The time is now! Spring cleaning for your finances
February 28, 2019
by Marianne Steele-MacSween
warmer temperatures and blooming flowers on the horizon, the spring is a time
when many decide to de-clutter and clean up their home. Why not do the same for
you have piles of paperwork tucked away that you’ve neglected to resolve? Do
you wish you had a clearer picture of your budget? Do you have any renewals
approaching? The spring is the perfect time to review your finances and adjust
any behaviours that could lead to a financial crisis in the future.
Here are my three biggest financial spring cleaning tips:
De-clutter your paperwork
Sorting through piles of paperwork can be an onerous task. To avoid becoming overwhelmed, I recommend tackling this one piece at a time. To get started, create a filing system. Categorize your finances by loans, insurance, mortgages, credit cards, healthcare, etc… Sort all of your paperwork into the appropriate category. From there, take it day by day. On day one, review your loans… on day two, review your insurance…By the end of the week you’ll have this task completed and feel much more organized for your future.
Determine your monthly budget
starting point with a budget is to determine your household revenue and
expenses. Once this is complete, have a close look at your expenses. It’s
important to analyze your fixed and variable expenses. Fixed expenses include
annual and monthly payments that are set and do not fluctuate. Car loans and
mortgage payments are two of the most common fixed expenses. Variable expenses,
like groceries, however, can fluctuate from month to month.
you have any variable expenses that you can reduce or eliminate? For example,
if you plan to be at the cottage or outdoors all spring and summer now could be
the time to cut down your channel subscriptions and lower your cable costs. Put
these savings towards your short or long-term goals, like paying off your
credit card or going on a vacation.
One of the biggest challenges my clients face is separating wants from needs. I recommend setting a monthly budget for your wants. For example, take out $50 cash each week. This is the amount of money you can spend on non-essential items, like coffee, lunch dates, etc… Having a set budget helps keep you accountable and your finances on track.
Review your insurance premiums and banking fees
very convenient to automatically renew your insurance policies and loans with
your current provider, but I strongly recommend taking the time to ask
questions and shop around for alternative quotes. Banking fees, interest
charges and insurance premiums can accumulate to a large annual expense. With a
little extra work, you could save hundreds of dollars a year.
Do you have any debt relief questions that you would like answered? I invite you to email me at email@example.com.
For more than 30 years,
MacKenzie, Gillis, MacDougall Inc., Licensed Insolvency Trustee, operating as
MGM Trustee, has helped thousands of people take control of their finances.
With multiple locations throughout Cape Breton, our compassionate, knowledgeable
and experienced team is here for you.