Make it your resolution to have less financial stress in 2019.

A new year means often new resolutions and good intentions, which Merv Peters, owner of Fresh Ground Financial, says is a positive thing. In addition to all the goals to better your eating habits and fitness routines, however, Peters suggests another means of self-improvement.

"I think sometimes, one of the resolutions should be to take a good hard look at their financial bottom line," says Peters, "as a way of evaluating their financial stress."

Peters believes that financial stress is something that can affect you physically, mentally, and spiritually, and by taking the time to assess our financial strengths and weaknesses, it can provide an opportunity for us to do more with our income.

"Let's get our finances in order so that we can be good stewards with it."

When it comes to straightening out your finances, one of the first places you can look is your bank statement.

"Cash flow is essential," says Peters, and while we generally know much money we make, we tend to have more troubles following where it goes.

"One of the key things is to take inventory and say 'where did that money go?'"

While tracking your weight loss and eating habits can be key to living a healthier lifestyle, Peters encourages people to treat their finances the same way.

"All you need is a little scrap of paper to jot down everything you spend for one, two, three months, and you will be amazed when you see patterns developing."

Ultimately, once you've identified where your money is going, it's going to take some discipline to decide how you're going to approach your finances differently (and stick to that decision).

Peters explains that it always comes down to deciding what is worth spending your hard-earned income on.

"There's nothing magical about money... if there is not a surplus of money at the end of each month, you cannot build up a reserve."

Everyone hopes to put aside funds to save for the future, but this is impossible to do by simply "breaking even" every month.

"Without getting ahead, you will always be indebted to someone else, because things come up," Peters says.

While discipline may not be as fun as splurging or spending on a whim, taking control over your financial position during 2019 may prove to be one of the most beneficial resolutions you could make this new year.