They say the only constant in life is change itself. Well, the pandemic has certainly proven that in spades. We’ve all had to react, re-think and readjust paradigms of all kinds during these uncertain times; our financial goals have been no exception.
While it’s only natural to focus on what’s right in front of you, it’s also important not to lose sight of those original long-term goals. You’ll still need savings for retirement and your child will still need funds for their post-secondary education. Have you mastered keeping your financial goals on track while constantly shifting ground? Here are some simple tips to help keep you on course.
Many of us are saving money by working from home; we’re spending less on gas, dry cleaning, daily coffees, even lunches out. We’re also saving money on travel. This is a good thing! It's a good time to invest those savings and create new habits, especially with the upcoming holidays. Why not:
- Track your personal expenses and regular household expenses to identify where you could potentially save more.
- Set goals for the whole family based on your current situation.
- Put aside an emergency fund (the Government of Canada suggests this should be 3-6 months of expenses)
Minimizing your current spending habits can help you feel more in control of your finances during uncertain times like these. Consider:
- Taking advantage of recent insurance discounts: Have you spoken to your auto insurance provider in the last few months? Many insurers are offering reduced insurance rates to help offset reduced driving habits.
- Bundling services with the same provider to get discounts: Speak to your current insurer about bundling your home, life and car insurance and your telecom/internet/cable services to save big time.
- Cancel any unused memberships or subscriptions: Start by checking those automatic billing charges on your credit card.
- Consolidate your debts: Consolidate credit card debt onto the card with the lowest interest rate. Or maybe it makes sense to use a low interest loan to pay them all off.
Remember the beauty of compounding savings? Staying the course during these uncertain times will help you to benefit from your savings growing. Remain focused on your long-term plan by continuing to contribute to your savings, your retirement and your CST RESP.
November 2020 marks Financial Literacy Month. This year focuses upon financial strategies for challenging times. The Government of Canada has assembled easy-to-understand information and tools on how to keep track of your money, set up an emergency fund, minimize debt and much more.
Whether your financial goals require big adjustments or minor tweaks, these tips can help you weather these turbulent times. Not only that, they can also serve you well in the long run!