You plan your vacations…do you plan your finances?
If you are like most Canadians, you probably spent more time researching your last vacation than reviewing your finances. And while vacations are important, so are the benefits of a financial plan.
Working with a financial planner can make things easier – they can help you create a plan for today and tomorrow.
Here are some tips to help you with financial planning in 2017.
- Look at money coming in and going out and make two lists. The first is your monthly income; the second, your monthly expenses.
- Make a list of your debts. It may feel a bit overwhelming at first, but this will help you see a complete picture.
- Tackle debts one at a time, focusing on the highest interest rate loans first. As soon as you can fully pay one back, check it off and move on to the next.
- Spend less than you earn. Having a budget puts you in control. Each month after you pay your essential expenses – like mortgage, bills – set aside extra cash towards savings.
- Pay off high interest rate credit card debt first. This will have a good impact on your overall financial health and help you worry less and save more.
- Set up an emergency fund so you can deal with any unforeseen situations, like a car repair, a roof leak or even a job loss. A good rule of thumb is to have at least three months of income available as emergency funds.
Remember, tips such as these can get you started, but a good financial plan can provide peace of mind that you are doing your best today to help ensure you and your family will be taken care of tomorrow.
Carman Thiessen, CFP, is a financial planner with RBC Financial Planning.