How are your financial goals measuring up?
It is so easy to get lost in the mesmerizing allure of summer. Patio season is in full effect and so are your invitations to BBQ’s, birthday parties, anniversary celebrations and pretty much any other event under the sun.
Although it is nice to enjoy the summer heat on your glowing skin, you have to consider how well your finances are shaping up now that it is the middle of the year. To help you stay accountable towards your financial goals, review your financial situation through a mid-year financial checkup. Here are some things to consider:
Go back to the drawing board
It is time to review the financial goals you started with at the beginning of the year. If you planned to save money and you were aiming for a goal of $1200, by now you should have $600 in your savings account. If you have less than that, it is time to create a plan to get back on track. If you don’t have financial goals, don’t worry – it is never too late to create some and you can start small too.
Grab a calculator and track your spending
Now is a good time to go through the transactions in your bank account and credit card statement to see if you have any reoccurring expenses where you can cut back on. Or review to see if you love to shop until you drop. If you are surprised at how much money you spend on a monthly basis, it is time to adjust your spending habits and think about your overall financial picture. Ask yourself, what are you trying to achieve? Are you trying to save money or pay down your debt? Whatever your financial goals are – compulsive spending will not help you to get there. So cut the ties that bind you and stay focused on your end goal!
As your life changes, so will your budget
Your budget is a living document and sometimes you have to adjust it to reflect your life. You may be celebrating the birth of a child, you may be heading back to school in the fall or you purchased a new car – whatever the case – your budget will change from time to time. Make the necessary adjustments you need to stay on track. The better understanding you have of your finances, the more you will be able to know what is coming in from going out.
If the thought of tracking your budget in an excel spreadsheet is too daunting for you, you can download a budgeting app to help you manage your finances.
Check your credit history
Now is a good time to pull your credit report. Take a look to find out your current credit score and review your report to ensure it is error-free. You can obtain a free copy of your credit report by mail by contacting TransUnion and/or Equifax. Or you can get access to your report instantly if you order online. However if you choose the latter option, you have to pay for it.
If you made your financial goals earlier this year and you are off the mark because of your debt load, it is okay – you are not alone. Many Canadians are struggling with their debt management and they are finding it hard to save their money. To help you get on the right track, give one of our trained credit counsellors a call at they will review your overall financial picture and make the necessary recommendations to help you manage your finances.