower spending approach to help minimize impulse purchases and increase rational thinking. This can be done by implementing a “pause” period between when you first consider purchasing something and when you actually purchase it.
- Pay Off Your Credit Card Balance in Full
If you can’t pay off your balance in full, at least aim to pay off more than the minimum payment. Ensure you have the money in your bank account before making purchases on your credit card. This will help you break the never-ending cycle of working to pay off your credit card while you add more purchases onto it.
- Talk Finances with Others
To make sure you stay on track this year, get the support of your family and friends. Tell them your financial goals and how they can help you achieve them―whether that’s going out for dinner less and adopting a cheaper hang out routine, or simply being a “check-in” person for you to update them on your progress.
- Take a Financial Literacy Course
Expanding your financial literacy is one of the best investments you can make for yourself this year. Learning more about money management, debt, credit, budgeting, retirement, etc. will not only help you now but for years to come. A great way to start is by picking up a personal finance book from your local library or educating yourself through our useful financial education classes.
- Consolidate Your Debt
If you haven’t already, make an appointment with one of our experienced and compassionate credit counsellors to look at your debt consolidation options. Carrying multiple balances (and all with varying interest rates) can be intimidating and all-consuming. Make it your mission this year to end the constant stress of debt by seeing if you qualify for our Orderly Payment of Debts (OPD) program.
Bonus Financial Tips
- Look after your mental health
January is widely regarded as one of the most depressing months, so it’s more important than ever to make sure you have a plan for your mental health! Try this article for some important tips on how to stop stressing about money.
- Participate in our monthly financial challenges
Every month on our social channels and e-newsletter, we challenge our followers to make a change in their financial routine. It’s a great way to break old habits, learn something new about yourself and get one step closer to financial freedom. Join us now on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
- Start a side hustle
If you’re having trouble making your minimum payments on your credit card or are spending more than you’re bringing in, maybe it’s time to start a side hustle to make more money. There are lots of ways to do this—from babysitting, dog-walking, pet sitting, house sitting, baking, crafting, coaching, refereeing, tutoring, landscaping, etc. The options are endless and can make you good money on the side!
- Learn together at work
Money Mentors offers workplace financial education workshops for companies and communities to partake in, with topics ranging from tackling debt, planning for retirement, fraud prevention and everything in between. We’d be more than happy to come talk to your employees/co-workers about personal finance!
Happy New Year, everyone! Let’s make the most of these next 12 months and invest in ourselves!