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The New Year is upon us, and so is the time for New Year’s resolutions. If you have not yet made any financial goals for 2018, the best time to plan for the year is now!
New Year is a symbol of new beginnings. It encourages us to look at our long-term goals, think about what we want to accomplish this year and how we want to change. We are feeling energized, motivated, ready to start a new chapter in our lives… But that motivation is often short-lived. Sometimes, the plans we make in December and early January start looking unreachable to us by the end of the first month of the new year.
In order to not get discouraged, we need to find ways to transition from good intentions to good actions. January is definitely a great time to solidify New Year’s resolutions and create a plan to follow through. If you are struggling with the follow-through, here are a few tips that will help you stick to your financial goals in the new year!
Here are a few key New Year’s financial resolutions you may want to prioritize in 2018 to ensure you have a strong and prosperous year.
In our modern society, getting yourself into debt is easier than ever. Whether we are talking about credit cards, mortgages or loans, it is hard to deny that we are simply surrounded by different avenues that encourage us to borrow money from others.
As difficult as paying off debts may be, it is definitely a worthy goal that will only benefit you in the future. Start by breaking down your debts into manageable categories and focus on paying off one at a time. There are several debt payment methods you could consider:
You could choose either one of those methods, or use a combination of both. Remember that the goal is to make progress towards a debt-free (and hence a less stressful) lifestyle. Even if you don’t get yourself fully debt-free, you will definitely be further along by the end of the year!
Having a savings account is essential: savings allow you to stay debt-free when “life hits” (as we all know that emergencies happen) and help you reach your bigger money-related goals. Most importantly, having money in a savings account gives you a peace of mind, a sense of security and freedom – and that goes a long way!
If you are just starting saving, your number one priority should be creating an emergency fund. Emergency funds can contain anywhere from $1,000 to the amount equivalent to your 6-month salary (or beyond, if you wanted to). That money would be essential if you were to ever face unplanned expenses, such as unexpected travel, illness or job loss. After you populated your emergency account, you can focus on saving for any large purchases you may have coming up, or simply save for yourself and your family’s future. You could also consider investing in RRSP or getting a tax-free saving account – whatever works better for your financial goals!
As great as saving techniques are, you may want to find a way to make additional income. Diversifying income and finding new ways to make money are becoming more and more common, especially in our global, interconnected world. You may want to pick up a second job for a short time (for instance, to pay off your debts faster), or open up a small business on the side. After all, there may already be something you are good at – why not consider doing it on a freelance basis? Take a chance and do something new this year, and it may just turn out to be your best investment.