Can you afford to live the life you really want?

Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to your money. If you struggle to make ends meet, have trouble saving money, or feel burdened with unwanted debt. It is time to do something about it.

Lets take a little test. Answer the following questions truthfully:

  1. I balance my bank statement every month.
  2. I always pay my bills on time.
  3. I am debt free or at least I have a debt free target date.
  4. I save some money every month – (and it stays in the savings account).
  5. I have a plan to create my financial future.
  6. I know where my money goes –(all my money).
  7. I live within my means – (my budget is balanced).
  8. I don’t worry about money (I think everyone does).
  9. I always carry cash.
  10. I share my money.
  11. I pay my credit cards in full each month (less than 50% of people do).
  12. I pay all my taxes on time – (personal and business).
  13. I have set financial goals – (in writing and I know what they are).
  14. I have a bookkeeping system that takes me less than 20 minutes a month to complete.

So how did you do? 80%t of the people that take this little test the first time score less than six.

Fiscal Fitness

Once you know how to improve your financial health you can take one simple action that can put you on the road to fiscal fitness. Most of us never received any basic training in the skill of handling money. We go from being kids or students with no money to having a job and trying to balance our own chequebook. The way we handle our money is for the most part based on how our parents handled their money, and chances are they did not get much training either.

The unsecured national consumer debt load is now at an all time high $210 BILLION this figure does not include mortgages.

Owing money can take a toll on your emotional health. Especially if that debt gets out of control or you get behind with your payments.

Hopelessness

Many of my clients tell me about feelings of anxiety and hopelessness about their ability to improve their financial lives. The most important thing to understand about debt is that you do have the ability to control it. You are the only one that does.

Start by creating a budget – where does your money go? Start tracking your spending.

PDFGet your free personal design budget sheet

The secret to creating financial health is to take charge of the money you have now. If you are in debt, see a credit counsellor and design a plan to become debt free!

Financial Freedom

  • Plan - for the future, major purchases, and irregular expenses
  • Set financial goals - Set short, mid and long-term financial goals.
  • Know your financial situation - Determine your monthly living expenses, irregular expenses and monthly debt payments.
  • Keep a record of daily expenses
    • Be aware of where your money is going
    • Use a spending diary to assist you in identifying areas where spending adjustments need to made
  • Develop a realistic budget
    • Follow your budget as closely as possible
    • Evaluate your spending week to week
    • Compare actual expenses with planned expenses
    • Adjust budgets as required
  • Don't allow expenses to exceed income
    • Avoid paying only the minimum on your credit cards
    • Don't charge more every month than you are able to repay to your creditors
  • Save
    • Save for irregular expenses, such as car and home maintenance, gifts, etc.
    • Save 10% of your net income for yourself
    • Accumulate 3 to 6 months net salary in an emergency fund
    • Take advantage of current income tax rules which allow for tax-deductible savings for retirement plans
  • Pay your bills on time
    • Maintain a good credit rating
    • If you are unable to pay your bills as agreed, contact your creditors and explain your situation, keep them advised.
    • Contact Solutions Credit Counselling Service Inc. for professional advice.
  • Understand the difference between your needs and your wants
    • Identify what your needs are.
    • Money should be spent for wants only after needs have been met.
  • Use credit wisely
    • Use credit for safety, convenience and planned purchases.
    • Determine the total you can comfortably afford to purchase on credit before you buy.
    • Don't allow your credit payments to exceed 20% of your net income
    • Do not borrow from one creditor to pay another.

If you are in debt, restoring your financial health begins with a change in attitude and a clearly thought out plan. Create your plan today! 

Dealing with your money should not be stressful it should be fun. Yes, Fun! Who is in charge you or your debts? Answer You!