New Year’s Resolutions for Your Finances

This post was written by the former Estonian Credit Union, now Northern Birch Credit Union.
As we kick-off the new year, you might be setting resolutions, goals or plans for 2018. From eating healthier, to seeing friends more often, your plans should include financial goals as well.
Here are a few ideas to include in your 2018 resolutions:
1. Automatic Savings
Set-up an automatic savings transfer to help you save easily. Starting with even $5 or $10 can help you get into the groove of saving. while not having to make drastic cut backs. As the year goes on, up the ante by increasing the dollar amount and you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see a nice amount in your savings account come next year.
2. Paying down debt
Paying off debt can seem daunting, but taking it step-by-step and creating a plan can really help. You should try to pay down high-interest debt first, or look for a consolidated loan  to help you with your payments. Make a plan that’s manageable for you, even if it’s just paying down one credit card this year.
3. Track your expenses
Becoming more mindful of where you’re spending your money will help you realize where you can cut back and where you can save. Try using a free app or even an excel spreadsheet to note down what you spent and when.
4. Check your credit score throughout the year
With growing fraud and scams, checking your credit score should be something you do throughout the year. Create calendar reminders to help you remember to pull a credit report every few months. Companies like Equifax and Transunion offer free and paid options for getting your report. They also help you report incidences of fraud.
5. Organize your paper drawer 
Go through your documents and organize what you need to keep or toss. Some things you need to keep forever like marriage licences, other things you can throw out after a certain amount of time like your tax returns, and some things you can get rid of right away. But! Make sure you’re not just throwing these things into the recycling, shred them first so your personal information isn’t floating around.
6. Stop paying banking fees! 
Do you pay monthly fees to just have a bank account, or transaction fees when you use your debit card? Check out free alternatives like credit unions and stop paying fees to access your own money.
7. Save every time you spend
Did you know some debit cards, like those at ECU, offer an option where you can round up each debit card purchase and the difference goes to your savings account? That means every time you spend money, you can also save some as well!
Paying with a debit card

Author: NorthernBirchCU

A co-operative financial institution based out of Toronto, Ontario.

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