New Year, New Resolutions right? It’s common for people tomake annual resolutions surrounding their family/friends, nutrition, or evenexercising more, but with the economy feeling so uncertain, why not use thestart of a new year to reset and make resolutions around your finances!
Many homeowners are caught between paying off added expensesincurred over the holidays, to making RRSP contributions before March 1st,while adapting to the increased cost of living and higher interest rates. Itmay be possible to reduce your debt and increase your cash flow to tackle thesechallenges, and then some. Use the tips below to guide your financial goals in2023:
Calculate your monthly expenses.
Use a pen and paper, or a spreadsheet to track all expenses.Group them into types of expenses, such as dining out, subscription services,entertainment and activities, household, etc. Are you using all of yoursubscription services regularly, or can some be cancelled? Are your TV,Internet and Phone plans the right ones for what you need, or can you takeadvantage of start-of-the-year deals offered by many providers and make achange? Are delivery services, online shopping, or dining out consuming more ofyour monthly budget than necessary? The first month of the year is a great timeto curb some of those habits that could be costing you more money than youthink!
Examine your High-Interest Debt Payments.
Leaving a balance on a high-interest tradeline, such as acredit card, can quickly create shockingly high monthly payments that arealmost purely interest. Of all the debts to pay down, this is where you shouldfocus your efforts first. If you’re finding it a little difficult to manage, wecan discuss some options for consolidating your high-interest debt intolower-rate options such as refinance, or home equity line of credit.
Is your Mortgage up for Renewal this year?
Talk to us early, as far as 6-8 months in advance of yourmortgage renewal date to allow you time to fully explore all options and giveyou a sense of what your payments could look like down the road. Not only willthis help you budget for the whole year, but also give you peace of mind so youdon’t have to rush and make the wrong decision close to your renewal date.Being able to forecast your future mortgage payments will help you adjust andavoid reliance on high-interest debt, like credit cards.
Prepare for Income Tax Season.
Completing your income taxes or having a good idea of whatthey will be before the RRSP contribution deadline could help you avoidunnecessary payments and gives you plenty of time to budget accordingly.
Invest a little.
Finding money to invest can be a challenge, especially afterworking hard to reduce your monthly expenses. That little extra cash flow maytempt you to “treat yourself”. Instead, when working on your budget, accountfor directing that extra monthly cash to investments. Investing during a marketdownturn is effectively purchasing investments on sale!
Start – or rebuild – a rainy day fund.
If the last few years have taught us anything, it is “expectthe unexpected”. No matter how much you plan, you can still get caught offguard and experience a pitfall. An emergency fund will give you peace of mindand help you pay for unexpected expenses without turning to credit or otherhigh-interest debt.
No matter how your 2022 was financially – be it great orchallenging – starting the new year with a realistic budget, ensuring thatyou’re not needlessly wasting money, and planning for upcoming expenses, givesyou time to tackle any cash flow issues head-on. Our collaborative team ofMortgage Advisors are here to help you explore all your options to maximizeyour budget and have a solid plan to face any financial challenges in 2023.
We are your Vancouver Island mortgage brokers serving you inVictoria, Nanaimo, The Cowichan Valley, Parksville, Qualicum, and beyond!