A new year means new resolutions and goals, many of which will surely be related to improving our finances. So whether it’s paying off that credit card balance, starting to save for retirement, finding the courage to ask for a raise, or circling your retirement date on the 2017 calendar, my mom and I would like to wish you all the best with your financial goals in the new year.

My advice?

Be realistic. Don’t strive to put away $2,000 a month when $200 is all you can afford. Start small and work your way up.

Keep it simple. Personal finance doesn’t have to be complicated. Break down your financial needs in three stages: short, medium, and long-term goals. Prioritize and then assign each dollar you save to help achieve those goals.

Make it automatic. The best way to build strong savings habits is to pay yourself first, preferably through automatic monthly contributions. It works whether you’re increasing your mortgage payment, saving for retirement, or building up your emergency stash.

Happy New Year

This Week’s Recap:

It was a quiet week around here but we still managed to write two posts over the holidays.

First up, my year-end net worth update where I broke through the $500,000 milestone.

Next, I reviewed Victory Lap Retirement by Mike Drak and Jonathan Chevreau. We’re giving away a copy of the book to one lucky reader so head on over and leave a comment for a chance to win. The contest has been extended until January 2nd at 5PM EST.

I must say, it has been amazing to read all of your comments on that post about what retirement means to you. What a kind, generous, and thoughtful community we have here and I thank you for sharing with us. It makes me wonder if a retirement forum might be the next step as this blog and its community continues to grow.

Weekend Reading:

The biggest buzz in Alberta right now is a new carbon tax coming into effect January 1st. There’s a lot of misinformation about how carbon pricing will impact households but this article shows exactly how it will break down for six Alberta families. The answer? Not as much as you’d think.

Following the Victory Lap mindset, Carl Richards says let’s make 2017 the year of working hard and resting hard.

How to do what you love and make good money? Derek Sivers has a pretty good answer:

Don’t try to make your job your whole life. Don’t try to make your art your sole income.

Let each be what it is, and put in the extra effort to balance the two, for a rewarding life.”

Inflation, debt, consumerism. This is how the 40-hour work week makes us economic slaves.

Is a universal basic income the answer to automation-caused unemployment?

Simon Sinek is probably most famous for his book and subsequent TED Talk on leadership – Start With Why. Now he’s gone viral again with this 15-minute rant on millennials in the workplace. Must watch:

A Wealth of Common Sense blogger Ben Carlson always finds interesting stories to share. This one is about how a guy who literally wrote the book on gullibility was duped in the largest Ponzi scheme of all-time.

Carlson also explains why picking the best performing stocks has to be the hardest thing to do when investing.

Financial columnist Jason Zweig gives us the long, sordid history of high investing fees for low returns.

Why jittery dividend investors should keep calm and carry on as interest rates rise.

Greedy Rates with a useful post listing all the Canadian credit cards that can get you a free flight.

This Air Miles collector got some miles reimbursed after he rushed to redeem them ahead of the now cancelled expiry date.

Amazon continues to push the boundaries of what is possible, this time patenting flying warehouses that send delivery drones to your door.

Back to reality and Jamie Golombek gives us the new numbers we need to get a jumpstart on our 2017 taxes.

Finally, the Million Dollar Journey blog gives a nice recap of the year all while celebrating its 10th blogging anniversary.

Happy New Year, everyone!


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