Financial Spring Cleaning: How to Organize Your Finances
Why only focus on your house when it comes to spring cleaning? The season is also a wonderful time to sweep away your bad financial habits—like accumulating debt and not prioritizing savings—and start fresh. Organizing your finances doesn’t have to mean a complete overhaul either; just a few simple steps can give your bottom line a surprisingly big boost. Here are some financial spring-cleaning tips that will help renew your net worth.
Set Up an Emergency Fund
This is a piece of advice you’ve probably heard hundreds of times, but there’s a reason that establishing an emergency fund is one of the top tips regarding how to get organized financially. Unpredictable life situations like job losses or serious illnesses can happen to anyone, no matter how cautious and organized they are. Make this spring the time you finally get serious about creating an emergency fund. Building a safety net is not the kind of thing you want to start thinking about only when you need it because it can take years to create a sufficient credit cushion. Aim to have three to six months of living expenses set aside to successfully shoulder rough financial times.
Say Farewell to Annual Fees
Savings plans aren’t the only things that require a refresh when you do a financial spring cleaning. Take a look in your wallet and see if your credit card selection could also use an update. Consumers will often get excited by large sign-up offers and apply for cards that don’t align with their spending patterns or needs. The next thing they know, they have a rarely used credit card that’s costing a yearly fee without netting any useful rewards. Consider applying for a no annual fee credit card, such as the President's Choice Financial Mastercard®. It’s a fast way to earn PC Optimum points that you can redeem towards free groceries and beauty items at Loblaw banner stores, Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix.
Establish a Filing System
You know that overwhelmed feeling you get when you consider just how much sorting, purging and scrubbing you will have to do when you give the house a thorough spring cleaning? Well, that’s the same sense of dread many people have when they think about how to get organized financially. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed, that’s why a system to get your financial papers in order is so essential. Few things can calm the credit chaos like having a neat filing system in place for your essential financial paperwork so that everything—tax returns, bank statements, receipts, mortgage documents and bills—can be easily retrieved and updated.
Ditch Your Debt
Carrying around a large debt load can severely increase your stress level and impact your quality of life. Ditch bad debt once and for all by coming up with a detailed plan for how you can make repayments. Remember: Tackling outstanding loans and credit card payments doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing approach. Even making small monthly payments—as long as you are diligent about organizing your finances—can have a significant effect on getting your credit in check. Go one step further and consider automating bill payments (or at least set up automatic calendar reminders for bills that are due) so you never inadvertently miss a payment.
Want a really easy method to save money? Loyalty programs are a wonderful way to reap rewards for daily items you are buying anyway. Consider which things you need the most—such as groceries and drug store products—and sign up for reward programs that earn you great returns. As a PC Optimum program member, you can earn points towards free groceries on your eligible purchases.
General information not about PC Financial products is provided for your reference and interest only. The above content is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest and is not a substitute for, and should not be construed as the advice of an experienced professional. PC Financial does not guarantee the currency, accuracy, applicability or completeness of this content.