Monday, 15 October 2018

FALL FINANCIAL CHECK UP

When we think financial restart, it’s usually at the beginning of the year. Who can blame you, after the expensive holiday season it’s a natural New Year’s resolution ---to save more money. But the fact is summer is a more expensive time of year. The two-month long event is filled with expensive vacations and family BBQs.  All this fun can make a big dent in your financial progress. That’s why the Fall--- not Winter--- is the best time to do a financial check-up.

How much are we spending?
In its latest survey of summer spending, BMO said Canadians planned to spend an average of $5,605 during the summer.  As well a survey conducted by another bank -CIBC - revealed half of those surveyed will need to dip into their savings or use their credit cards to make the most of the warm summer months. As well, 40 per cent say they spend more money in summer than during any other season. No matter how you look at it the bills pile up more in the summer than any other time of year and that is why a financial checkup is so important in the Fall.


How to get started on your Fall Financial check up
The first step is tally up how much your summer fun costs you, then figure out how much of that is debt. This includes a line of credit loan, charges on your credit card or even a loan from a friend.  

It’s good to have have a clear picture of your personal finances.

Next list your debts in order of interest you are paying. Start with the most expensive and work your way down. Any debt held on a credit card and store cards will be first and lower on the list will be your line of credit debt or a loan from a friend.
Finally, check if there are any bills you forgot to pay. This could be a utility bill or mortgage payment. Anything that slipped your mind during the summer months.

Lay out a plan
Start your plan by finding out what your minimum payments are on each debt you owe. Now can you pay more than that? If you can put those extra payments towards your highest interest loans start there. 

Next, see what bills you can hold off on paying until October. This may seem like a bad move, but by paying a small late fee, you could free up enough cash to pay off your most expensive loans. This could result in more money to make payments on your other bills in October. Be sure to contact the companies you’re planning to make a late payment too to make sure it won’t affect your credit score.

Finally, this is a good time to check in on how much RRSP contributions you have done. Are you on track to save what you wanted for 2018. Also once your bills are paid start putting some money away for the Christmas holidays. Even $50 a week will add up to $450 in 9 weeks. Fall is the best time for a financial checkup. 

The best part is in January when everyone is scrambling to get their personal finances in order, you will be feeling completely in control of your money.  



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