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I’m not sure about you, but for me, 2019 so far has just been flying by. A majority of the year is already gone, but it feels like summer only just started.
In the beginning of every year, everyone always sets goals that they want to prioritize and accomplish before the end of the year. How are your ‘New Year Resolutions’ doing? Are you on track or not?
If one of your goals was to improve your financial situation, whether that’s to pay off debt, save more money to a specific goal (house, car, trip, etc.), or to start investing; there’s still time to complete your goal. And, if improving your finances wasn’t one of your resolutions, but maybe now you’re thinking that it should have been, don’t worry, there’s time for you too.
If you’re looking at improving your finances before the end of the year, this is the article for you. Here are some of my tips you can still easily do before 2020:
- Take a look at your income vs spending — it’s easy to spend money on things we shouldn’t, it’s a tempting world out there and companies have perfected how to advertise (thanks for inspiring a generation Mad Men). But please don’t ignore your spending habits. If you’re having trouble saving for things or paying bills off, it’s time to take a look at what you’re actually spending money on, and see if there is room to improve.
Action: write down your spending for a day, week, month. Or look at your last Credit Card statement. Do you have subscriptions that you’re paying for but don’t use? If you do, cancel them.
- Review your current debt — I know this one doesn’t sound fun, and it probably caused a few eye rolls, but knowing what you owe to people or companies is always good to know. It’s a good rule of thumb to not only pay off all debt but to pay off the higher interest rate one’s more aggressively. This is because the higher the interest rate, the more interest you pay.
Action: write down the current amounts you owe, what the interest rate is, what the monthly payment is and how long you have left to pay it off. This includes credit cards, loans, student loans, car payments, etc.
- Make a savings plan — once you review your spending, income, and debt, you’ll have an idea of how much money you can save. This might be tough, but make an honest effort to save, and not just for a day or a week, but for a few months at least.
Action: set aside a portion of your paycheque towards savings. It can be anything, but maybe start small like 5% or 10%. At first, it may seem like a lot (especially if you haven’t been saving before) but over time you’ll adjust and you will find you’re able to save even more.
Getting your financial situation under control should be a priority for everyone, and I know it can be overwhelming so it is easy to push it to the side. But the sooner you get your finances under control, the sooner you can reap the rewards of such. Like anything else, it takes time and energy to get things set up or straightened out, but once it gets there, it’s a lot easier to maintain.
In my opinion: for someone who wants to invest, 90% of the effort is getting a plan that works for you and will allow you to reach your goals. After that, all you have to do is make sure you’re able to contribute towards it.
The best time to start investing is when you’re young, the second-best time is right now. Do your future self a favour and make sure you are taking steps in the direction of improving your financial future.
This article is for informational purposes only not all information will be accurate. This should not be considered Financial or Legal Advice. Consult a financial professional before making any major financial decisions.
About the Author
Winnipeg based Financial Advisor focusing on investments, financial planning, and mortgages. I prioritize education, because I believe the more we know, the more we all benefit. It allows me to help people make the most of their financial future.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is not intended to encourage any lifestyle changes without careful consideration and consultation with a qualified professional. This article is for reference purposes only, is generic in nature, is not intended as individual advice and is not financial or legal advice.