Why Your Financial Resolution is Failing

Find daily expenses to cut out, adjust certain areas, and always save money for emergencies.

Now that we’re about a week into the New Year, the Christmas and holiday bills are starting to appear in the mail, on our credit card statements, and in our minds. Not only are these debts starting to affect your budget, lifestyle, and day-to-day payments, they are also affecting your spirit. We all want to start 2016 off on the right foot, but how can we do this with liabilities? 6 in 10 Canadians resolutions’ are to pay off debt, and 84% of people break their New Years’ resolutions (probably before they even begin). So, how are you going to beat the statistic, and become debt free in 2016?

Here are 3 tips to ensure you don’t fail at your New Years’ resolution: 

1) Create a realistic budget

First of all, do you have a budget? If not, I suggest you make one. Secondly, make sure that your budget is realistic. Yes, you want to stop spending money on expensive things such as meals out, clothing, and beyond, but you don’t want to restrict yourself completely. I don’t know about you, but forcing myself to stop something completely only makes me want to do it more. Find daily expenses to cut out, adjust certain areas, and always save money for emergencies.

2) Stop comparing yourself

Everyone’s financial situation is unique. You may need to pay off $4,000, your sister may need to pay off $150, and your neighbor may need to pay off $20,000. Things that work for one of you, won’t always work for the other. If you’re in need of an unbiased opinion, reach out to a not-for-profit financial counsellor for advice. Your journey is your own, and a good review of your finances will tell you the truth. Money doesn’t lie.

3) Have an attainable goal 

Lastly, having a goal is of the utmost importance. If you’re throwing money at your debt just to make ends meet or reach the minimum payment, you need to find further motivation. A goal will keep you in check, force you to think more realistically, and provide a timeline. Saying you’re going to pay off your debt soon isn’t good enough. Soon could be anytime, but paying off your debt by March is an actual goal. Is it attainable? That’s something your budget will help you to decide. Don’t stretch yourself too thin, but don’t give yourself too much leeway either.

 

Now that you have a budget, a firm understanding of your financial situation, and an attainable goal, you should be on a roll. Need some other guidance and support? Try using a mobile app like Mint to keep your budget right at your fingertips. Don’t be afraid to tell your friends your goals either. Having them know you’re saving can make saying “no” to expensive outings a lot easier. Trust me. I’ve been there.

Check out my interview expanding on this blog post with Breakfast Television Calgary

 

How are your financial resolutions going? What’s one way you keep yourself on top of it? Let me know in the comments!