As the New Year starts, many of us plan to execute New Year’s resolutions that we have made as the previous year was coming to an end. These tend to vary from financial goals as spending less, going more often to the gym or doing more of what we love. We usually go back to the resolutions we made the year before and wonder why we failed to follow through, as many others often do. Some of us start the New Year fully committed and able to execute some of the goals, before losing momentum and neglecting the idea all together.
The numbers still stand: a very small percentage of us fully realize and accomplish the resolutions we initially set out to make.
It’s understandable; it is difficult to prioritize and life always gets in the way one way or another and resolutions fall aside. So how do we not repeat the same pattern again in 2017? The best way to approach the your resolutions this year is to start with the changes that benefit your family and loved ones, not just yourself. That should be a great motivation to start with. As far as your finances are concerned start with making small resolutions while keeping the focus on the bigger picture. Here are some tips to start you off for the New Year:
Start organizing your finances
Basically, get your house in order, financially. Set up an education plan for your kids, devise your will, organize your assets and start planning for the retirement. Make it a goal to set aside as much money as you can to save. Check with your employer about how you can fully take advantage of RRSP matching program if they offer it and start increasing your monthly contributions. Along with that, make sure your family’s financial future is secure by considering getting a life insurance plan. You can contact us for more information on that.
Inspect your finances
Go over your bank statements from last year and examine the times where you were inclined to spend more than what you think you should have. Recognize your problem area and start making improvements. Request an expense report from your bank which will help you track your spending and expenses and prepare a balance sheet. Putting a budget in place is often the best way to get a handle on all your expenses, debt and income.
Change your financial attitude
When we fail to follow through on our resolutions, we fail ourselves. In a way it is like breaking a promise. We tend to find excused and as far as finances go, there is always the reason of not knowing enough about how money works and therefore not being able to make any healthy changes. So to make things easier, remember one simple rule. Less is usually more. The less you spend on things you do not need, the more money you can set aside. Less credit card swiping, means more chance of having less debt. Consider your financial goals and what you wish to save for. Whether it is saving for a vacation, expending your family or buying a house calculate how many months or years it would take to save up and start setting real goals with a more clear and focused set of mind.
Any good resolution, like starting a diet or a workout regime, will only be successful if short-term planning integrates into a long-term outcome. Making small changes to your habits are more viable in the long run — which is something you and your finances can greatly benefit from.