Time flies when you’re having fun.
Which is both good and bad. Good because it means you’re having fun, bad because it’s tough to remember all the important details.
And for most of us, the end of 2015 signals the end of old chapters and the start of something new, something that will be even better if we can remember those details.
- how much money did you spend in 2015?
- did you use your income wisely?
- how can you improve your spending habits in 2016?
The key to improving our control on our money is to understand how we’re using that money.
Day to Day Spending Habits
As my accountant likes to say, “you might not think buying a 4 dollar coffee every day is a big deal, but it all adds up.
That’s the key: it all adds up. Coffee, putting gas in your vehicle, how much you spend on lunch every day. Your day to day spending habits ultimately define you. We complain about not having enough spending money, but we spend money on things we don’t need. We can pack our own lunches, make our own coffee and take the train instead of parking.
It’s well within our control to guide our daily budget. Take down some notes before the holidays roll around and review your day to day spending habits. Chances are you’ll be surprised to know you have more disposable income to go around if you spend it a little wiser.
I bought a home in 2015, which probably classifies as a big purchase. It’s important to outline the steps leading up to big purchases to learn more about where you created the revenue that made it possible.
- Monthly savings plan?
- Did you take out RSP’s?
- Bank or alternative financing loan?
- Down payment loan from parents?
Making a big purchase in one year, which could include vehicles or supplies required by your business, means you probably won’t be making a similar purchase the next year. Take that into account when building your 2016 budgets.
Everyone makes mistakes with their money. That’s why credit scores are determined over time instead of being based on one instance of spending behaviour. Mistakes can be made in either of the above categories, large purchases or small. Do you have something lying around your house you now realize you don’t need? Were you too impulsive in 2015? On the other hand, maybe keeping your money was the mistake, maybe you should have invested in RSP’s or home renovations.
Everyone’s personal financial portfolio is different, mistakes are common. It’s what you do with the knowledge you gain from those mistakes that counts.
What worked for you in 2015?
Is that home purchase working out for you? Are you seeing positive gains on your investments? While examining your personal financial year in review, it’s important to leave off on a high note. Cut yourself some slack, no one can see the future and it’s impossible to know exactly the impact your financial choices will have on the future.
Pay close attention to what you’ve done right. Then, you can do more of that.