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New Year's resolutions you can take to the bank

New Year's resolutions you can take to the bank

Article updated on 06/01/2021
Once the holidays, the presents and the bills have rolled by, it's time to make good resolutions for a financially sound 2021.

With holiday spending a financial concern for 80% of parents in Québec, some 40% of them expect to take on new debt to cover them. We know how debts pile up throughout the year, so that is an expensive way to make joyous memories (even more so during the pandemic).

Here are 10 really easy ways for you to improve your finances and get 2021 off on the right foot:

1. Limit your credit card purchases

When you pay cash you are not piling up credit card debts and you can track your spending better.

2. Pay your debts right away

Don’t put off payments, especially for accounts with high interest rates (some credit cards charge 19% per year … wow !)

 3. Don’t forget there is tax on the CERB

If you have collected the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) you will have to pay tax on the amounts you received. Call in a professional like an accountant or tax specialist to show you how it works.

4. Put your budget on a diet

Figure out what you need to spend as closely as possible, based on your real income. Always stick to your capacity to spend and avoid impulse buys you may regret later. Here is a handy online tool for drawing up a budget.

 5. Set achievable goals

Set practical and achievable financial goals if you want to see changes in your wallet. Keep in mind that just spending less will not cut it this year. Give some thought to practical things you can do every day to keep spending down. Slowly but surely you will see your debtload lessen and your bank account grow.

 6. Give yourself a financial cushion

If we have learned one thing from the pandemic, it is the importance of having a cushion for the unforeseeables. It can round out the monthly expenses or build up a reserve against loss of income.

7. Cut superfluous spending

There is way of cutting down on cable, special channels and cell phone packages without completely abandoning those services. Just pick the bundle that fits your budget. You’ll be amazed at how much you can save by negotiating those things with the service providers.

8. Be your own chef: skip the deliveries

Once the holiday feasts are over we feel less like cooking, and it is tempting to call for delivery.  But it’s cheaper to cook at home – and it tastes so good!

9. Sell things you no longer need (or those unwanted presents)

Your closets and garage are home to all kinds of things you never use. Start the new year off right by sorting it all out and getting rid of that stuff on outlets like Kijiji and Marketplace. You’ll be surprised by how much you can rake in on those sites.

10. Think before you spend

Act wisely: it’s much easier to spend than to save. Plan properly and assume your income will be less than you expected during the COVID-19 pandemic. Planning your spending will help you save a bit every day, and you’ll be better off at the end of year.

To sum up:

Keeping these resolutions will likely be the best present from you to yourself. Have a good 2021!

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