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What’s On Your Financial Christmas List?

What’s On Your Financial Christmas List?

By Stacy Yanchuk Oleksy

Dear Santa,

First, let me thank you for all of the blessings in my life.

I have my health (even if things are creaking a little more this year!); my family and friends; a roof over my head; and running water.

I know that in comparison to many people, my life is amazing and filled with so many gifts. And so my Christmas wish list is not for any physical or monetary gifts; instead I would like you to help me with:

  • Creating a credit-free Christmas so that I buy what I can afford to pay with cash and not feel like I’m starting 2019 with more debt and a financial hang over.
  • A deep inner peace so I can enjoy the holidays with friends, family and colleagues without getting wrapped up in the seasonal drama.
  • A knowing deep in my heart and soul that Christmas is not about the presents and pretense, it’s about the connections, shared meals and generosity within our family, our community and our society.

For these gifts and so many more that you bring every year, I commit to the following for 2019:

  • Conducting a full financial review (income, assets, liabilities, debts and monthly expenses) of where our household is at within the first week of 2019. I know that if I get lost or overwhelmed in this process, I can always reach out for help from a local non-profit credit counselling agency and they will help me look at my whole financial situation and give me some information, options and resources to take away to make some decisions that work for me.
  • Checking my credit report to ensure that the information reported on it is accurate and that no one has opened up credit in my name.
  • Setting three realistic financial goals including tracking my expenses for three months; creating an emergency/rainy day fund that lets me sleep at night; and paying down (or off) one debt completely and closing the product down. I know that tracking my expenses is boring and it’s more fun to spend money than track it and I also know that it’s the way to get into control of where my money’s going. This will make creating an emergency fund easier and paying off a debt.
  • Reading one financial book or attending a workshop or webinar to increase my knowledge. I know that knowledge and information is power and this will increase my confidence to ask for guidance, ask good questions and get the help I need to improve my financial well-being.

Thank you Santa and I wish you lots of cookies and a safe journey!

Stacy Yanchuk Oleksy is the Director of Education and Community Awareness at the Credit Counselling Society. She has a Master’s degree in Family Ecology, is a professional Coach and a Certified Educator in Personal Finance. She has presented at various conferences and has served on expert panels at University of British Columbia and Carleton University. She has published articles in Canadian Living, Vanier Institute for the Family, My Money Coach and Amik, and has been interviewed by CBC Radio, Global National, and the Toronto Star. Stacy has co-written two workbooks – Making Cent$ of Money and Money Management Basics – and has developed personal finance curriculum for various workshops and webinars. Stacy serves on a national financial education committee.

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