Spring has sprung, and the nasty cold winter is behind us. Many people choose to set financial goals at the beginning of the year, and then when the dark days with little light are upon us they find it challenging to stay on track. Who doesn’t want to be curled up on the couch online shopping with a glass of vino when it’s -30? But now that those days are gone, it’s time to freshen up those financial goals and spring clean your finances!
Here are five things you can do that will make a difference in your finances this spring!
1. Update your net worth
If you’re like most of us, you don’t check your net worth every month, and with the fluctuations in the stock market, that’s probably a good thing. That being said, checking it once a quarter is probably healthy to make sure that you are trending in the right direction. Your net worth is calculated by adding up all of your assets (what you own) and subtracting your liabilities (what you owe). Regardless of whether it’s positive or negative, you want this number to continue to trend upwards. Checking in once a quarter will help you stay on track.
2. Set your savings goals
Maybe you have a wedding to attend this summer, or perhaps you’re going to try and getaway in the fall for a family vacation. A quarter of the year has already passed, which means you have less than six months to save! It’s time to figure out how much these major expenses are going to cost you and break that up into bite-size savings amount you can automatically transfer a few times per month! That way you can stay out of debt while enjoying your life.
3. Pursue a side hustle
Cutting back is always hard, no one likes to feel deprived, and if done for too long many people will find themselves in a situation where they feel like they have to binge buy and end up racking up credit card debt. Instead of always cutting back it can be easier to earn a little extra to fund the fun in your life. Find something you can do to earn an extra couple hundred dollars per month and you’ll see that you’ll be in a much happier financial position.
4. Check your credit score
With the holidays passed, and the bills paid, now is a great time to check your credit report/score. You’re looking for any anomalies when it comes to accounts that are opened or balances unpaid that you don’t know about. If this happens it is important to contact Equifax and the financial institution right away. There are a number of free online services that allow you to check your score and make sure that it is trending upwards. Having a strong credit score means you’re more likely to be approved if you are applying for a mortgage or loan.
5. Make and extra debt payment
This may not seem like a fun one but making an extra debt payment in the first half of the year may motivate you to continue to throw extra money at your debt. Whether it’s student loans, a mortgage, or your credit card the faster you can get to debt free, the faster all of your paycheque will be yours again! Even if it’s only a couple hundred dollars, every payment towards the principal helps to reduce how much interest you will end up paying and how long you have your debt outstanding.
About the Author
Janine Rogan is a personal finance educator and CPA based in Calgary Alberta. She is passionate about sharing her financial knowledge with Canadians to help educate them to make money-smart decisions. Through her website, Youtube channel, and community engagement Janine shares solid financial advice that will make a difference in how you manage your money. Check out JanineRogan.com for more details.