How to Keep Your Finances on Track for 2021

Kelley Keehn Global National

2020 has been a bumpy year to say the least.  The best way to send it packing?  Embrace 2021 with clear and specific goals.

I sat down with Global National's, The Morning Show to chat about some ways to make the new year prosper for you.

Check it out here.

Here's some highlights:

  • Be specific
    • Saying you want to travel more when the pandemic is over or pay down your debt is too vague
    • Let’s make the goal:  go to Paris in August 2022
      • How much will you need?  How can you and your family start to touch your dream?  Where will you stay? How much are the flights and hotel? Do a virtual tour of the Louvre with your family.  Get a great bottle of French wine, cook a dish and maybe invest $20 and month on Babble to learn French.
    • If you want to pay down your debt, what’s your debt free day (outside of your mortgage)?  Say you have $40,000 in credit card, line of credit and car loan debt and want to be debt free in 5 years.  Let’s say your monthly payments on that debt are around $300 a month and the way you’re going you won’t be debt free for 15 years.  If you do the math, to be debt free in 5 years, you’ll need to pay another $366 per month – or another $12 and change per month.  Now this is super clear and your family can attack this goal.  There’s tons of free online calculators to help you figure this all out.  They’re super simple – have a number on my blog on my website.
  • Chunk it down
    • Let’s say you want to buy a home or draft your will.  These might seem like a simple item on your to do list, but if you chunk it down, there’s actually dozens if not more steps.
    • Once you have all the steps broken down, assign a deadline to each (for the new home goal: find the neigbourhoods you like, contact a realtor, find a banker, get a pre-approval, pull your credit report, etc.) broken down, then you can assign a due day for each small step and add it to your online calendar to hold yourself accountable and to give you a reminder.
  • Guilt is a good thing
    • If you’ve ever driven by a gym that you have a membership to and didn’t go it (pre COVID of course) and felt guilty, that’s a good thing! It’s your subconscious reminding you that you made a promise to yourself.
    • Even if you don’t have any money to save right now, set up an RRSP and a TFSA.  That way, you’ll already have something checked off for when you do have money to invest.  And, when you go to over spend, maybe you’ll feel a little guilty and save some of that money for your future you.
  • Reward positive behaviour        
    • Unfortunately, when we don’t eat the cookie or don’t buy that item online that we really want, no one pats us on the back.  We forgo the instant gratification and receive zero satisfaction in the present.  Figure out all the things you aren’t going to buy this week or month.  For each thing you don’t do, move something into a bowl (a paper clip, hair pin, penny) and pat yourself on the back when you see all those add up – how strong you were resisting.  Then, be sure to set up a little reward for all your great work at the end of the week or month – a bottle of wine, latte out, etc