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Daily Banking

How To Stick To Your New Year’s Resolutions

January 10, 2023
6
min read

Having trouble sticking to your New Year’s resolutions? In this blog, we’re helping you make your financial goals a reality in 2023.

You started 2023 with a goal. An ambitious one. You made a commitment: This is the year you’ll take control of your personal finances.

For many people, the holidays are the most expensive time of the year. From buying gifts to hosting dinners, you probably faced plenty of expenses in December.

By the time January rolls around, you’re looking for ways to lower your credit card bill and cut back on spending. That’s why you’ve set goals to help you with that. They might look like: 

  • Build a better credit score
  • Contribute to a retirement plan
  • Take the bus instead of driving

It’s one thing to set a goal—but it’s another thing to follow through with it. How can you ensure you stay on track to meet your goals? With the first week of January behind you, you might be worried about losing your way.

At Cambrian, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few creative ways you can make your goals a reality:

 

Set Attainable Goals

You’re coming into 2023 feeling highly motivated. But it’s tough to hold yourself accountable as the year goes on and you lose that momentum.

The key to making successful goals? Set ones that inspire you to make changes, but are still within your reach. If you set a goal that’s just not achievable, you may run out of steam before the year’s half over.

For example, a goal like “Become debt-free by the end of 2023” sounds great—but if you don’t have the income to pay off your loans, it’s not feasible. Instead, shoot for something like: “Pay off 50% of your debt by 2024”.

Online, you’ll find all kinds of ideas for financial goals. But the problem with most of this advice? It’s not tailored to your unique circumstances.

Here’s an example:

You’ve probably heard about the “50/30/20” budgeting rule. It’s the idea that you should spend…

  • 50% of your income on things you needs (rent/mortgage, groceries, insurance, utilities)
  • 30% on things you enjoy (going out with friends, hobbies, shopping)
  • 20% for savings (investments, an emergency fund, or any outstanding loans)

This gives you a great place to start, but it needs refining.

The 50/30/20 rule was popularized in 2005. Things have changed a lot since then—specifically, the cost of living. If your needs are already more than 50% of your income, you’re setting a goal that’s out of your reach!

That’s why you need a budget that’s tailored to you.

So, what does every successful goal start with? A set of goals that are challenging, but doable. Set yourself up for success by choosing goals you know you can accomplish.

 

Cash In On Credit Card Rewards

Over the holidays, you may have spent more than usual; you bought presents for loved ones, purchased food for family dinners, and attended festive events. If you have a credit card that is part of the Collabria rewards program, you may have accumulated points on your card.

You can use your Cambrian credit card to earn points with every purchase you make. Then, redeem those points for rewards*, such as gift cards and charity donations.

Interested in a credit card? Contact Cambrian Credit Union today!

*View full Rewards Program Rules at https://www.collabriacreditcards.ca/rewards.aspx

 

Set Aside “Funds for Fun”

You know that saving money is crucial for your financial health. But in its own way, spending money on things you enjoy is important, too.

If you don’t give yourself some wiggle room in your budget, then you probably won’t stick to it. This is something you can factor in when you’re setting goals.

Let’s say you want to reduce the money you spend on food delivery services. You can still get takeout occasionally, but overall, try to reduce the amount you spend each month.

Essentially, you’re allocating part of your budget for a few “fun” expenses. For example:

  • Dinner to mark a special occasion. Celebrate when you or someone you love accomplishes something big.
  • An evening out with your close friends. After a long week, spend some time de-stressing and unwinding with the people you care about.
  • A self-care package. Need a night to yourself? Pick up a treat—you deserve it! Get a bath bomb, an online rental of your favourite movie, or the ingredients to bake a tasty dessert.

These expenses all have tangible benefits (like connecting with loved ones or lowering your stress levels) without hurting your wallet.

Part of budgeting is striking a balance between meeting your goals and making the occasional fun purchase. Make room in your budget for the things you love!

 

Create An Action Plan

How will you accomplish your goals?

It’s time to create a concrete plan that will help you stick to your resolutions.

Let’s go back to our earlier example of reducing the amount you spend on takeout.

If you don’t have a plan in place, you’ll fall victim to cravings of pizza or sushi!

You can counter that with a meal plan. On Sunday, select the meals you want to cook throughout the week. Then, buy groceries to go along with each meal.

That way, when you get home from work, you won’t be faced with the daunting question: “What’s for dinner?”

You’ll already know what to cook and have the ingredients on hand to do so. Crisis averted!

Here are a few other ways you can make your financial goals actionable:

  • Decide on the total amount you want to save in 2023. Once you’ve landed on a number, the next step is making a savings plan. Figure out your net income for the year; then, commit to saving a portion of it with each pay cheque. Try to set it up so the money is automatically deducted.
  • Picture your future. It’s been said that vague goals get vague results, and that’s certainly true of savings. Stay motivated by remembering what you’re saving for. Do you want to buy a home? Travel the world? Pay off your student loans? By keeping your future in mind, you can stay motivated throughout the year.

 

Remind Yourself

As the saying goes: Out of sight, out of mind.

If you aren’t careful, you’ll forget all about your financial resolutions. You need a way to keep them top of mind.

Try to put a reminder in a place you see every day—your smartphone, your bathroom mirror, or your desk. Let it serve as motivation to stick with your goals, even when things get tough.

You can write out your specific goals or jot down an empowering message.

 

Are You Paying Bank Fees?

Part of your goal is to cut back on unnecessary spending.

Here’s one thing you don’t need to pay for: Bank fees.

As a Cambrian member, you don’t pay any monthly fees to keep your Premium Chequing Account open. If you already have an account with us, you know that Unfee saves you $222 every year. Not a bad start to your 2023 budget.

Thinking of switching to Cambrian so you can bank for free? Give us a call, and you can start saving today.  

 

Ready To Get Your Financial Goals Back On Track?

This year, you’ve made it your mission to improve your personal finances. And you don’t have to do it alone!

At Cambrian, we’re always happy to help. Whether that’s setting you up with a high-interest savings account or eliminating your bank fees through Unfee, we can work together to accomplish your goals. Contact us today!

Today’s Rates

*All rates and yields subject to change without notice.
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