The first few weeks of January are always filled with cautious optimism. There’s Dry January and fitness goals (pre-pandemic fueled by discounts to gyms and a plethora of healthy food meal plans). People commit to learn how to juggle or read 12 books or floss every day! Sadly, by mid-February the lustre of a new year where failure hasn’t marred its surface has faded. You weren’t able to finish the 4th chapter of that supposed bestseller. The floss thing lasted a week until that TV marathon you’d tried to resist on the weekend claimed you, etc.
When you feel like your healthy habits aren’t forming as quickly as they should, nor your waistline shrinking as quickly, play your trump card. Do a little every day or every other day and try not to get down on yourself if you fall off the wagon occasionally. For most things the accumulation of what you do at the beginning and middle leads to a big pay-off at the end. For your investments, don’t feel down if you didn’t invest a lot in 2020. 2021 is a new year.
The easiest way to accomplish your short-term financial goals is to automate them. The adage is still true: if you don’t see it, you don’t spend it. Here are some simple examples.
TFSA contribution for 2021 is $6,000. If you intend to contribute the maximum but would rather not contribute a lump sum, just add your TFSA as a payee from your online banking and dump in $500/month.
Same thing for your RRSP. Best is to contribute a lump sum each year. The 2021 RSP limit is $27,830 or $2,320/month. It beats paying it to the CRA.
If paying down your mortgage is a priority, then think about increasing your monthly mortgage payment to become debt free earlier.
If those numbers seem too large play your trump card and start small. Five dollars saved is better than none. Do what you can when you can, and you’ll be surprised by what you’ve done one presidential term later.
2021 is going to be great and January is as good a time as any for a fresh start.
Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash
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