With the new year comes resolutions for health, work and many other aspects of our lives, but how many of us make financial resolutions? Financial well being is certainly an important goal to have, but it can be confusing to know where to start. Here are some useful tips on how to make 2018 a financial success:
Know your debts: Look carefully at what makes up your debt and know how to break it down into good and bad debt. Good debt is something that actually creates value. A home would fall into this category as the value increases over the years. What is considered bad debt then? If an item is considered disposable or if the value depreciates over time, it would be considered "bad debt". Credit card debt would most certainly fall into this category as well. Remember, when you carry a balance on your credit card, you are actually increasing the cost of future purchases because of the interest being incurred.
Make a plan to pay off bad debt - If you have any bad debts on your list, make it a priority to eliminate or reduce them as much as possible in the coming months. There are several different strategies to consider:
1) Try calling your credit card company and ask if they will lower your interest rate. Believe it or not, many lenders will agree to a lower rate in order to keep you as a customer. Reducing your rate by even a few percentage points can help you tremendously as you pay down your balance!
2) Consider the snowball method of paying off the smallest debt first. It can be very motivating to be able to cross off one debt after another!
3) Examine your debts and find the one that has the highest interest rate. Work on eliminating this debt first as the high interest rate is costing you more in the long run.
4) Look at consolidating your debts into one payment. Speak to a One Link Mortgage Broker to find out how to consolidate your debt with your mortgage as mortgage rates are usually lower than those of other loans.
Schedule a Mortgage Checkup - If you have a mortgage, we can't stress enough the importance of a yearly review. A lot can change in a year for your mortgage, your goals and your finances. This is where Winnipeg Mortgage Brokers come in! The goal of an annual review is to ensure that your current mortgage is still "on the right track" and the best option for you. Maybe your individual situation has changed and you are wondering about the possibility of using some of the equity from your home to do some renovations or maybe you want to pay your mortgage off faster. Perhaps you want to change from a variable rate to a fixed rate. You may not even be thinking of some of these options, but through this review, your mortgage broker can offer you suggestions on changes that would make better financial sense for you.
Look for savings, control your spending and live below your means - Look over your spending habits and see what could be eliminated or at least trimmed. By tracking your monthly spending, you will see where your money goes. This will help you scale back and determine necessities. Do you really need that $5 coffee every morning on the way to work? If you have a landline, can you do without it if you also have a cell phone? Can you reduce the number of times you eat out? Remember, this doesn't have to be forever - just until you are out of debt and feel you are once again in control of your finances.
Are you the techie sort? - Get an app to help! Your Financial Planner or Mortgage Broker are a good place to start when looking at which one might work best for you as there are many different ones. A good place to start though is Mint.com. It allows you to track all of your accounts in one place, even if they are from different banks. You can manage your spending, create budgets and receive an email when bills are due.
Remember, it may not be easy, but you can do it with a little planning and discipline! If you would like more information on how a mortgage review could help you be financially successful in 2018 or if you would like to schedule one with of our Winnipeg Mortgage Brokers, call 204-954-7620.