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A “Heart” Look at Your $ Future

MoneykeyDare we say it, but with tax season approaching, it’s time to look at the bigger
picture of your personal finances.

Whether you find it hard to make ends meet sometimes, or don’t feel secure for
a healthy retirement, this is the time to do something…

Simple adjustments in how you save and spend can make an impact if you stick with them.

  • Alter some habits, eliminate some expenses, get yourself a better future: Years ago, one friend put all the money she spent on cigarettes (once she quit) aside. By the end of the year, she took a cruise with what she had saved! Now what if you used this idea to cut back on restaurant meals, extra drinks at the pub, lottery tickets or the number of magazines you buy?  What might it all add up to?
  • Know that it’s not forever: If struggling with debt, set out a plan for expenses you are going to eliminate or cut back on. Take comfort in the fact that you are not giving these things up forever, but just until the debt is gone.
  • Give yourself a weekly allowance for “treats” and stick to it. You can spend your allowance on any luxury you want, but you have to stay within the limit.
  • Create a budget. Write down all your expenses for the year and match them against the income you expect. No matter how much is left over, ask yourself seriously if there are any expenses you can eliminate, lower or combine. Even those who are wealthy do this! (it’s often how they became wealthy!)
  • Always include giving. Giving to others reminds us that there are needs greater than ours. Even giving a modest amount to your favourite charities should always be part of your budget.

As we head into tax season, check out this personal finance list:

  1. Make sure you have made a will.
  2. Pay off your credit cards. Not just the suggested amount but the whole amount each month so you’re not paying interest – ever.
  3. Direct savings into RRSPs to fund your retirement and if you have children, RESPs.
  4. If you have money to invest, get advice from a trusted financial professional on the best way to make your money grow and keep it safe.
  5. Teach your children or younger people around you about good money management. It’s one of the most valuable lessons they can have!