For many of us, sunrise on Jan 1, 2016 brought new hope, inspiration and dreams. Some of the financial goals we heard about at Credit Counselling Services include: saving for items like a car or a vacation, saving for security, i.e. emergency fund, paying down debt, living within means and even just getting finances organized so that things get paid on time and receipts get stored where you can find them later. But like many New Year’s resolutions, in the days and weeks that follow, our daily routines check in and our motivation checks out! Like any resolution, if it was important enough to make, it’s worth reviving. Follow these three Rs to help rejuvenate your motivation and guide you back on track!
Resolutions are often tied to changing something about our lives (I’m going to spend less), or challenging ourselves (I’m going to save for a vacation), and from a financial perspective; goals that challenge us are frequently going to be more successful, especially if the challenge is positive, rewarding and attainable. So reframe your resolution. Try to identify why you lost motivation; understand your roadblocks and build steps over them. For example; no time to track expenses? Just save receipts and you can categories and total them at the end of the tracking period. Try naming your goal something you can get excited about. For example – call your emergency fund your “Life Fund”. Hey, good things that cost money happen in life too! Or change your focus. Turn, “I’m going to stop buying take-out” to “I’m going to treat myself to “take out” twice a month and save $_________.”
Redirect is a positive spin on reduce. Reducing our spending sounds negative; like a chore, but redirecting makes us feel in control & less deprived. Redirect your spending by asking yourself if each purchase, fee, or interest charge is better directed towards your goal? This will help you pay attention to all those little extras that snack away on our hopes and dreams. Much of our spending can be redirected if we ask ourselves why we are spending. Some of the reasons for spending that might be reconsidered include: wants vs needs, impulse purchasing, emotional purchases, hunger, boredom, habits, over generous gifting, guilt, consumer sales pitches, etc.
Success is rarely accomplished in a bubble. Rejuvenate your resolutions by reaching out to others you trust for support and inspiration. Online inspirations abound! Blogs. Smart phone apps, and social media can offer up great motivation and money saving ideas. Use caution though. Visit www.getcybersafe.ca before you surf. Talk to professionals who can help: Your bank, financial planners, tax accounts, travel agents, etc. And you can book an appointment with a Credit Counsellor if you need information on reducing debt, budgeting or money management.
Visit your goals on a regular basis and reframe, redirect and reach out to new resources as needed!
Being in control of your finances, having financial security and reaching goals are very worthwhile and attainable resolutions. Don’t give up!
For information on setting up a monthly budget, consumer credit issues or managing debt, call Credit Counseling Services of Peterborough, a program of Community Counselling & Resource Centre, a United Way funded agency. For more information, call (705) 743-2272, www.ccrc-ptbo.com