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Debt Relief: 8 Ways to Make Savings a Priority in 2019

According to a 2018 Tangerine poll, “saving more money” ranked higher than “paying down debt” as a New Year’s resolution. That being said, the two go hand in hand if you want to make real progress this year. That’s why we’re talking about all the ways you can save your money, while ditching debt at the same time.  Here are seven great strategies.

  1. Make a plan. When you’re going on a trip, you plan what you’ll wear, what attractions you’ll see and how much money each event will cost. You need to put just as much effort into planning when it comes to financial goals in order to meet them. Start by writing down your top five financial goals for the year and keep that list in a place you can refer to it often. Check out how to set SMART goals here.
  2. Arrange your goals by most important to least. High credit card debt? Those interest charges will cost you a small fortune over time. That should be your top priority, but it doesn’t mean you can’t work on other goals at the same time. It just means you should assign the most money to your highest priorities.
  3. Follow a budget. You’ll be amazed to see all the places your money has been going each month. Use a budgeting app or a budget worksheet to jot down your income and financial responsibilities. From there, you can start to cut out unnecessary spending that might inhibit your goals.
  4. Open a high-interest savings account. Put your savings on auto-pilot by setting up a savings account, linking it to your chequing account and setting up automatic withdrawals that correspond with your paycheques. You probably won’t notice much difference in your finances, but you’ll watch your savings grow quickly. This is called paying yourself first.
  5. Avoid mindless spending. Loud music, flashy lights, one-day sales…online and brick & mortar stores have a way of getting us to spend more than we intend to. And when it becomes a regular habit, debt can pile up fast and your budget can go out the window. Here’s how you can avoid this type of spending:

Unsubscribe to store emails.

Wait 24 to 48 hours before you commit to any major purchase.

Assess your wants and needs to see whether your purchases fit into your financial plan.

Use a list and stick to it each time you shop.

  1. Cut costs. Is a healthier lifestyle on your radar this year? Kill two birds with one stone by creating a weekly meal plan that will save you time, money and the dreaded “what’s for dinner” question. In addition to grocery savings, check over all your household services such as phone, internet and cable and see where you can make cuts or find a better deal.
  2. Consolidate your debt. High credit card debt, lines of credit and personal loans can stand in the way of savings by eating up your monthly income. Consolidation is one way to free up monthly cash so you can save more money. You can do this by:

Combining your high-interest credit card balances into a lower interest card or line of credit.

Talk to a bank or credit union where you can apply for a consolidation loan.

Speak to a debt professional, such as a Licensed Insolvency Trustee who will go over ALL your debt relief options and find one that fits.

  1. Find your motivation. Instead of using social media to fuel your FOMO, let it inspire you! Follow inspirational finance bloggers like Christine Drummond or Jessica Moorhouse who can teach you how to save like a pro, get out of debt and live your best life while hitting your goals.

Ready to implement your debt relief and savings goals? Keep up your motivation all year long by connecting with our Twitter community. #LeaveDebtBehind #NewYearsResolution #Budgeting

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