How to get your money on track via 2023 savings resolutions

December 29, 2022

As the New Year begins, Save with SPP decided to have a look around for some new and different resolutions on that perennial topic, savings.

At the Michelle is Money Hungry blog we learn a good one — simplify your budget.

“It’s my personal belief that most budgets may be too complicated and that’s why it’s hard for people to keep track of everything,” she writes. Consider using an app like Personal Capital, Mint or You Need a Budget, she continues.   These tools “help you identify leaks in your budget,” she notes — like her personal one, which is coffee shop visits.

We like her thinking here — unless your budget is easy to use, and doesn’t require a ton of time to get through, you probably won’t follow it. Fix it with something easier.

The Street offers up another one we haven’t seen before — make your money goals in 2023 “cyclical.”

The article explains that most people make “linear” financial goals, such as “I need to save a million dollars for retirement,” then plunk down a couple hundred dollars a month, thinking they are now on track. “Every time you contribute a couple hundred dollars, you’re using a spoon to empty the ocean.” You are falling behind on your target without realizing it, the article explains.

By contrast, a “cyclical” approach “means paying less attention to long-term goals and instead focusing on each “cycle” for its own sake, the article tells us.

“For example, say you set a goal to save [a certain amount from] each paycheque,” Australian academic Leona Tam states in the article. “If you didn’t put away [that amount] from your last paycheque, you need to try to catch up immediately in your next paycheque. Catching up means you need to put up double the amount. That’s quite hard.” In other words, going cyclical makes it harder on you if you fall behind, which may make the approach succeed.

OK, so we have simpler budgeting and a “cyclical” approach to saving. What else is new in the resolution department?

The Life and a Budget blog has another fairly unique one — “do one frugal thing a day no matter how small.”

“No matter how small it is, making one single decision every day can change your finances,” the blog explains. Examples include setting a food budget, creating a meal plan and using it for shopping, eating at home, bagging your lunch and using up leftovers. Trying to do this all the time might seem hard, but we like the idea of doing only one such good financial deed per day — there’s more chance of success.

Finally, the Positively Frugal blog suggests we all need to “develop a positive mindset” about our finances.

“Your self-talk can have a big impact on your money aspirations and your overall outlook on life,” the blog explains. “If you find that you have negativity swirling around your head space, make a new year’s financial resolution to interject positive affirmations for money into your daily routine.”

We’ll throw in one more that we learned from a recent CTV Ottawa interview with an 111-year-old veteran. Asked what advice he would give those of us hoping to live as long a life, he said that first, you need to be happy and kind, but also that “if you have a problem, fix it.”

Don’t stress yourself out worrying about things like a money problem — focus on solving it and moving past it, the gentleman said.

That’s a good thought as 2023 begins. We wish everyone a Happy New Year and a prosperous year ahead!

If your problem is not having a retirement savings program at work, a fix is in your reach. The Saskatchewan Pension Plan is an open defined contribution pension plan that anyone with registered retirement savings plan room can join. They’ll invest your savings at a very low fee, grow it into a retirement nest egg, and help you turn those savings into income down the road. Check out SPP today!

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Written by Martin Biefer

Martin Biefer is Senior Pension Writer at Avery & Kerr Communications in Nepean, Ontario. A veteran reporter, editor and pension communicator, he’s now a freelancer. Interests include golf, line dancing and classic rock, and playing guitar. Got a story idea? Let Martin know via LinkedIn.

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