Hi Folks! Can you believe it’s November already? HAPPY FINANCIAL LITERACY MONTH 2023!!!
So, what should you be thinking about and working on to be adequately “financially literate”? Here is a short list of things to keep on your radar:
1. Write down your budget – yes, actually write it down in a special notebook or create a spreadsheet – include monthly net income, monthly recurring expenses – look at your bank statements if you don’t know – spend a few months never paying with cash & read your bank statements, make a section for annual items and break them down monthly in your budget
2. Savings/Investment – open separate accounts for high interest savings, RRSP/TFSA/FHSA, stocks, etc. Offsetting your income tax and saving for retirement are very important
3. Pay off debt – especially high interest debt. This should actually be first on the list for anyone who has credit card debt, a vehicle loan, an unsecured loan, a small business loan or a second/third mortgage – really anything except a first position low interest mortgage. Sometimes it can be strategic to hold a low interest mortgage if you’re getting a big return on the money you borrowed. I like mortgage LOC’s best for this as they don’t have maturity dates and therefore are not subject to rate increases BUT you definitely should still have an exit strategy in place
4. Keep miscellaneous spending under control – for some people this is huge and it’s a must – see #1 above re: using Interac for purchases to help keep track on bank statements
5. Consolidate your overdue debt – your credit report often is used as an addendum to your application for employment, apartment leasing, mobile phone service and to obtain many types of credit. Check the links below for guidance in this category