PEI

5 tips for getting your finances in order in 2022

Have a plan and take small steps to meet your goals are two of the tips from financial adviser Shannon McNutt.

Starting small is key, says financial advisor

P.E.I. financial adviser Shannon McNutt offers money tips for the new year

8 months ago
Duration 1:36
To help people start 2022 on stronger financial footing, adviser Shannon McNutt with IG Wealth Management offers her top five tips.

With a new year around the corner, some of us are reflecting on our goals for 2022. If you want to make changes around your financial habits, read on. 

Shannon McNutt is a financial adviser with IG Wealth Management in Charlottetown. Here are her five tips for how to stick to your financial goals. 

1. Have a plan

"Outline your financial goals and what they look like to you," said McNutt.

"So is it purchasing a new house? Retirement? Child's education? And what do those look like to you personally?

"It could be a simple plan that you could do yourself. Or maybe you have to seek advice from a professional." 

2. Be truthful about your current situation 

McNutt said people tend to feel guilty about their finances if they're not where they think they should be. 

"Maybe people have gotten themselves into more debt than what they had expected, and it now feels overwhelming or unmanageable. Or they're not saving as much as they think they should," she said.

A woman works on her finances. 'People get overwhelmed with finance, and they believe that they have to do it all at once,' says McNutt. (Hurst Photo / Shutterstock)

Don't be so hard on yourself, said McNutt. 

"Rather than beat yourself up, I think it's, you know, stepping back, looking at where you are, being really truthful about where you are," she said.

3. Start with small steps

"It doesn't have to be a lofty goal. It can be little steps," said McNutt.

She suggested saving as much as $50 a month in a pre-authorized contribution that goes right out of your paycheque into an investment or savings account. 

"So it becomes a fixed cost rather than something that you know you have to consciously make a decision to do," she said. 

"If you take it in bite-sized chunks and you set realistic goals and realistic timelines, it seems more achievable." 

4. Stay focused 

"It's really easy to lose focus when your financial goals are decades from today," said McNutt. 

Setting smaller goals like putting a certain amount into savings by the end of the year can keep you on track, she said. 

"It's really important to remember that the decisions you make today have a really large effect on your goals in the future," she said.

5. Remember, your plan can change 

McNutt recommends meeting with your financial adviser annually, if you have one, to see if your goals have stayed the same and how you're doing at meeting them.

"Another time that you should do it is big life events. Through the birth of a child, retirement, the death of a spouse. Those kind of life events should be reassessed with your plan too."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Isabelle Gallant is a radio producer and web writer who has worked for CBC in Edmonton and Toronto. She grew up in Halifax and Charlottetown and is happy to be back home on P.E.I.

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