I like to embrace small yet stretchy goals, and I always have good intentions that don’t always translate into the desired results. But, I keep trying and financially speaking, I believe if you commit to do one thing differently each month you will be in a better financial place by this time next year.
I broke tasks down month by month, but I appreciate you might decide to take things in the order that makes more sense to you. It doesn’t matter how you do it, as long as you do something. Bottom line: it is all about improving your financial status by recognizing that small changes can lead to big results.
Creating wealth is rarely about doing one big thing right; it is more often about doing a lot of little things right.
Here’s a list of monthly goals that you can tackle in the new year if you want to give yourself a little wiggle room and mentally get in the game.
January – Commit to taking control of your financial situation. Set financial goals that matter to you. Get excited about saving money.
February – Pay down debt. The holiday bills are rolling in and debt has piled up over the past year. Pay off the most expensive debt first – the one with the highest interest rate. Put away your credit cards and begin the financial detoxification process.
March – Focus on other elements of your financial plan. Explore insurance options, estate planning or begin tucking even a few dollars away for a rainy day (by the way you are likely still paying down debt from the previous month). Now is also the time to apply for a credit card or line of credit for emergency purposes only – not for daily use.
April – The tax deadline is right around the corner. While it’s a little late in the year to get strategic about this, take the time to ensure you are getting the biggest bang for your tax buck. Set yourself up for success next year. Ensure you understand the tax consequences of money received via government programs and if you have difficulty paying a tax liability, don’t ignore it — let CRA know.
May – Spend less and save more. Enough said here. During the whole month commit to shutting down your expenses.
June – Become an automatic millionaire. OK, there is nothing automatic about becoming a millionaire, but you can increase the odds of becoming one. Make sure you pay yourself first by having money come directly out of your account to pay off debt or plow it into your emergency fund or maybe even an investment portfolio.
July – Now you focus aggressively to ensure your bills are being paid on time and money is committed to building an emergency fund of 3-6 months of living expenses. Keep it in cash or near cash equivalents such as a Guaranteed Investment Certificate or government bond. You need access to the money without penalty.
August – Get insured. Not everyone needs insurance but everyone needs to ask the question, “What would happen to my family if something happened to me?” How you answer that question will dictate the type of insurance you should explore. We have also learned during the past year and a half that life can change in a heartbeat. You may not have been protected before but there are no excuses now.
September – Create a will. No one likes to think about their demise, but sadly things happen when you least expect it. My father passed away at 36 from a heart attack. He had a plan in place and while it clearly didn’t replace him, getting through the financial elements was easier than it would have been without the will.
October – Amp up your earning potential if that is important to you. What will it take to advance your career to the next level? No one wants to be unbelievably average at what they do.
November – Be mindful of holiday spending.
December – Review, reflect and revise your last financial year. Start thinking about what you can repeat and improve in the upcoming year.
You might not believe in New Year’s resolutions, so you might prefer to refer to this as an action plan. The only thing I know for sure is, if we don’t try to make some changes, there is a 100 per cent chance we will be starting all over again in 2022.
Post Credit: CTV News BY Patricia Lovett-Reid
Updated Dec. 13, 2021 5:22 p.m. IST Published Dec. 13, 2021 4:30 p.m. IST