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- TD Canada Trust Holiday Survey reveals top three financial resolutions -


TORONTO, Dec. 13 /CNW/ - Canadians are optimistic about their financial situation in 2011 and are taking action now to make positive changes. According to the TD Canada Trust Holiday Survey, 47% of Canadians expect their financial situation to improve in 2011. Many Canadians are resolving to be better with their money in 2011 and nearly two-thirds (62%) won't wait until January to begin their new year's resolutions.

When asked about their financial resolutions for the new year, respondents' top three answers were:

  • Spend less and avoid buying things I don't need (53%)
  • Look for better deals (38%)
  • Build up savings to cover at least two months of living expenses (30%)

"The last couple of years have been financially tough for many, but this holiday season we are seeing a renewed optimism among Canadians about their financial future," says Carrie Russell, Senior Vice President, TD Canada Trust. "As you enjoy the holidays, consider making and sticking to smart resolutions that will help ensure you are in good financial shape for 2011 and beyond."

Russell offers five tips to help Canadians make and stick to their financial resolutions:

  1. Save a little every paycheque: In 2011, resolve to save some money each month. Talk to your bank about setting up an automatic transfer of a regular amount from your everyday bank account to a savings account or TFSA every time you get paid. The money will be transferred before you get a chance to see and spend it, so you won't miss it and the savings you accumulate will help you meet your financial goal, whether it's a family vacation, savings for a rainy day, or retirement.

  2. Spend less than you make: "If you spend everything you earn—or more—you'll never get ahead," says Russell. If you make purchases with cash, keep your receipts. If you pay with debit or credit, regularly review what you've spent by logging onto online banking. At the end of the month, create a list of your expenses. You need to know where your money goes each month in order to determine where you can cut back. Also try the cash flow calculator at

  3. Get good advice: "Advice tends to be more meaningful when it comes from someone whose judgment and experience you respect," says Russell. Make a resolution to ask advice from someone you trust about financial matters, whether that is how to bank smarter, invest for retirement or just how to save more effectively - perhaps an older relative who has weathered economic booms and busts, or a friend who is very disciplined about their money. You might also consider a financial advisor.

  4. Differentiate between the things you need and the things you want: You might really love the sweater on your holiday wish list, but there is a reason it is on your wish list and you haven't bought it yourself: you can do without it. Determine how much you can afford to spend on "wants" by first calculating how much your "needs" will be, like rent, utilities and groceries. "Help ensure you are spending wisely by clearly identifying what you need and what you want — and then deal with the 'need' side first," says Russell.

    "Remember, a budget only works if you stick to it. To help keep yours in check, watch out for impulse purchases, which tend to be less about 'needs' and more about 'wants'," Russell advises. "Practice taking a 'time out', or cooling-off period, before you make any purchases that are on your 'want list' — this is a very effective resolution to help you get ahead next year."

  5. Pay off your credit card balance at the end of every month: A credit card is a great tool to facilitate mid-month purchases, manage cash flow and build your credit rating, which you need in order to purchase a house or a car. But, if you don't pay off your balance each month, it can not only cost you a lot of money in interest charges, it could also affect your credit rating. For more tips and tools on budgeting and saving, visit:

About the TD Canada Trust Holiday Survey
Results for the TD Canada Trust Holiday Survey were collected through a custom online survey conducted by Environics Research. A total of 1,004 completed surveys were collected from October 15 - 20, 2010.

About TD Bank Group
The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group (TD or the Bank). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves approximately 19 million customers in four key businesses operating in a number of locations in key financial centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Canada Trust and TD Insurance; Wealth Management, including TD Waterhouse and an investment in TD Ameritrade; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with more than 6 million online customers. TD had CDN$620 billion in assets on October 31, 2010. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

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