If you, like many Canadians, have a New Year’s resolution related to improving your personal finances, you’re in luck.
The beginning of the year (and decade!) is the perfect opportunity to get yourself set up for long-term financial success, and we’ve got some easy tips to help you do it.
1. Wanna move forward? You gotta look back.
Having goals keeps you motivated and gives you something specific to work towards throughout the year. But before you set those goals, take a look back on 2019.
Figure out where you currently stand financially:
- How much do you currently have saved?
- Are you still carrying any debt?
- How much do you owe?
- How much income do you have coming in?
- How much money did you spend every month?
- What did you spend it on?
Having this information will help you develop your game plan and will put you on track for major 2020 success.
PROTIP: Set goals that are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Framed.Wanna move forward? You gotta look back.Want control of your spending? Create a budget.
2. Want control of your spending? Create a budget.
We know, we know. Creating a budget doesn’t sound like much fun, but when it comes to money, ignorance isn’t bliss.
The good news is that a budget is just a plan for your money and can be as simple or as complicated as you want. Check out this article for a quick 3-step budget.
Of course, telling your money where to go is one thing. It’s also important to keep an eye on where it actually goes. Regularly tracking your spending will show you your financial habits, areas where you can cut back, and will help you stay on budget.
PROTIP: Download an app like Mint, YNAB, or Wally to do the work for you.
3. Don’t wanna miss a thing? Set calendar reminders.
Time to get organized. Make sure you don’t miss important financial dates by putting them into your calendar now.
This includes major dates like tax deadlines (April 30, 2020), RRSP contribution cutoffs (March 2, 2020) and car registration renewals. But don’t forget to put in when your car insurance is set to renew, or when service contracts (like phone or internet), subscriptions and memberships end. Knowing when things are coming up gives you time to research and shop around if necessary.
PROTIP: Don’t forget to set reminders for any credit card payments to ensure you don’t negatively affect your credit score.
4. Want an easy win? Start small.
At Moka, we’re big believers that the little things really add up. So if the other tips seem a bit overwhelming, don’t worry. Just find one small thing you can do now that’ll have a positive impact on your finances.
Maybe it’s cancelling that online subscription you never use, or downloading a personal finance podcast, or even just installing a handy money saving extension or app like Honey.
You might even find that this gives you the motivation you need to tackle the bigger tasks!
PROTIP: Check out this list of the best money-saving apps and websites in Canada.
5. Want an easy, stress-free solution? Automate everything.
You can create automatic payments for everything these days, from your rent or mortgage payments to credit card and debt repayments. If you’d rather not worry about finances for the rest of the year, just set it and forget it.
You can also automatically pay yourself first by setting up a recurring deposit from your main account into a savings or investment account on the day you get paid.
PROTIP: Want to reach your financial goals even faster? In addition to automatic weekly deposits, you can also automatically round up your purchases and invest the spare change with Moka.
Achieving your financial goals isn’t always easy, but by following these five tips, you’ll be starting the year off in the best position possible.