Set your 2023 up for financial success

Financial

Craig York, 
Financial Counsellor, SISIP Financial, CFMWS

If you fear the arrival of your January credit card bill after purchasing Christmas gifts and Boxing Day sales, now is the time to make a resolution to improve your financial well-being in 2023 and avoid a ‘holiday hangover’ in the future.

First, it’s important to separate wants from needs, and clearly define what it means to ‘save’ money.

The sales in January can be tempting. Before you start shopping, consider if what you plan to buy is a ‘want’ or a ‘need’, and whether you can afford it. If you are putting ‘that great deal’ onto a credit card that you are unable to pay off immediately, the amount you are saving on the item quickly disappears with any interest that accumulates.

Consider how your shopping affects your long-term financial goals. Your spending habits should reveal what you value most. If you want to buy a house in the future, ask yourself if you would rather put that money into the down payment fund.

Second, start your savings plan now.

Include two types of savings into your monthly expenses to create a more sustainable budget:

Expenses you know will happen throughout the year. Start planning now by putting aside money every paycheck for gifts – Christmas will always be in December. It is much easier to put aside a little bit every paycheck than trying to afford everything all at once. Automate your savings to save time and money. With better preparation, financial emergencies become only financial inconveniences.

Expenses that are likely to come up throughout the year, such as vehicle repairs, home maintenance, clothing, shoes, vet bills, etc. You may have to estimate how much you should save, but it will lead to being better prepared for the unexpected.

Third, understand that change is difficult.

New Year’s resolutions are rarely successful because, despite our best intentions, maintaining motivation is difficult. Give yourself the best chance to reach your financial goals with a solid budget, the support of SISIP and a plan for the unexpected.

At SISIP, we can help you keep your 2023 Money Resolutions and put you on the path to financial wellness. We offer free and confidential financial counselling to help you stick to a budget and equip you with strategies to become debt-free. Give us a call at 250-363-3301 and make financial worries a thing of the past.

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