It's Your Money  

Making money resolutions

As we ring in the New Year this week, many Canadians will make New Year’s resolutions that will largely focus on their health and happiness.

The most common resolutions that occur year after year include eating better, quitting smoking, exercising and spending more time doing things that are important to you. 

Far less common are resolutions focused on your financial health even though finances are the No. 1 cause of stress and depression. This time last year, I wrote a column on financial resolutions and stuck to just three ideas:

  • Creating a budget
  • Paying down your debt
  • Creating an emergency plan

I’d be happy to email you a copy of that column if you want as the same ideas certainly apply this year as well. But in the meantime, I thought I’d add a new idea to help you build this year’s resolutions:

To create a financial resolution that will have a meaningful impact, you need to know where your biggest shortfalls are.

Most Canadians have no idea where they stand financially and don’t know what areas of their finances need the most work.

We recently launched an online “do it yourself” tool that allows people to figure out exactly where they stand.

It’s called the “IG Living Plan Snapshot” and it provides Canadians with an indication of their financial well being in less than 15 minutes with no strings attached. 

You answer a series of questions based on the five dimensions of financial well being and it will give you a score out of 100 to show you where you stand.

In addition, it will provide personalized recommendations that can then be used to build your new year’s resolutions and maybe even an entire financial plan. 

The five dimensions that the snapshot tool focuses on are:

  • Optimizing your retirement
  • Preparing for the unexpected
  • Planning for major expenses
  • Managing your cash flow
  • Sharing your wealth

As noted above, you can use this online tool for free and it won’t require you to submit any personal information to do so. If you want to give it a shot, you can access the tool right here.

Although I could have listed many more resolution ideas for this year, they would all be generic in nature and not custom tailored to your unique situation.

Instead, I encourage you to see what priorities make sense for you!

Happy New Year to you and your family and here’s to 2020 being the year that you achieve sound financial health.


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About the Author

Brett, designated as a chartered investment manager and certified financial planner, is the regional director (Okanagan) for IG Wealth Management.

In addition to his “day job," Brett was appointed to the board of directors of FP Canada (formerly FPSC) in 2014, named as the board’s vice-chair in 2017 and took over as board chairman in 2019. 

Brett has been writing a weekly financial planning column since 2012 and provides his readers with easy to understand explanations of the complex financial challenges that they face in every stage of life.

Enhancing the financial literacy of Canadian consumers is a top priority of Brett’s and his ongoing efforts as a finance writer and on the regulatory side through the FP Canada board focus on this initiative.   

Please let Brett know if you have any topics that you’d like him to cover in future columns by emailing him at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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