As 2011 comes to a close and we embark on a New Year, many people will start thinking about their New Year’s resolutions and the goals they would like to achieve in the coming year. At the beginning of this year, Time Magazine published an article detailing the most common resolutions made and broken each year by most people. The most popular resolution made each year by the majority of people is to lose weight and exercise more often.The second most common resolution set by most people is to improve their finances and become more financially savvy. If improving your finances is on the top of your list of goals to accomplish, then consider the following list of suggestions to help you achieve your desired goal.
- Eliminate your debt: Many people would argue that eliminating their debt is easier said than done, and the most recent reports from Statistics Canada indicate that consumer debt is at an all time high. With the right strategy in place, many people would not only be able to eliminate their debt, but begin saving money once their debt has been eliminated. To begin the process of reducing your debt, start off by eliminating frivolous spending. Spending money on small things can add up and eventually multiply into hundreds of dollars. Stop wasting money on little things and start putting that money towards your debt. If you owe money on multiple credit cards, consider consolidating your debt into one line of credit at a more favourable interest rate. Once your debt has been consolidated, set up a preauthorized payment that will automatically take a set amount off your paycheque and pay down your debt.
- Start saving: Many people continue to have the false idea that you have to save large chunks of your salary to even begin to have any meaningful amount of savings. This couldn’t be further from the truth. By saving as little as five dollars per day, you could be on your way to saving $1825 over a year’s time.The most important thing to keep in mind with saving is that you have to automate the process and ensure that the money is put into another account so that you aren’t tempted to spend that money. Here is a great article about saving and setting up a savings plan.
- Accelerate your mortgage payments: Interest rates are currently at historical lows and will likely be raised in near future as the economy continues to improve. Now is the opportune time to accelerate your mortgage payments and become mortgage free years in advance. By making weekly payments as opposed to monthly payments you can save thousands of dollars in interest and pay off your mortgage several years sooner. Mortgage calculators are a helpful tool and can assist you in putting together an ideal strategy for paying down your mortgage faster.
By writing down your goals and creating a plan of action you will instill discipline in yourself and increase the overall likelihood of achieving your object of desire. Follow through with your plan and you have the opportunity of being one of the very few individuals who sticks to their goals and achieves their New Year’s resolutions. When December 2012 rolls around and the majority of people are setting the same goals from last year, you will be setting new goals.