Counting down our Top 12 tips of 2021

2021-12-06   minute read

Jeane Herman

Lifestyle Debt

Debt Solutions

Kelowna-based Licensed Insolvency Trustee Jeané Herman recounts some of this year’s most memorable blogs in this easy to reference guide.

Financial changes are consistently among the most popular resolutions heading into the new year. It may seem like a steep hill to climb right now, but a fresh start is always within reach.

Whether you find yourself buried in credit card debt, struggling to budget, or struggling to save for the future, the simple act of deciding to make a change is a solid step in the right direction. The most important thing to remember is you don’t have to do it all at once. As Confucius famously said, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Decide on the changes you want to make and commit to making small, meaningful changes over the upcoming year, and a lifetime. You’ll be amazed to see the long-term impacts these can make on your financial fitness.

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Curated below are some of this year’s best tips and advice to help power your path forward.

1. Build a recurring habit that contributes to your goal and have a clear endpoint in mind

What’s different about Blue Monday 2021 | January 2021

People often talk about the need for SMART goals — that is, goals that are specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and time bound. This holds true for your financial goals as well. Be ultra clear on what you want to achieve, put a number on it and track your progress.

2. Even saving just $50 per month in an RRSP can grow to move than $45,000 in the next 30 years with a nominal four percent rate of return

Be financially strong as an ox | March 2021

It can be difficult to keep an eye to the future when current financial difficulties are all consuming. But financial issues tend to compound. A small unpaid debt can rapidly grow into a monstrous balance — but so can small investments.

3. Making, tracking, and sticking to a budget is the best way to stay on top of your expenses and avoid overspending

Change your financial habits, change your financial life | March 2021

It can be challenging to keep up with the seemingly endless list of bills and financial demands, but if you want to get ahead, you must find a way to spend less than you earn. A budget will help you determine which costs are necessary, which are optional, and which ones you can reduce.

4. Decide and implement debt reduction strategy. The two most common options are the debt snowball and the debt avalanche.

Our debt-fueled world isn’t sustainable | March 2021

Everyone wants to believe they’ve got the situation under control, but if the coronavirus crisis is any indication, it doesn’t take much to call even the most seemingly secure job and the most sustainable lifestyle into question.

5. It is never to soon to discuss money management with your children.

Why earlier is always better when discussing money with your children | April 2021

Children don’t come with user manuals ­— and it’s a massive challenge for parents to know when and how to start teaching their kids about financial literacy. When they are young keep it simple and relevant to them, and as they get older expand on their early learning skills and help them develop a budget and seriously consider setting financial goals.

6. When combining finances with a partner, use a joint account for the regular monthly expenses and keep individual accounts for all discretionary spending and individual savings goals.

How to get on the same financial page and avoid debt in your relationship | May 2021

Money is one of the leading causes of relationship conflict. Not talking about money doesn’t reduce its impact on your life. In fact, it’s often the opposite: ignoring money issues or denying they exist often makes problems worse and prevents couples from acting until things reach a boiling point.

7. If you continually have a tax debt each year, calculate what the average amount is each year and start monthly payments into a savings account.

Don’t be an ostrich: How to face your tax debt once and for all | May 2021 

A tax deficit can build up quickly if your deductions are not in line with your annual income or you are not regularly remitting income taxes to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) — as is the case with many self-employed individuals, investors and (in the case of 2020) CERB recipients. Miscalculating your total annual tax burden and/or failing to set enough money aside to pay your taxes can end up a hefty debt.

8. Use your budget and non-essential assets to pay down your debt.

Championship winning ways to cut down on your debt | June 2021

Make a list of who you owe, and the amounts owed and become familiar with your monthly expenses. Then, once you know what you are up against, start to build your strategy on what you can afford to do to bring the debt down and under control.

9. When a relationship starts to get serious and there are plans to take it to the next step, have the talk about money before moving in together.

We’re married but we have different ideas about debt and budgets | July 2021

The most enduring couples don’t necessarily agree on everything, but they do agree on the points that matter most. Those that can make wise, thoughtful decisions together are in a much better position to weather whatever challenges and opportunities come their way in the decades ahead.

10. Take stock of your financial health and look at whether your money is helping you achieve the life you want to be living.

What can I do to assess my financial health? | August 2021

Your financial wellbeing is much more than whether you can afford to pay your bills each month. Just as your blood pressure can reveal a lot about your risk of disease years later, there are financial benchmarks that reveal a lot about your relationship with money now and for years to come.

11. Start looking at everyday items as an investment. Reducing what you buy will have a direct impact on your budget.

How upcycling can benefit both the planet and your bottom line | October 2021

By most accounts, recycling is great and something you should certainly keep doing to support a greener future. Have you wondered if there were financial benefits to recycling? There are if you can transform an old or disused object into something entirely new and unique. 

12. Start mapping out your debt management plan at least five or more years before you plan to retire.

Ready to retire | October 2021

With the increasing costs of living, many individuals find themselves working several extra years to meet their debt obligations to their creditors. Even after these efforts, it often happens the debt they struggled for years to pay off is still with them when they retire, and they no longer have the income to support the repayments.

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