By Leigh Taylor
There is a Chinese proverb: ‘The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago but the second best time is now’. And ‘now’ is the perfect time to learn more about finances and the impact they have on your life. Here’s a few of the most important things to remember:
1. Financial goals are a must.
Setting financial goals is one thing everyone should do for a number of reasons. First of all, they help you prepare for the future by ensuring you have enough money for life events like saving for college, retirement, and more. Financial goals also help you decide where your money is going each month. They don’t have to be all business, either—financial goals give you things to look forward to, like a vacation or new furniture.
2. Budgeting puts you in control.
Many people think it’s tedious or consider it drudgery, but budgeting is essential for financial health. Making and sticking to a budget helps you know exactly where your money is going each month. It also helps you meet your goals. In short, a budget makes it so you know longer have to ask yourself, “What happened to all my money?” at the end of every pay period.
3. Staying organized is easier than you may think.
If you got a phone call from your cell phone provider saying they didn’t get your payment and need your confirmation number, would you be able to find it? It’s easy to let your financial statements, receipts, and other documents get unorganized, but it’s just as easy to keep them organized. Keep paper documents in files, or scan them and keep them on a jump drive or specific folders on your computer. If you have confirmation numbers or statements emailed to you, make a folder in your emails and move them into the folder. See? Easy.
4. Keep track of your money.
Surprise fees can throw even the best budgets off course. Know what your bank and other financial institutions charge and account for it in your spending plan. These fees can add up fast. If you’re spending too much, shop around for other services that cost less. While it may seem inconvenient, it’s better than throwing those hard earned dollars away every month.
5. Know where to get help.
You may know that your financial situation is more than you can handle, but you may not know where to turn for help. There are a number of places you can go to get help with money problems. Counselling may be all you need and can help you learn how to budget your money and use credit. Or, a consumer proposal may be your best option. A Licensed Insolvency Trustee is an excellent place to go for a consultation and help.
There is no better time than the present to learn more about how to handle your finances. By learning as much as you can about money, you can make sure your finances stay in shape.