November 12, 2019
START TRACKING YOUR SPEND
Get to know where you spend, how it makes you feel and what really matters when it comes to your money!
Let's stop pretending that being good at money means you need to be good at math. Instead, let's listen to our body and our mind.
Just five months ago, my financial life changed dramatically. My husband and I went from a very minimal lifestyle with a newborn, to managing the budget of new homeowners (along with one very active toddler). Our living expenses have gone up by 75% and to be honest — because that’s what we do here — it hasn’t been easy.
For most people, admitting that their financial situation is in dire straits can be a suffocating feeling. In fact, according to a newly released Capital One Canada and Credit Canada Debt Solutions survey, 57% of Canadians say they feel overwhelmed and stuck when it comes to their finances. These findings were released as part of Credit Education Week 2019, which runs from November 12-15, 2019. Capital One Canada and Credit Canada have partnered for the 13th year in a row to bring Credit Education Week to life across Canada. This week, I want to highlight the importance of managing debt repayment, having tough money conversations and creating a safe space to discuss your financial worries. This year’s theme for Credit Education Week is #MyMoneyVision, and so I thought I would share mine.
My money vision is never to feel overwhelmed and stuck by my finances and to empower you to aim for the same. After five years of blogging, it still seems as though most people aren’t comfortable chit-chatting about their debt — because that would require them to take inventory of how much they owe.
When we first bought our home and started to pay for all of the bills that come along with homeownership, I wanted so badly to avoid creating a budget. It would be easy to act like everything was covered and assume that we were making ends meet, given that I knew how much income we were bringing in. However, the problem with avoiding those numbers was that I wouldn’t be doing all that I could to ensure we stay ahead financially.
Setting up a budget was step one for adjusting to our new lifestyle. Budgets — although annoying — are a great place to start if you aren’t sure how your financial picture looks. Once I had our numbers in a spreadsheet, it was easy to automate our payments and track the time payments would be dispersed from which accounts. It can be overwhelming to have to guess the date funds would be debited come payday — and that was the last thing we needed.
Key takeaway: A budget, or heck, even just writing down your income and expenses on a piece of paper, can make an overwhelming situation more manageable. Credit Canada offers a free monthly expense tracker that’s worth looking at.
Given that November is Financial Literacy Month, it’s essential to acknowledge how far setting a financial goal can go. Manifesting what I wanted to do with my money each week completely erased my fears about increased expenses and the rising costs of living. The minute I started to tell myself that I was going to be conscious of my spending, I actually – *gasp* – developed mindful habits.
According to the survey, Canadians’ most popular financial goals are:
Paying off credit card debt (26%)
Saving a percentage of their monthly income (19%)
If these are your goals too, now is the time to check in with yourself and your spending habits to ensure you’re on track to meet these challenges. To keep myself focused on my money vision — which is to diversify my streams of income — I’ve become extremely vocal with my friends and family about the importance of this goal. In return, they hold me accountable, encourage me to pursue any opportunities that arise, and are even more excited to pursue their own financial goals. The more you talk about money, the more comfortable these conversations become.
Key takeaway: That financial goal you really want to accomplish but don’t know where to start? It starts with ensuring you’re living within your means.
As someone who used to feel overwhelmed and uncertain about how to use credit cards responsibly, I’ve since learned how to responsibly manage these cards to benefit my financial situation and create a more comfortable space for my money. However, according to the survey, 58% of Canadians say they didn’t receive the financial education they needed growing up — which means they might not feel the same about their credit card usage.
Responsible use of credit is critical to my husband and me. We’ve both learned the benefits of credit and use them often:
Credit scores help determine your viability for access to things like a loan or a mortgage, as well as the cost of those loans when you’re ready to make those purchases
Credit cards enable you to make large purchases such as airline tickets or new home appliances but be sure to have a plan to pay off those items in a timely manner
Credit monitoring tools like Capital One’s Credit Keeper can help you monitor your credit score for free, and help you spot potentially suspicious activity on your account, such as fraudulent transactions. Many credit cards offer insurance, rewards, and other perks. It’s worth checking to see if your credit card offers benefits, you’re not taking advantage of.
Making payments that exceed the monthly minimum payment required and staying within your credit limit is an excellent way to build your credit score and demonstrate a track record of responsible credit use
This year alone, Credit Canada will assist about 70,000 consumers through credit counselling and education services, which are available for free to all Canadians regardless of income level or employment status. Its debt consolidation and financial education programs benefit individuals, families and communities across Canada.
If you or someone you love would like to learn more about available resources and tools to help take control of their finances, head to Credit Canada Debt Solutions for information.
Key takeaway: If you use your credit card responsibly, the advantages are extremely beneficial to a fulfilling and healthy financial life.
My money vision is to feel financially secure through diversifying my income, creating passive income and rebuilding an emergency fund that helps us feel comfortable with our increased cost of living. What’s yours?
Capital One Canada sponsored this post. However, the views and opinions expressed in this blog are genuinely my own.
Oh no, you missed the live webinar! But, good news: Mixed Up Money is pleased to share a free resource for anyone planning for a future child or family.
Mixed Up Money is pleased to share a free resource for anyone looking to cut back on non-essential spending. My most-requested product is these monthly calendars to share on your Instagram story, use as a phone background, or print off to track your spending habits.
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