Stop feeling overwhelmed by your financial goals in 2019

Since getting engaged a month ago, my financial priorities have shifted to accommodate being able to afford a wedding. Also on the horizon — and these other two financial goals didn’t change — is buying a larger home and travelling to Greece for my fiancé’s best friend’s wedding.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars will be diverted toward these three activities in 2019; and this doesn’t include the mortgage for the home. I’m grateful for all of the saving we’ve done leading up to this point — over two years worth — but the costs still keep me up at night.


To feel less overwhelmed about your 2019 financial goals, pick a theme, writes personal finance columnist Lesley-Anne Scorgie. This year, her theme is “do more with what I have.”

(Photocredit: DREAMSTIME)

To reduce any anxiety about my financial commitments in 2019, I’ve decided to set some complementary professional and personal goals to offset the heavy weight of my financial ones. Professionally, my goal is to grow my business, MeVest. Personally, my goal is to to become even more of a minimalist than I am today. Essentially, I’m striking a balance between my finances, my career and my personal well-being, because life isn’t all about money.

Here’s how you can stop feeling overwhelmed by your financial goals and start achieving a better balance between your finances, your work, and your personal well-being.

Pick a theme for 2019: For me, the theme was easy to pick — do more with what I have. This means not trying to reinvent the wheel; rather, use my money more efficiently, grow my business by focusing on my current customer base versus chasing a new segment, and using up things in my home, my fridge, my closet, and storage rather than buying anything new.

Your 2019 theme could be about being more satisfied with your finances, your work and your well-being. Or, perhaps it’s all about growth, such as saving more, getting a promotion, and being physically and emotionally stronger. Choose a theme that you can be passionate about.

Limit your financial goals to three realistic ones: Let’s zero in on how to strike a balance between your financial, professional, and personal goals. Financial goals are hard to achieve when there are too many of them. Limit these to three realistic ones, such as save $5 per day (which, by the way, is $1,825 in a year, or enough for a vacation), open up a TFSA, pay an extra $100 per week on your line of credit (which is an extra $5,200 in payments), learn how to master your budget, or cut back your spending by using only cash.

Love your work: We spend one third or more of our time working, so make the most of your work and you’ll be happier, and that typically means you’ll do a better job, which leads to making more money. Set up to three professional goals, and one I suggest is that you fall in love with your work in 2019. The others could be about achieving a raise or promotion, travelling for work, going on courses, or learning a new element of your professional craft.

One of my favourite things to do in January is an audit of my work. The audit reveals whether I’m loving my work and if my work is loving me. If the answer is no to one, the other or both, it’s time for change. I put pen to paper and ask myself: Do I love what I’m doing? Is it time for a change? Can I be better at my work (and how)? What have other people said about my performance this year? Am I still learning? Am I making enough money? Do I feel valued and am I adding value?

Be well: What would improve your physical and mental health this year? Going to the gym? Using a guided meditation app like Calm or Headspace? Eating better? Speaking to a counsellor on a regular basis? Making dating a priority? Sleeping more? Stop eating processed foods? Reducing clutter? Purging your home? Aim to set three goals in this category that you can stick to. In the past, I’ve found it helpful to share these goals with a close friend, and sometimes they’ll even join me on my journey.

According to a recent Tangerine survey, improving finances is one of the top-cited resolutions for Canadians in 2019. But balancing between other important areas of your life will make sure that your year, and your life, are more than just dollar signs.

Published by The Toronto Star January 14, 2019.