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New Years Jan 04, 2023

New Year, New Money Habits

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New Year, New Money Habits

Every new year brings a chance for people to make resolutions, set goals and decide what changes they want to make in their lives. For many, saving money and managing finances is at the top of the list. Whether it’s paying down debt or building an emergency fund, more and more people are realizing that having a solid financial plan can help ensure future stability.

Unfortunately, achieving these goals isn’t always easy; it requires careful planning and discipline. But with the right strategies in place, anyone can save money each month and create a healthy budget that will lead to long-term financial success. That’s why we’ve compiled a few helpful tips to help you achieve your financial goals in 2023!

Before we get to the tips, be sure to visit the iCASH contest page! We’re giving away $300 in President’s Choice gift cards to kick off the new year! The contest will be running from January 10th to the 17th, so you’ll have plenty of time to enter.

1. Track Your Spending

Knowing where your money goes is the first step to taking control of your financial health. It allows you to monitor where your money goes, how much you are spending and can also be a helpful tool for budgeting and setting financial goals that lead to greater savings in the long run.

The good news is that tracking your spending is easier today than ever before. There are many apps designed to help you do exactly that. Popular examples include Mint, YNAB (You Need A Budget) and Spendee. Using any one of these services will help you stay on top of your finances more easily so you can make smarter decisions about where to allocate funds and start saving more quickly.

2. Create a Budget and Stick To It

A budget helps you make sure that the money coming in covers all of your expenses and savings goals for the month. Creating and sticking to that budget is essential for achieving financial goals. It provides structure, guidance, and accountability in managing your finances, plus it helps you manage your expenses so that you can save more money throughout the year.

By tracking where your money is going and setting spending limits, it’s possible to reduce debt and increase savings over time. With careful planning, setting up a budget can help you reach any financial goal - from saving for retirement or paying off student loans to building an emergency fund or even buying a house! And luckily, those same apps we mentioned above, like Mint and YNAB, can also be used to help create and manage your budget.

3. Automate Your Savings

If you’re looking for a way to save money without having to overthink things, opening up a savings account of some kind and setting up automatic transfers is the best way to do it. By setting up automatic transfers from your checking account to a separate savings account each month, you can save without even having to think about it!

With automated saving, you set up a regular transfer of funds from your checking account into a savings or investment account (Such as a TFSA or RRSP) on the same day each month. This process requires little effort on your part, as all you need to do is make sure that there are enough funds in your checking account at the time of the scheduled transfer. Automating your savings can help you reach short-term goals such as building an emergency fund, paying down debt, or planning for a vacation.

4. Invest Early & Often

Start investing as soon as possible, so that compound interest can start working its magic on growing your wealth over time. It’s a great way to make money without putting too much effort into it, especially since investing can be done easily these days through the use of certain apps like Wealthsimple, which are great tools for anyone, but especially for beginners.

Investing early on allows you to benefit from compound interest, which is when the interest earned is added to the principal amount, thus increasing the overall balance, and earning you more money over time. Additionally, investing early allows you to invest in lower-risk products such as index funds or ETFs that have higher returns than other products with similar levels of risk.

5. Monitor Your Credit Score Regularly

Monitoring your credit score regularly is a great way to stay on top of your financial health and motivate you to maintain those healthy financial habits overall! Knowing the status of your credit score can help you make informed decisions when it comes to taking out a loan, applying for a new credit card, or even renting an apartment. Being aware of changes to your credit score can alert you to any suspicious activity and give you the opportunity to take steps to protect yourself from identity theft or fraudulent activity.

Additionally, regular monitoring allows you to identify and address potential issues early, such as late payments that may be negatively impacting your score. It's also beneficial for keeping tabs on the accuracy of information reported by creditors, as errors can easily occur and cause inaccurate reporting. Taking all these factors into consideration helps keep you financially healthy in the long run!

6. Learn Money Management Skills

We’re lucky to live in a time where anyone can learn some truly useful skills simply by browsing the internet. Financial literacy is key to getting ahead financially, so dedicate some time every week to learning more about financial planning topics such as retirement savings, taxes, insurance and investments. Whether you prefer to listen to podcasts or read various financial blogs online, you can easily find useful information relevant to your specific financial needs.

7. Pay Off Your Debts

This may seem fairly obvious, but paying off your debts early is a smart financial decision, even if you don’t have much cash to spare. This is because it helps avoid compounding interest, which can quickly grow out of control and cripple your finances. Compounding interest means that the more money you owe, the higher the interest rate on that debt will be – and this can spiral into an ever-growing mountain of debt, which is why it’s almost never a good idea to skip a loan payment, for example.

So by paying off your debts as soon as possible, you are avoiding this potentially disastrous situation and protecting yourself from its financial consequences in the long run. If you need extra cash to help you pay off some unexpected debts, such as a higher-than-normal grocery bill or a car-related expense, you can also consider an instant payday loan from iCASH. It’s easy to apply, get approved and receive up to $1,500 via e-Transfer in minutes!

Kickstart 2023 on a Positive Financial Note

By following the tips in this blog, you can help set yourself up for a financially secure future. Taking small steps now to save and invest your money wisely will put you on track toward achieving financial independence in 2023. Sticking with a budget, paying off debt, automating your savings and investing in stocks are all important strategies that should be part of any successful long-term financial plan. With dedication and discipline, these simple but effective actions could lead to great rewards down the road – so start planning today!