Fresh off the holidays, some solid money management tips are exactly what some Canadians could use right about now. What resolutions did you make for 2019? Maybe shed a couple of pounds, quit a bad habit or acquire a new skill? Why not add adopting good money management to your resolution list to achieve financial security in 2019?
“The new year is a great time to become financially fit because you’re more likely to be motivated to make a change. Like many Canadians, you are probably carrying holiday debt that needs attention, so this is a good opportunity to overhaul your budget and your finances,” says Jeff Schwartz Executive Director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada.
Money management tips you could take to the bank
“Remember that good money management is a habit or a learned behaviour. The root of success when it comes to change is all in your attitude towards money, spending and saving. If you change your attitude, focus on your goal and make use of money management tools that are available to you, you greatly increase your chances of success of financial security,” says Schwartz.
Here are some tips on how to make financial resolutions and how to make them stick.
Why do you buy?
If you are carrying debt, why is that? Have you had to cover emergency expenses and didn’t have any savings? Are you guilty of impulse spending for retail therapy? Do you routinely spend beyond your means, simply because you aren’t really aware of your costs and your cash flow?
Although all good money management plans have similar elements (like budgeting and saving), identifying your reason for being in debt can help you tailor your plan to your specific needs, motivations and debt load. It can also help you focus on overcoming that particular problem to help your financial plan be successful in the long term.
Adopt the cash mentality
It’s time to shelve your credit cards and live on cash only as you move forward. This can be a hard adjustment, especially if you are used to using your cards frequently. Remind yourself of your goals and your desire to change when you feel tempted to rely on them.
What’s your goal?
You can’t measure your success without articulating a goal. Be specific. Don’t say “pay down holiday debt” or “reduce debt” or “put away some savings”. Be specific. Add dollar amounts and timelines to your goals. It’s a good idea to have short and long-term goals running concurrently.
Use tools to achieve money management success
The number one tool you need to become financially fit is a working household budget. Not only will this help you spend within your means, it is your gauge to measure your spending and your success. It can also help you to identify areas in which you can improve to reach your goals more quickly. It’s important not only to lay out a roadmap for your spending but to track it as well for better accuracy. Find a budgeting worksheet or system that works for you.
As you’ll need savings as part of your budget, take advantage of tools to make that habit more seamless. Use automatic deductions from your paycheque to make it as painless as possible.
Another tool that can be helpful is automatic bill payments because it can help you to stay organized and be timely with your bill payments. Just make sure that you keep track of these proactively.
Planning on making 2019 debt-free? We can help. Call one of our trained credit counsellors at 1-888-294-3130 or visit our free online debt analysis.