According to an Ipsos survey, 80% of Canadians give up on their new year’s resolutions before the year is over, with the majority throwing in the towel before the end of February. Therefore, now may be a good time to check in to see how you getting on with the financial goals you set in January. If you find you have already given up, it may be time for a new approach.
So, let’s look at some tactics to help you get back on track with your 2022 financial goals.
1. Set specific, measurable goals
Many of us start the year with well-intentioned but vague financial goals. These could be things like “save more”, “spend less”, or “pay down debt”. These goals are more likely to fail because they don’t make clear the specific actions that you need to take in order to achieve them. So, if you have given yourself vague goals for 2022, change them to something more specific like “save $50 a week” or “only spend $150 a week”.
2. Make them achievable
Many of us start the year full of enthusiasm and make our financial resolutions too ambitious.
Perhaps you intended to save $200 a week but hasn’t managed to do so. At this point, many people get discouraged and give up entirely. If you are in this situation, discuss what you can afford. Even if this is just $25 a week, it’s a start. And more importantly, it’ll get you into the habit of saving and put you in a great position to increase that amount when you can afford to.
The same can be said if you have a lot of debts to pay off. To someone with multiple credit cards and loans, getting out of debt can seem unachievable. So, rather than looking at your debt as a whole, focus on paying off the highest rate loan first. The sense of achievement gained from having one less debt will give you the boost you need to start tackling the next one. These little achievements along the way will keep you motivated to carry on.
3. Automate as much as possible
It’s harder for temptation to disrupt your financial goals when those goals are taken out of your hands.
So, if you aim to save or invest a certain amount each month, set up a direct debit into your investment or savings account at the beginning of each month. That way you are less likely to accidentally spend it or forget to invest.
On the other hand, if you are worried about overspending, open a separate spending account and set up a direct debit with a set allowance for the week. Since the rest of your money will be out of sight (and hopefully out of mind!), you will be less likely to slip up and overspend.
4. Don’t let a slip up become a failure
Many of us slip up on the road to achieving our goals – perhaps you may overspend one week, forget to put money into savings, or buy something new on your credit card. The issue isn’t the slip-up itself; it’s letting this become the new habit. The best you can do in this situation is not to miss a beat, dust yourself off, and start again.
5. Look at new strategies
If in spite of efforts to save more and spend less, you may still facing monthly shortfalls, it may be the right time to consider refinancing, getting a second line of credit or even debt settlements.
This can form a sensible part of a structured financial plan and can help you stick to your 2022 financial resolutions.
Often times, a lot of emphasis is placed on making big changes at the beginning of the year. However, meaningful and lasting financial change is much less glamorous. By implementing small, achievable habits, you are much more likely to see that big change by the end of the year.
To learn more, watch this short video by clicking here.