Getting Financially Fit for 2013

Happy New Year!

New Year’s resolutions don’t work most of the time because we tend to make them too big, too overwhelming and not specific enough. But when our resolutions don’t come true, it’s decision time: We can get back at it and try again, or just go back to that “what’s the use” mindset and deal with it again next year. If nothing changes – nothing changes.

I recently heard some feedback from a couple of people who were pretty disciplined in paying for Christmas shopping with cash – hurray! Unfortunately, they fell off the “cash only” wagon on Boxing day. Well, nothing happens in a straight line. One day of brain damage, or credit card damage, isn’t a reason to give up.

The good news: It’s a new year! It’s a chance to start over, to resolve to do better, to do more, or in the case of your payments and all that interest – to do a lot less.

The bad news? You’re already broke! How’d that happen? Well, we spend more than 160% of our disposable income. That means every dollar you’re going to earn this year is already spent and spoken for. If that isn’t sick enough, half of us have no savings, and almost 70% of us don’t even make RRSP contributions. Why? Because every dollar we earn goes to make a long list of lenders really really rich and there’s simply nothing left at the end of the month.

And for 2013, I wish you:

Three months of emergency savings
A debit card in your wallet and a credit card at home for emergencies
A zero balance line of credit
And being overdraft free

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