After the whirlwind year of 2020, making your finances work for you is already top of mind for Canadians. Why not roll that into a brand-new resolution moving forward into 2021? Here are some ideas to make your finances work for YOU in the New Year:
Start a Budget: If you don’t have a monthly budget already, this is the first step in financial awareness. Knowing how much you make per month – and what you spend it on – can help you better manage (and even eliminate) your expenses and free up funds for things that matter.
Purge Expenses: One of the best goals you can have for the New Year, is cutting out all those things that didn’t work the previous year – this can include expenses. While we are not referring to your water or electricity bills, there are still many ways you can cut down on costs. For instance, have you recently looked at your phone plan? Consider decreasing services or comparing costs to get a cheaper plan with the same functionality. Are you someone that buys coffee each morning or goes out for lunch once a week? Consider where and how you spend your money to determine areas to reduce costs!
Make a List of Goals: Once you have made your budget and reviewed your existing expenses for any opportunities to reduce costs, the next step is to make a list of goals!
For some people this will include paying off that credit card or loan, but for others it could be saving up for a family holiday you want to take in the next 5 years. Whatever your goals are, be clear about them!
Consolidate Your Debt: Are you dealing with multiple debt sources? From a car loan to a credit card bill, having multiple payments each month can add up and quickly become more than you can manage. If you are struggling with lofty bills and hefty interest rates on your credit cards or other bills, consider consolidating your debt into your mortgage for a single, monthly payment – typically at a lower interest rate!
Pay Fast, Buy Slow: Some great advice when it comes to managing your finances is to pay fast and buy slow! If you pay your bills as soon as they come in, versus waiting, you will have a better idea of where you stand financially at any given moment. You will also avoid any late fees or compounding charges. In coordination with this, you will also want to start buying slower and working to reduce any impulse spending.
(Optional) Increase Your Income: While it may not seem possible, it can’t hurt to look for ways to increase your income in the New Year. Look for promotion opportunities at work, discuss a potential raise or even consider a new job to ensure that you are financially covered!
Source: Dominion Lending Centres