It’s always a good time to focus on your financial goals. Your finances are an essential part of how you live your life. 34% of Canadians believe that finances control their lives.
It can be challenging to feel like you’re not in control of your life if you have to work hard to make ends meet or worry about not having enough money at the end of the month.
Money can be a complex subject to tackle. There are so many moving parts, and your personal situations will also play a role in approaching your finances. However, it is crucial to take a serious look at finances to ensure that you are on the way to reaching your goals.
Your financial goals can be within reach. Setting financial goals and making a concrete plan to achieve them is possible.
Here are some of our best tips to help you make your financial dreams a reality.
Make a list of your financial goals.
What doesn’t get planned doesn’t get done. It is essential to write down your goals so that you can make a plan for them.
Financial goals, just like other goals, should follow the SMART goals framework. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
Your goals are unique to you. Ask yourself what a better financial life looks like for you.
Specifically, what does financial success look like for you?
Create or Bolster your emergency fund
Emergency funds are essential to sound financial planning. They provide a cushion for when plans get derailed, whether a result of a job loss, unexpected illness, or a global pandemic.
Setting up an emergency fund will ensure that you plan if things don’t go as expected. If there is an emergency, you will have access to funds set aside specifically for emergencies.
Tackle any debt you have
Many Canadians rely on credit, whether it’s a mortgage, student loans, lines of credit, car loan or credit cards.
Managing your debt and paying it down can be one of the best ways to set yourself up for financial success. Once your debt is out of the way, you can be free of the burden and build wealth to secure your financial future.
If you’re looking for help to manage your debts, use a debt calculator to find out how much you can save on your debt.
Evaluate your budget (or start one)
A budget is one of the most valuable tools to help you take care of your money. Those who create budgets are less likely to fall short of their financial commitments.
Your budget is a monthly plan for how you will earn money, what expenses you have, and whether you will have any extra to save or invest at the end of the month.
There are a lot of mobile applications and digital resources to help you start a budget. Or, if you prefer, it can be as simple as writing it down with pen and paper.
At the end of the month, make sure to evaluate how you did against your budget.
Over time, as your income or expenses change, you can tweak your budget. As you go through your expenses every month, you will better understand your and your family’s spending habits, and you can make changes as necessary to the budget.
Improve your credit scores
If you have had credit card debt in the past or have defaulted on any loans, it can impact your credit score.
Your credit score is an essential measure of your finances. A low credit score can have unintended consequences in many areas of your life, including your ability to take out future loans or mortgages.
Improving your credit score can put you on track for long-term goals, such as buying a house or starting a business.
You can work with a certified credit counsellor who can help you fix your credit and tackle your debt.
Start Saving and Investing for your long-term goals
Once you have set up a good foundation for your financial goals – starting a budget, creating an emergency fund, and making a plan for your debt – it is time to start saving and investing for the future.
Every month, make a plan for any extra money you have leftover. Start learning about the best strategies to save and invest.
No matter how big your small financial goals are, they will be within reach when you start to save for them.
Find Resources to Help
Tackling your financial goals can feel like an intimidating project.
It is okay not to have all the answers today. But It is vital to commit to your financial goals for your future.
There are a lot of resources to help guide you in your path to financial success. It is important to set your goals and create an action plan that will help you on your way.
It is just as important to identify the next steps in achieving your financial goals.
If your plans include managing your debt and improving your credit score, a certified credit counsellor can help you build a solid foundation to secure your financial future.
Ultimately, the most challenging step often is just to start. Once you get the ball rolling, you will realize that your financial goals are within reach. Setting financial goals and making a concrete plan to achieve them is possible.
If one of your goals is to pay down and tackle your debt once and for all, a certified credit counsellor at EmpireOne Credit can help. Our certified credit counsellors can help you manage or eliminate your debt and set you up for a better financial future. Contact us for a free consultation.