Financial Literacy

Financial goals that are easy to accomplish

January is not only a great time to reflect on the past but also a great time to look into the future and set some goals. One of the biggest mistakes people make is they set goals without boundaries and goals that are too difficult to achieve.
Accomplishing goals can be very rewarding so sometimes it’s great to set some little goals that create a positive feeling that you have achieved some milestones. Achieving a smaller success can be a great stepping-stone to bigger goals.

He’s a list of 10 goals that anyone should be able to accomplish

  1. Make an extra mortgage payment this year. There’s no secret to the math. Making one extra mortgage payment in a year every year can mean you will be mortgage-free years sooner and save you thousands of dollars in interest.
  2. Find a lower interest rate credit card. So many people are keeping balances on high-interest credit cards which is a sure-fire way to pay too much interest. If this is you, you will surely benefit from finding a lower interest credit card and it may be easier than you think.
  3. Do you own a tax return this year? Many people need the help of a professional to complete their tax returns but if you attempt to do your own return first, you may become more knowledgeable and aware of strategies and ways to reduce your tax bill.
  4. Review your willReviewing your will is not hard to do. The hardest part might be finding a copy to review. So many people have outdated wills with the wrong beneficiaries, executors that have deceased, and do not reflect their current situation.
  5. Check the beneficiaries on your RRSP, RRIFs, Pensions, TFSAs. Some plans require direct beneficiary designations and there can be benefits to having the proper beneficiaries to save money on taxes.
  6. Review your life insurance coverage. When reviewing your life insurance, there are a few questions to help you: Do you need life insurance? How much insurance do I have? How much do I need? Do I have the right type of policy? Are my beneficiaries correct?
  7. Do a home inventory. In a material world, it’s easy to accumulate things and if you are anything like me, you accumulate way too much. It’s good to just take stock from time to time by doing a home inventory. Diarize some of the more expensive items in the home in case you need it for insurance purposes. Take a video camera around the house as part of your home inventory strategy. Taking stock can sometimes allow you to purge and get rid of unused and unwanted items by throwing them away or even selling them for money
  8. Figure out your personal investment return on your portfolio. I meet far too many people that have no idea what they own in their investment portfolios and even if they do, they have no idea what their personal investment return is. If you don’t know how your portfolio is doing, it’s time to break the habit and engage.
  9. Rebalance your portfolio. The most common strategy to manage a portfolio is to BUY AND HOLD. As much as buy and hold has some merit, it ignores one of the key components to making money. It ignores the sell side of the equation. In my opinion, the better strategy to manage a portfolio is to rebalance from time to time. If you simply re-visit your portfolio, you can’t help but BUY LOW, SELL HIGH which is the best strategy for making money.
  10. Complete your net worth statement. Knowing your worth is so important to getting ahead financially because it’s one of the key ways to measure wealth. How would you know how you are doing financially if you had no idea how much you are worth? It’s not a hard process. Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. One on side write down everything you own (assets) and on the other side write down everything you owe (liabilities). Take your assets and subtract your liabilities and you have your net worth. If you want to download some examples and templates you can check out this article on net worth statements.

All of these ideas are things that can be accomplished fairly quickly. This list is far from exhaustive so do you have any ideas or suggestions for financial goals that might be easy for people to accomplish?


  1. Cliff Stevenson

    As always Jim, great and practical suggestions. Number 1 is super high on my list this year….followed by #’s 4 and 5.

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