New Year. New Beginnings.
How about 2020, hey? While the world may not be able to agree on many things, we are pretty confident that the general public is more than happy to usher in a new year, ripe with fresh possibilities and renewed hope. It’s also a time to reflect on lessons, set goals and spark the inspiration you need to dig deep and take the necessary steps to improve your wellbeing.
This year, resolutions might look a little different. Instead of learning how to bake (we all did that in quarantine), or learning how to garden (we did that, too) or taking time to travel (we can’t do that just yet), many people are now looking to position themselves for greater resiliency and growth. This might mean changing up those traditional resolutions and adding financial fitness to your list.
While making resolutions can be intimidating and getting your finances in order can feel extra daunting, just remember that you survived 2020. You can do hard things. For some extra help, however, we have included seven steps to make improving your finances a little more palatable:
- Give yourself a high five for all the healthy budgetary decisions you made in 2020. This year, we learned that we can budget, we can prioritize spending and we can cut back our expenses. Congratulate yourself on your victories and give yourself the motivation to keep working to get your finances in order.
- Write your goals down! It sounds silly but studies reinforce that the physical act of writing down your financial goals can help you intellectually engage and emotionally connect with the results you want to achieve.
- Start a budget (if you don’t have one already). This is the least fun step, but it is super important. Super important (it’s worth repeating). Look at your salary, debt, fixed and variable expenses and take the time to figure out how you’re spending and how you can better manage your money to meet your short and long-term goals. Often times, people aren’t aware of where their money is going. This makes it far too easy to get lost. Think of starting a budget like getting in the driver’s seat and steering yourself in the right direction. If you prefer a baking analogy, think of it like measuring the ingredients. If you prefer sports analogies, think of it like having a game plan. You get the idea.
- Track your spending. Make a habit of tracking your spending every month to make sure you are meeting your financial goals.
- Don’t take on more debt. The debt cycle can be a vicious one, but if you’re experiencing financial challenges it’s advisable not to take on additional debt.
- Get informed. When it comes to government support, different financial products, interest rates and your rights and responsibilities, it’s important to know what you’re entitled to and what you’re in for. Ask questions, seek help and always read the fine print.
- Know you’re not alone. Debt has historically felt stressful, lonely and even embarrassing. The shame surrounding debt has made it harder for individuals to reach out and ask for financial help. That’s all coming to an end. It’s a new year and we’re ending the stigma. The reality is that many Canadians are experiencing financial challenges and seeking help is a brave, proactive way to forge ahead and find the solutions you need to achieve a debt free tomorrow.
Have more questions? Contact us. Our experienced Licensed Insolvency Trustees are happy to help you ring in a very merry and very bright 2021.