Many Canadians have decided to become financially fit in 2015. While some plan on saving more money, others will be paying down their existing debt and spending less money on unnecessary items. January is the perfect time to appraise your financial goals and decide where you'd like to be by the end of 2015. If you are planning on tidying up your spending and saving habits this year, here are a few tips to help you get started.
1. Check your credit score
Find out what your credit health really is by getting a copy of your credit report. You can either do this online with a payment or you can order it through the mail for free. Equifax and TransUnion are the credit reporting companies that lenders in Canada consult before deciding whether or not you are eligible for a loan or a mortgage. If you haven't checked it in a while, it's a good idea to do so now. Even if you think you have a flawless credit record, there may be some mistakes appearing. As well, if you know that you have some credit issues, you can get started this year by clearing them up.
2. Create a new 2015 budget
Last year's budget may not cut it this year. If it's time to make a new budget, schedule some time to do so soon. Last year's budget may not reflect the rising cost of living and may not take into account certain changes in your personal lifestyle.
3. Curb your spending habits
Keep in mind when you're making up your budget that it can be extremely difficult to completely eliminate some of the unnecessary expenses from your budget. Instead of removing them completely, you may be better off just cutting down on your expenses a little at a time. For example, if you go out to eat once a week, you can restrict yourself to only going out once every two weeks. Even though it may seem like you're not saving a lot of money by doing it this way, if you take a look at the bigger picture and how much money you'll be saving over the course of the year, you'll see that it really adds up.
4. Save your change
If you have something that you're trying to save up for, invest in a new piggy bank. Put your extra change into the piggy bank and when you have enough saved you can open a special bank account that is devoted only towards saving up for that something special. Those nickels, dimes, quarters, loonies and toonies can really amount to a lot if you persistently feed the piggy!