Last Updated on January 9, 2021 by Yetunde Akindele
It is a new year and as usual, comes with a commitment to making New Years resolution by most people.
Despite the fact that most people fail at keeping up with New Year’s resolution by mid-February, it still boils down to one fact- a desire to be better at something.
A survey carried out by YouGov has shown that Canadians are not left behind when it comes to the tradition of making New year resolutions.
In relation to personal finance, the survey found out that about 49% of Canadians would like to improve their personal finance habits especially in the area of savings! This is closely related to the results obtained with Americans as well.
The Issue With New Year Resolutions
Perhaps the inherent problem with achieving New Year’s resolutions is in the word itself. For me, the word ‘Resolution’ feels arduous, so similar to an uphill battle. This feeling is why I also fail at keeping up with New Year’s resolutions.
However, I have come to appreciate those belonging to the school of thought that rather than creating New Year resolutions, decide on choosing one word that defines your actions in the new year.
Making use of these positive words could have an uplifting effect on your psyche. You can choose any one word and examples of these types of words are; grace, clarity, goals, strength, aims, will, etc.
Once you’ve made a choice of a word, apply it to every aspect of your decisions for the New year. This word should also be applied to your Personal Finance as well.
Take for instance ‘grace to save more’, ‘clarity to know the right investments to do’, ‘strength to earn more passively’ etc. For me, in this New Year, I am focusing on one word- Clarity
In this article, I am going to share some Personal finance Wins you can achieve in 2021. These should be achieved using your one-word mantra for the new year as a source of motivation!
Let’s get right to it!
1. Understand Where You Want To Be Financially
Without a doubt, you need to have a clear understanding of where you hope to stand financially by the end of 2021.
Get a diary. Write your one-word randomly in different sections of the diary. Make bulleted points in the notes section (usually at the back or front of the diary) detailing what you hope to achieve by the end of the year.
You could have major financial goals that you split into simpler goals that will be easier to achieve. Do not lie to yourself in the setting up of your financial goals.
Ensure that even if you have more than one goal, you are specific in what you hope to achieve as well as being realistic. There should be no grey-unclear areas. The goals set should also be time-bound and measurable which makes them more likely to achieve.
Write your one-word mantra everywhere as a constant reminder, align it with the financial milestones you hope to achieve.
Let that one-word drive you to consciously take the right steps to achieve your personal finance wins for the new year.
Whenever a financial milestone is achieved, tick it off in the notes you detailed in the diary as being completed- then move to the next in the list!
2. Make Money From Your Money Banked
Did you know that it is possible for your money banked to make a significant amount back for you when saved in a high-interest savings account? This is contrary to the interest rate on savings with any one of the big banks.
Additionally, this is especially important when it comes to you having an account dedicated to your Emergency fund. Your emergency fund should be in an account from which the funds can easily be accessed when needed- a regular savings account.
However, you should make the most of it by putting it into a no monthly fee, no promo period high-interest savings account. This guarantees you are saving on banking fees while growing your savings!
3. Plan Your Estate
A survey by Angus Reid Institute has shown that about 51% of Canadians do not have a Will. In a country like Canada, a legal Will is what determines how your estate will be shared once you pass away.
Not only this, a Will is your voice when you are no longer around. It is how you can state clearly your wishes as an example, who you would like to take custody of your children upon your passing if they are still minors.
Interestingly, you do not have to spend a fortune to get your Will done in Canada. You can get your online legally binding Will at one of the countries lowest rates- and it can be ready in as little as 20 minutes! You also get a 15% discount when you click here.
If you are thinking of procrastinating this- remember your one-word mantra for the year!
4. Invest Money With Automation
Just the same way you have set up your bill payments on auto-deposit, you can also invest money in low-fee ETFs with automation via one of the easiest investing platforms to use in Canada- Wealthsimple Invest.
This is Wealthsimples’ autopilot investing service and is an ideal solution for all levels of investors- both newbies as well as seasoned investors.
Another micro-investing app that also helps to cultivate a good investing habit is Moka. This app is similar to America’s Acorns and Stash in that it allows you to save money without thinking about it.
Moka rounds up your purchases and invests the spare change in low costs ETFs. There is also an option to set up an auto-deposit of an amount of your choice to be invested monthly if you would like to invest larger sums.
This feature is also available with Wealthsimple Invest using Wealthsimple roundup.
5. Get An Additional Source of Income
You have your day job- excellent!
However, you could take up freelance work in your spare time such as on the weekends to earn some extra money. There are so many people around the world looking for and willing to pay for the service of a virtual worker.
Take for instance, if you are good at writing, you could offer your services as a ghost writer on platforms such as Freelancer and Fiverr.
Writing is just one type. Jobs available on freelance platforms vary from web designing, to project management, to editing, virtual assistants, graphic designers, and much more!
If none of these appeals to you, you could consider selling arts and crafts on platforms such as Facebook Marketplace and Etsy. Another option would be Pet sitting. If you love animals, why not make money doing what you enjoy?
If your situation is that you intend to be self-employed by way of freelancing, but you are being denied access to loans for capital by most lenders, you can apply for a line of credit on a platform called Moves financial.
Moves is a one-of-a-kind platform in Canada for freelancers that is currently available in Alberta, Ontario, and British Columbia. The platform allows you to get quick and fast access to a line of credit up to $2500 to support your freelancing business.
This can help lessen financial anxiety on your journey to becoming financially independent!
6. Consolidate Your Debts
It will be better for you to set out a plan to pay off your debts in the new year. If you have debts from multiple sources you might want to look into debt consolidation as a means to lessen the interest you are paying on your current debts.
LoanConnect one of Canadas’ best online loan search engines offers Debt Consolidation as one of its services. You should get in touch with them for the needed guidance on how to best handle your debt if need be.
Having a clear understanding of how much you owe and how to make the best financial debt repayment plan could go a long way in easing the anxiety that comes with thinking of how to pay back money you owe.
7. Keep a Close Eye On Your Credit Score
Canada is a credit society and all major financial decisions revolve around one crucial financial metric- your credit score.
It is therefore of utmost importance to monitor your credit score closely. This ensures you know when you need to improve as well as factors that could be affecting your score negatively.
These platforms also come with free educational resources about how to improve your credit health.
8. Stop Paying For Things You Don’t Need
You work for 8 hours a day out of home, get home exhausted, eat and go to bed, or at the most watch an hour of TV, yet you are subscribed to the full plans of an entertainment service provider!
You should make a conscious effort to scrap out subscriptions you do not need or use. The money saved monthly could be put towards better use by way of automated investing as I mentioned in number 4.
This doesn’t just apply to TV entertainment, it could also be phone bills, gym subscriptions, magazine subscriptions etc.
You could also look to calling up some of your service providers and negotiating lower monthly bills with them. You will be amazed to find that most of these companies have options that will fit your unique situation.
9. Look For Ways To Earn Cashback, Rewards, and Gift cards
One good way to also make some money passively will be from spending. You could earn cashback from your purchases when you make use of a cashback credit card.
A good example would be the SimplyCash™ Card from American Express. It has no annual fees and allows you to earn 2.5% cash back on purchases in the first 3 months and 1.25% on all purchases thereafter.
Other ways to earn cash, rewards or gift cards are by taking surveys on platforms such as these;
These are all legitimate platforms that I use myself. Rewards earned could be put towards paying off a monthly phone bill. You could even use the rewards earned to indulge in your favorite coffee when you earn gift cards for that particular store.
So, now you have it. Some of the best personal finance practices you could put to use in the new year. These will go a long way to help you win in personal finance.
Remember, think, and decide on a one-word mantra for the new year and not ‘resolutions’. Let that word guide your actions and decisions. You will be amazed at how much you were able to achieve by year-end!