As the holiday season comes and goes, we are often expected to set resolutions as we move into a new year (or new job or new relationship or new school session or new whatever).
But most of us know – from experience – that setting wildly ambitious, unattainable or unrealistic goals is just setting yourself up for failure. Think you will really spend an extra two hours every night studying or pushing it at the gym? Are you really *never* going to eat chocolate or drink beer again?
So, instead of making “New Years Resolutions,” why not set some actionable financial goals to help reset your financial future? Start with something super easy to do, but that can have a major impact on finances this year.
But don’t just take it from us, hear from Jessica Moorhouse who shares three ideas for your financial reset below! You can learn more about Jessica on her site, her podcast or her Instagram, where she shares financial wisdom, tips and tricks, and expertise.
Three things to try to start your year on the right financial foot:
Try a credit union
If you’re not loving your bank, it might to time to try out a credit union (after all, if you’ve been loyal to the same bank for years and you aren’t getting much in return, no one said you had to stay). When you join a credit union, you become a member instead of just a customer (or number).
Unlike other financial institutions, credit unions are owned and operated by their members, which means members actually get a say in how the credit union operates and how your money is invested back into the community. It also means you get money back every year in the form of dividends or annual returns.
Try a financial detox
If you’re feeling a financial hangover from the holidays from too much spend, first know that you’re not alone, but second know that you can try a spending detox (also known as a shopping ban) to get yourself back on track.
All it means is not spending any money outside of the essentials. For example, try to eat the food in your pantry or freezer, find fun and free things to do with friends like walks or game nights, and skip the mall, bar or takeout spots you love for a few weeks. This way you can free up cash to pay down debt and put cash into savings.
Thus is your year to try out investing (if you aren’t already) or grow your investments if you’re already in the game! In 2024 most Canadians will get an additional $7,000 of new Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) room, and it is a easy and take free way to save.
Many will also get more Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) room – although you won’t know exactly how much until you file your 2023 taxes – so this is another investment you can take advantage of in order to grow your wealth.
And if you’re already thinking about tax season, which is coming up fast, remember that if you make an RRSP contribution before February 29, 2024, you can use that contribution as a deduction on your 2023 taxes.