By Megan Martin ©2020 Postmedia Network Inc.
For some, the beginning of a new year can feel like a chance at a fresh start. For others, the post-holiday season can be a strain on savings due to the endless festivities.
However, a new decade is the perfect opportunity to set those financial goals you always envisioned for yourself. Learning how to budget properly sets you up for long-term prosperity, allowing you to borrow less, have more flexibility, and the capacity to plan for the future.
Over years of exchange with their customers, iCASH has learned that this ideal scenario isn’t always realistic. So, the team has come up with an array of ways in which you can reach financial health and stability that still feels fully achievable. The best way to start is by taking simple and specific steps: have a targeted goal and a plan that is compatible with your lifestyle.
1. Build a “Smart” Plan
Sometimes making broad goals like “spend less and save more” can actually be detrimental to your financial well-being. Although it seems like the thing you’re supposed to do, those terms can feel meaningless and vague, especially when you haven’t adapted them for your circumstances. It will seem impossible to achieve something that feels meaningless.
The key to sticking to a goal is to frame it in a realistic and clear way: what do you want, and how can you make it happen? Make a SMART target: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound. The SMART method allows you to tailor your goal in a way that feels personalized and consequential. If the goal inspires motivation, feels relevant to your lifestyle, and is within an achievable timeframe, you’re more likely to make it happen.
2. Make small yet impactful changes
Setting up your plan is only the first step; the hardest part is actively putting away the money! Start by learning to pay yourself first and set aside a fixed amount of your paycheck every month; doing so will help you start to be an active saver. Whether it’s $5 or $50, no amount is too small to put towards your goal; getting to watch your money grow is an excellent inspiration!
3. Don’t give up!
It’s not always easy, and you won’t be perfect throughout the saving process. But a few missteps don’t mean you should abandon your hard work. Simply reset and get back on track towards your goal. It’s important to remember that all you can do is try your best and understand that sometimes things happen, that’s life. What matters is moving past it and resuming the path to your goal.
Tracking your progress can be hugely beneficial throughout the course of your efforts. Knowing where you stand means you can continue to make smart decisions. Seeing the big picture can help motivate you towards achieving your goal and taking charge of your overall financial health.
4. Look for new ways to save
Once you’ve developed a solid and predictable savings routine, it can feel like you’ve hit a plateau. In order to stay motivated, this a great point to start cracking down on the more frivolous areas of spending now that you’ve learned to actively set aside money. Try cutting back on coffee, limit the times you eat out during the week, or eliminate a subscription service.
Finding new ways to save, and potentially new goals along the way, can be a big help in renewing your motivation. Since you’ve made it this far to see true progress, it will only get easier.
5. Don’t fear the unexpected
Emergencies can happen to everyone even though we try our best to plan ahead. Don’t get discouraged; getting a short term loan online with a lender like iCASH can help get you quickly and easily back on track.
iCASH has multiple financial tools available to help you manage these types of situations. They offer a simple loan calculator to estimate the amount you can borrow and repay in a reasonable timeframe.
iCASH uses an innovative decision-making process to provide financial assistance to over 300,000 Canadians. Regardless of credit score or financial history, their lending system allows individuals to borrow the money they need and receive it within 5 minutes by e-transfer.
Find out how to start the year right and easily get the funds you need by visiting www.icash.ca
This content was produced by Content Works, Postmedia’s custom content studio.