It’s every Canadian’s favourite time of year. The weather is finally starting to turn, and it feels as though spring may be around the corner. Many of us are starting to get into the “spring cleaning” mentality. This year, apply that concept to your personal finances as well. As you pack away your parkas, boots and mitts, begin this season with a fresh start and follow these tips to help you make lasting changes to your finances.
If you’ve been veering off course from your budget lately, now is a great time to get back on track. Having a budget is one of the best tools when it comes to getting a handle on your finances. You’ll have a better idea of how much money is coming in, while tracking your spending habits. When you stick to your budget, you can reach your financial goals much more easily.
Self-control is difficult when your favourite retailer is sending you a daily promotional email, tempting you to spend. Getting those promo emails out of your inbox and removing the temptation will make a huge difference in your spending habits, and will put you back in control.
Everyone wants to do things that bring them joy. Whether that’s happy hour with your friends, a new sweater, or grabbing take-out instead of cooking at home, these things can have a significant effect on your financial plan in the long run. This spring, understand that sometimes saying no is necessary to stay on track. This isn’t to say that you should reject everything. Learning how to balance your priorities, and re-adjusting your budget is an important skill to have.
What do you want to accomplish this year? Do you want to pay off your consumer debt? Perhaps you’re beginning to truly think about the steps needed to purchase your first home. Or are you looking to build your retirement savings? Instead of overwhelming yourself and trying to do it all, focus on one that you’d like to see improve, and put most of your effort into that goal. It will be incredibly motivating to see one aspect of your finances to improve drastically, rather than see multiple areas progress slightly.
One of the best things about the new season is that it’s an excellent time to clean up your financial situation. Just as you plan ahead and begin to plant your garden for the next year, you should take the time to prepare for your future. Take the time this spring to make sure you’re on track to reach your goals, whether that involves retirement savings, travelling or sending a child to post-secondary school.
A financial plan can help avoid a lifestyle decline in the future as you prepare for retirement, purchase your first home, or start a family. Take the time to carefully plant the seeds for your future, and build a plan today.