Consider a New Years Resolution to Freeze Your Spending in January and Reestablish Your Financial Habits: Experts | The Canadian News

Personal finance author Melissa Leong has a noble New Year’s resolution: a 21-day moratorium on buying extras in January. Think of it as dry January, but for expenses, she says.

“A spending freeze is like a cleanup,” Leong told Global News in an interview. “You are resetting your habits so that you can discover what you really value and maybe start some new habits down the road.”

Leong isn’t the only one making money-focused resolutions for the new year. According to an Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News, 41 percent of Canadians said they plan to make financial resolutions for the New Year. Forty-eight percent said they will aim to pay off the debt, while 45 percent want to make and stick to a budget.

There are also those who want to save for a rainy day, almost 36 percent, while 34 percent said that saving money for retirement and investing are goals for 2022.

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Melissa Leong is the author of Happy Go Money: Spend Smart, Save Right and Enjoy Life.

According to financial experts, the key to maintaining money-related goals is having specific, achievable goals and a responsibility that will keep you motivated throughout the year.

Personal finance expert Rubina Ahmed-Haq says setting the right tone for 2022 begins in January. She is in favor of cutting back on spending in the first month of the year as a way to recover both emotionally and financially from vacation expenses.

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“January is an excellent month to cut back, everyone is in hibernation mode,” Ahmed-Haq told Global News in an interview.

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The start of the new year is also an opportunity to develop habits that can carry you through to 2022. That can range from setting up automatic savings, taking stock of what you already have in your possession, to unsubscribing from brochures from retailers that support you. they tempt you to overspend, Ahmed-Haq said.

“Every time you want to make a purchase over $ 100, spend 24 hours thinking about this purchase,” he said. And do a little inventory at home. Most of the time we buy things that we already have at home ”.

Be specific

The better your understanding of why If he’s putting money aside, he’s more likely to keep it, according to Leong. Think of specificity as your secret weapon.

“For example, people who put money in envelopes labeled with their children’s names are less likely to get into those envelopes because it means more to them,” she says.

Being specific also means committing to exact dollar figures rather than nebulous goals, according to personal finance wellness educator Zandile Chiwanza.

Zandile Chiwanza is a self-proclaimed “budget warrior” and financial wellness educator.

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“Instead of saying ‘I want to save,'” he told Global News in an interview, “You can tell yourself by December 31, 2022, I want to save three thousand dollars and I will do it by setting aside money every paycheck.”

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Recruit accountability partners

Meeting your goals may require the help of a trusted friend or an online community, according to Chiwanza. However, he said, people may hesitate to do that because they are reluctant to talk about dollars and cents with those who know us best.

“Join responsibility groups or talk to friends and family about money because we like to keep it a secret or as a taboo subject,” says Chiwanza.

You will need to add a regularly scheduled check-in to your calendar, Leong said. It may not guarantee that you will maintain your resolve successfully, but it may increase your chances of success.

“Studies show that when you have a responsible partner, people with peer support actually save more money, even if that conversation was via text message, than those who didn’t,” Leong said.

Roll with the punches

Chiwanza said a little flexibility goes a long way when it comes to money-related resolutions. His goal in early 2020 was to pay off a $ 10,000 debt he owed, but the pandemic hit, derailing his plans. He was lucky to keep his job and income, but felt he needed to build up some savings before paying off his debt.

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Chiwanza continued to service his debt, although not as aggressively as he had planned. First, a goal was set to save an emergency fund of $ 3,000. He reached his savings goal in 2020 and then proceeded to focus on eliminating his debt, which he managed to do in August of this year.

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“It could have been a little later than anticipated, but I was in a much better position,” he says. “Emergencies happen and you really have to be kind to yourself.”

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