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Pattie Lovett-Reid

Chief Financial Commentator, CTV


I’m the type of person who makes a New Year’s resolution. I love the start of a new year, new beginnings and a fresh start – and I literally fall into the same trap every year. Like many good intentions, mine don’t always translate into great results. I’m still trying to lose the five pounds I gained a decade ago. But that doesn’t mean I give up trying.

This time last year we talked about building your wealth, one month at a time. If you have good intentions but financially speaking you are struggling, maybe we can give it a try again this year.  

Once again I’m breaking down the monthly resolutions,  only this time it will be in bite-sized pieces:

January – Commit to taking control of your financial situation. Set financial goals that matter to you. Get excited about saving money.

February – Pay down debt. The holiday bills are rolling in and the debt is piling up. Pay off the most expensive debt first, the one with the highest interest rate. Put away the credit cards and begin the detox process.

March – Focus on other elements of your financial plan. Explore insurance options, estate planning or begin developing an investment strategy.

April – The tax deadline is right around the corner and while it is a little late in the year to get strategic about this, take the time to ensure you are getting the biggest bang for your tax buck. And set yourself up for success next year.

May – Spend less and save more. Enough said here.

June – Become an automatic millionaire. Okay, there is nothing automatic about becoming a millionaire, but you can pay yourself first by having money come directly out of your account and applying it towards debt or into an investment strategy to increase the odds of becoming one.

July – Review your portfolio to ensure your asset allocation is aligned to who you are as an investor. Make this a year of balance and take the time to figure out your required rate of return versus your desired rate of return.

August – Get insured. Not everyone needs insurance but everyone needs to ask the question, “what would happen to my family if something were to happen to me?” How you answer that question will dictate the type of insurance you should explore.

September – Create a will. No one likes to think about their demise but sadly things happen when you least expect it. My father passed away at 36 of a heart attack. He had a plan in place and while it clearly didn’t replace him, getting through the financial elements were easier than they would have been without the will.

October – Amp up your earning potential if that is important to you. What will it take to take your career to the next level? No one wants to be unbelievably average at what they do.

November – Be mindful of holiday spending.

December – Review, reflect, revise. Repeat.

You might not believe in New Year’s resolutions, so you might prefer to refer to this as an action plan. The only thing I know for sure is if we don’t try to make some changes, there is a 100 per cent chance we will be starting all over again in 2019.