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Eight easy steps to organized finances

Eight simple steps are all it takes to get your finances organized this summer.

  1. Re-evaluate your budget. Review your budget and determine what you want to achieve this year. This helps track your spending and saving to reach financial goals. Online tools, such as BMO’s Manage My Finances, can help you track your income and expenses.
  2. Check on the state of your debt. Reassess your debt. Create a spreadsheet with balances, how much is owed and minimum payments. Paying off high-interest debt will save more money over time.
  3. Conduct a financial checkup. Financial health checks each year allow a review of your accounts and any additional unnecessary services. Free trials expired? Continue or cancel the service.
  4. Get your credit report. Obtain a credit report, which helps determine your credit rating without surprises when applying for credit. You can order your free credit report using Equifax Canada and TransUnion Canada.
  5. Make life easier with auto-withdrawals. Set up pre-authorized withdrawals for investments and bills and set recurring transactions around your payday. Consider saving 10 per cent of your gross income.
  6. Become a tax master. Keeping all necessary receipts in a designated area will ensure a smooth process for filing your own taxes. BMO offers a checklist to keep you organized.
  7. Be sure to insure. Insure yourself/family in the case of an emergency. This includes medical, life or tenant insurance if you rent. Shop around and read reviews before committing to a policy and find one that best suits you.
  8. Organize your financial paperwork. Organization of all financial paperwork is essential. Create folders and file throughout the year. This will make referencing back to them easier.

Leyla Riazi is branch manager with BMO Bank of Montreal, Kingsview Market branch

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