BOLD Prediction: 2017 is going to be waaay better than 2016. It just has to be. This is doubly true if you get started on the right financial footing.
So, we are going to recommend four financial resolutions that will allow you to improve your financial health while keeping up a great lifestyle in the new year. See ya later, 2016.
1. Budget more intelligently
Cut expenses and save more. Simple, right? But it’s never that easy.
If you aren’t already using technology to stay on top of your budget, it’s not too late to get started. There are several apps out there (including some from Canada’s big banks) to help you budget smarter.. Personally, I use Mint. It connects with all your financial accounts allowing you to get a big picture overview of your spending habits. Mint also lets you build budgets with ease, letting you keep a close eye on spending Looking for something more simple? CIBC offers a great calculator for a monthly budgeting plan to help keep you on track.
Further, there are many expense categories where you can look to save money in 2017. From finally cutting the cord on cable, to eating in more often, it may be easier than you think to rack up an additional $5,000 in savings in lifestyle categories.
2. Pay off debt
Nearly half of Canadians hold credit card debt, but nobody really likes talking about it openly. Resentment, anxiety and shame are common symptoms of credit card debt. Over 60% of Canadians have said they often lose sleep over credit card debt.
Now is the time take action to start 2017 credit card debt free. The process of reducing debt can be simple. The most direct route is to lower your expenses and allocate more cash towards paying down higher cost debt. Another option is to check if you can refinance your higher rate debt with a lower rate debt consolidation loan. It could save you thousands in interest and help you become debt free sooner.
3. Improve your credit score
Credit scores in Canada are a mysterious subject. Until innovations like Borrowell’s free credit score offering came around, nearly half of Canadians had never checked their credit score. Why is it so important to know and improve your score? A good credit score is the key to unlocking options that allow you to best manage your personal finances. Many Canadians don’t know the best practices on how to improve the mysterious credit score. So, we created a free 7-week email course to help you understand credit scores and how to improve your score.
4. Give new financial upstarts some of your attention
One silver lining for 2016 was that it was a great year for innovations in Canadian consumer finance (I know, we’re nerds about consumer finance). These new financial technology (fintech) players are providing a faster, easier, and often cheaper way of managing your finances.
Here are some new financial services we absolutely love to use here at Borrowell:
- EQ Bank’s online smarter chequing + savings account with a rate of 2%
- Wealthsimple’s automated investing account with $5,000 of investments managed free
- True North Mortgage provides low rates on mortgages
- Drop lets you earn points at the places you shop the most, automagically
- Borrowell lets you get your credit score for free or check your loan rate, 100% online
What resolutions do you have for 2017?