New year, new financial goals!
As 2023 has now come to an end, many of us feel like we need to catch our breath after another year of high inflation and skyrocketing interest rates. One way we can do this is to start January off with some helpful financial New Year’s resolutions.
Resolutions have been made since ancient times – and for good reason. Making goals helps pave the way for the coming months and gives us specific things to work towards that our future selves will thank us for.
This year, take a moment to write down some new resolutions of your own with a focus on bettering your personal finances. Here are some resolutions that you can make – and realistically achieve!
If you aren’t already doing so, a great starting point is to create a monthly budget with all of your income and expenses. An accurate budget can help you set guidelines for what you can afford to spend, identify areas where you could cut back and shed light on opportunities to save more. For tips on making a budget, check out this blog.
Saving more money is definitely a popular resolution and there are countless ways to go about it. Here are a few ideas:
- Increase your contributions to your RRSP or TFSA accounts
- Set up automatic transfers to a high-interest savings account
- Sign up for rewards programs that offer discounts
- Cut back on any unnecessary spending
Once you’ve made your budget, it’s helpful to take a good look at where you’re spending your money. Do you buy coffee each morning? Do you go out for lunch twice a week? Do you pay for subscriptions you aren’t using? Once you assess where you’re spending unnecessarily, commit to changing at least one of these habits to save you more money in 2024.
PAY FAST, SPEND SLOWLY
One resolution to start this year is to pay fast and spend slowly. Paying fast means making sure to always pay your bills as soon as they come in to avoid late fees – plus, this will help you understand exactly how much money you have left over. Spending slowly means being mindful of your purchases and minimizing any impulse buys. Before making a purchase, take a moment to consider if you really need it or if it’s just a want.
PAY OFF YOUR CREDIT CARD
You’re not alone if paying off your credit card is a big focus for the new year. If you have the means, consider paying it off entirely! If that’s too lofty of a goal, aim to at least pay off more than the minimum payment each month. To make things easier, you could automate recurring payments from your bank account.
If you’re finding that you just can’t seem to get ahead when it comes to credit card bills and other payments, consider a debt consolidation loan. This will combine your debt bills into one monthly payment, reducing how much you spend each month on debt repayment.
START A SIDE HUSTLE
A great resolution this year is to find a way to earn a little extra cash. Many Canadians are taking their income into their own hands by making some extra money with a side hustle. Consider turning a hobby or passion of yours into something that generates cash – and use that money towards your savings goals or to pay off debt.
GET FINANCIALLY FIT
Expanding your financial knowledge is one of the best investments you can make for yourself this year – or any year! Pick up a personal finance book from the local library or sign up for some online courses. You can find some great free ones here! Educating yourself on money management, saving and investing will not only help you now but for many years to come.
FIND A FINANCE FRIEND
To make sure you stay on track this year, get the support of a trusted friend or family member. Let them know your financial goals and how they can help you achieve them. Maybe that means going out to eat less with them or opting for cheaper (or free) hangout activities when you get together. Having an accountability partner means you have someone to check in on you and let you update them on how your resolutions are going.
IMPROVE YOUR CREDIT SCORE
If you have a less-than-perfect credit score, make it a priority to raise it in 2024. You can improve your credit score in so many different ways including paying your bills on time, paying off debt, keeping your utilization low and limiting your number of credit applications.
WORK WITH A TRUSTWORTHY CREDIT EXPERT
When it comes to auto finances and rebuilding your credit, you deserve to have reliable and trustworthy credit experts walking alongside you. At Birchwood Credit, it doesn’t matter if you have less-than-perfect credit – we believe our customers shouldn’t be defined by their three-digit score, which is why are are dedicated to understanding your entire financial situation and helping you reach your goals.
If you’re ready to apply for a car loan, all you have to do is fill out our quick & easy online application and one of our credit experts will get back to you within 24 hours.