Call the pros If you're drowning in debt, can't budget or have no idea where to invest or how to prepare for retirement; get professional help. A certified financial planner will go through your finances to understand where money is going and whether it's working for you.
Dust debt Pay debt with the highest interest rate first to save the most money over time – and snowball your payments. Aim to pay double or triple the minimum due or you will never make a dent in your debt due to interest accrual.
Polish the budget Budgets need to be evaluated annually to accommodate changes in goals and circumstances. Track weekly purchases and monthly bills for a few months to give you a baseline to make suitable adjustments and establish a realistic spending and savings strategy.
Purge clutter Boost savings or pay down debt by purging clutter. Unwanted gift cards, clothing and appliances can be sold easily online.
Refresh taxes Establish a filing system for all your tax receipts and documents so you can file on time and avoid any late fees next year. Separate healthcare forms, travel records, retirement plan contributions and student loans, and scan important sales receipts as the ink often fades.
Scrub spending Control “wants” shopping by eliminating triggers such as browsing favorite online shops or heading to the mall after work. When it comes to “needs”, use tools such as mobile coupon apps to find coupons for retail, restaurant and service providers.
Tidy accounts Streamline online statements and bill payments, and shred old cheques and statements. Consider consolidating accounts - especially if you have cash left in an account you no longer use.
Trim bills Review monthly utility bills to find areas where you can cut back. Beat phantom power by regularly unplugging small kitchen appliances and powering down electronics and shave 5% on your monthly electricity bill.