New Year's: Achieving your Financial Resolution

(NC)—The old year's passed and the new one is just beginning. Time to think about establishing good habits and making those annual resolutions stick this time around.

"Every year, Canadians tend to make resolutions aimed at improving their physical health," said Karrina Dusablon, director of the Education Centre and Sales Support, Group Retirement Savings at Desjardins Financial Security. "This year, why not also try to improve your financial health? If you're already making your maximum RRSP contribution, consider opening a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) to deposit everything you've saved thanks to your new financial strategies. The beauty of financial health is that you'll be able to see the results almost instantly." Here are some simple strategies to help you achieve your 2012 financial resolutions:

Try the "Cash" diet

If your credit and debit cards are the best friends that leave you in the red at the end of every month, it's probably time you went on a cash diet. Every Friday, withdraw only the amount that will cover your living expenses for the week. This includes groceries, household goods, entertainment and transportation. If you have a bit left over at the end of the week, treat yourself to something small and then put the balance into your savings account.

"S" is for slush fund

Want to replace that hideous looking olive green fridge that makes a really annoying clicking noise every night between 3 and 4 a.m.? By creating a dedicated slush fund savings account, you can easily purchase a new fridge in a couple of months. Every time you get paid, put a set amount—let's say $25—over a period of several weeks. In no time you'll have enough saved to make your purchase.

TFSN: Tidy, Fix and Say No

Tidy: Maybe you don't really need a bigger house. Maybe it's time to de-clutter. Consider donating your gently used furniture, toys and kitchen wares to a local charitable agency near you. In some cases, you might even receive a tax receipt.

Fix: When buying an electrical appliance, consider whether it's cost effective to get it repaired or to simply replace it. In most cases, it's easier on your pocketbook and the environment to fix a higher end appliance than buying a new one of lesser quality.

Say No: It's not easy to stick to a budget when you've got a busy social and family life. When you're faced with an expense that doesn't fit in with your financial strategy, you need to learn how to politely and firmly say no. Consider saying "I'm on a money diet right now, but thanks for the invitation," or "I hadn't budgeted for an extra night out this week." You're friends should totally understand and support you.

For more tips on how you can achieve your financial goals this year, visit Desjardins Financial Security at


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