Grow your financial knowledge with resources built to answer your questions. This short quiz is a great place to start.
Do you sometimes feel unsure of your monthly spending? Did you start the month thinking you had enough to cover your bills, but somehow find you’ve fallen short?
In times of uncertainty, dealing with our finances can often cause stress and anxiety. But, being honest with yourself about your money coming in and out each month and making some small, intentional changes will help you take control of your finances.
Trust us—it’s nothing too crazy and it will make a huge difference. Here are six steps you can take to start now, so you can be well on your way to financial wellness.
1. Evaluate your money relationship
It’s amazing how much your relationship with money will affect how you spend, save and feel about your finances. Take some time to reflect on any emotions that you have related to money. You may realize certain spending habits or even anxiety surrounding your ability to save for the future. Understanding these behaviours and the “why” behind the “what” is the first step to building a healthy view of finances.
2. Track your monthly income and spending
We know you’ve heard this all before, but keeping a basic budget really does make a huge impact. Maybe you feel like having a budget is limiting, but we suggest a different perspective. Understanding how much you spend, and where, may identify opportunities to save or extra money that you can direct towards larger financial goals or repaying your debt.
3. Understand your debt situation
Debt can be stressful on your financial and mental wellness if you don’t have a strategy in place to tackle it. If you currently have debt, the first step is to ensure you have a clear understanding of what debt you have including credit cards, mortgages, loans, and more. With the help of your financial advisor, you can then decide which repayment strategy is best for you and your financial situation.
4. Know how to save for your short and long term goals
To make sure you’re getting the most out of the money you’re able to put away, make sure you’re putting it in the right place. In general, if you’re looking more long-term to save for retirement, than an RRSP is the way to go, and a TFSA is great for a shorter term plan strategy, since you won’t get taxed for withdrawing funds.
5. Pay yourself first -when you can
This means putting money in a savings or investment account regularly—like you’d pay your rent or mortgage. You can set that up to automatically come out of your paycheque to make saving a no-brainer. Even small contributions can make a huge difference in the long run.
6. Stay organized
All this can get pretty overwhelming when it all builds up— so try to be aware and stay on top of the money coming in and out of your accounts each month. Get in the habit of paying attention by using your online banking, or any of the mobile apps from Google Play or the App Store.