Dec 29, 2022
How to start the new year off on the right financial foot
Angus Reid Institute on credit card surcharges
From travelling the world to eating more vegetables, many Canadians make resolutions about changing their lifestyle in the new year, but some experts say it’s also a great time to find ways to improve your finances.
Barry Choi, personal finance expert at MoneyWeHave.com, said a good place to start is by educating yourself about personal finance.
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“Learning about personal finance and investing has never been easier,” Choi said over email on Dec. 7.
“There are books, blogs, and podcasts that will teach you the basics to free you from your financial handcuffs.”
ELEVATED BASIC LIVING COSTS
At a time when high inflation continues to keep basic living costs elevated, Jessica Moorhouse, financial counsellor and host of the More Money Podcast, said it’s important to know where all of your money is going.
“You’re definitely going to have to take an inspection of your finances in the new year to see where the money is going and identify the areas where you don’t feel good,” Moorhouse said in a phone interview on Dec. 8.
“Then you can start changing your spending habits appropriately.”
Choi suggested if Canadians want to make a more drastic change to their spending, they should take a closer look at how they shop for groceries.
“The reality is that cutting your expenses will only go so far, you'll have to make more drastic changes to your spending,” he said.
“When grocery shopping, it may make sense to change the brands or products you're buying to reduce costs. In addition, buying in bulk when things are on sale could be advantageous.”
In November, food inflation rose 11.4 per cent compared to a year ago, which was up from 11 per cent in October.
This marked the 12th month in a row that grocery price inflation rose at a faster pace than overall inflation.
START SAVING YOUNG
Moorhouse said personal finance resolutions aren’t just for Canadians with kids and a mortgage. She explained that it’s important to start building a financial foundation in your 20s, since it will help set you up for success in the years to come.
“If you start small with investing and saving, it really does snowball and it's an exciting thing,” she said.
“There's some really great things about starting early and being consistent because you'll start to see those fruits of your labour, those rewards, later on in life.”