Dear Aunt Sue

As we head into 2018 can you please give me 3 tips for creating a New Year’s resolution about money that will stick?

Stephanie, Abbotsford

Hasn’t this year gone quickly?  It seems like only a blink of an eye ago that we celebrated the festive season last year. New Year’s resolutions – hard to make – easy to break!!!  New Year’s resolutions are popular, but if they are not for you, perhaps a “financial goal for this year” might be more your style.

To give your new year’s resolution or goal the jet-pack boost it needs, make sure it’s achievable!

You can’t be making resolutions like “I want to make a million dollars this year” when not even your boss makes that much per year. You need to be realistic with yourself or else you will crash and burn, losing motivation.

Here are three fantastic tips to stick with your financial new year resolutions/goals in 2018!

1. Be specific

For example, having a bigger emergency fund can be a splendid financial resolution. But if your resolution is to simply “save more money next year” then it might not actually happen.

You need to get specific. If you want more money in your emergency fund, then you need to figure out exactly how much more you want. So let’s say you want at least 40% more money in your emergency fund – then it would be more motivating to set your resolution to “I want to deposit $30 from every paycheque into my emergency fund”.

By making your goal specific, you can ensure that it is achievable and better still, watch yourself actually achieving it.

2. Don’t ignore hurdles

When you start making a plan to achieve your financial goals, it’s important to think about the hurdles that you may trip over. Create an alternative “what if” plan of attack for yourself!

For example, if your financial goal is to “spend less money on clothes” and you know that you have a couple of friends who are getting married or engaged. A good “what if” plan could be “If my friends invite me out to a special event, I will look for bargains in second-hand shops, check out Facebook marketplace, and seek out discount codes before buying any new clothes”. You might even teach yourself thrifty new habits!

3. Remind yourself of your goals every day

For example, if your goal is to save up enough money to travel to America at the end of the year, you could do the following things to keep up your motivation and remind you of your goals:

  • Set your phone’s background to a photo of the American flag, or a photo of your favourite American landmark
  • Use dry erase markers to write your goals on your bathroom mirror
  • Put up sticky notes that say “$100 every pay until America!”
  • You might even want to go a little fancier and start a Pinterest board of things that you want to see and do while in America

In summary Stephanie: Make a Specific Plan; incorporate the Hurdles and Remind Yourself Every Day! This time it is going to be a cinch!

As we head into yet another festive season I want to wish you and your families a very happy and safe time. As we look towards 2018 I hope that all of you will be able to enter another new year with hope and optimism.

So until next time girls and boys, as always keep those questions coming in by visiting our Contact Us page

And finally, a quote from an unknown person. A bit naughty but I hope you have a giggle – Dear God, my prayer for 2018 is a fat bank account and a thin body. Please don’t mix these up like you did this year”.   Happy New Year in advance everyone!

Have fun and keep smiling – Aunt Sue