In funny holiday news, today is Millionaire Day. To celebrate, I could have taken a good look at my finances because I’ve been overusing the tap function on my credit card lately, but instead, I spent most of the afternoon rediscovering Bubble Explode on my iPad. We all have our lazy days, right? If you’ve been super lazy with how you handle your cash I’ve come up 6 simple tips to help you get your finances in order if you’re completely clueless and don’t know where to start:
1. MAKE AN EXTRA PAYMENT ON YOUR CREDIT CARD
Even if it’s $10. Sometimes I think that $10 isn’t going to make much of a difference, but those extra bucks here and there do add up. It’s basically the cost of 2 Starbucks Lattes or a weeks’ worth of coffee from Tims. So if you’re willing to spend at least one week out of the month carrying your coffee or tea to work in a travel mug, you can put a little something extra down on your credit card.
2. CONTRIBUTE TO YOUR RRSP
If you don’t already have an RRSP now is as great a day as any to start. To be honest, if you’re in your 30s and you haven’t started making contributions to your retirement savings, you’re already late to the game. The amount of money you’ll receive from the Canadian Federal government when you retire depends on a number of factors like how much you’ve contributed into the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), how long you have been contributing and on your age when you want your pension to start. As of January 2017, the average CPP payout is only $685.11 (Maximum payout is $ 1,114.17). RRSPs basically allow you to defer paying taxes on the money during your working years (when you’re earning a higher income) to a time when you’re expected to have a lower income (i.e. retirement). I’m not the best at explaining this because I’ll admit it took me some time to wrap my head around it. Gail Vaz Oxlade does a good job of explaining the basics, so I’d suggest you have her explain it to you here.
3. OPEN A TFSA
A Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) is just what it sounds like. It’s an account that lets you put away money and whatever contributions you make in the account are not deductible for income tax purposes. You can set one up at any one of your local banks. I use mine as a way to build my emergency fund and have a set amount in my budget that comes out of my chequing account every month. what is it? Why it’s good for you. What does Gail say on RRSP vs. TFSA?
4. ORGANIZE YOUR CASH
I’m a firm believer that everyone should live on a budget, but I think the B word gets a bad rep. Usually, people think that budgeting means that you really have to restrict yourself and count every last penny that you have. If you’ve got some time start a budget or tweek the one you’ve already got. All a budget does is help you keep track of how much money you have coming in and how much money you’re sending out. I actually do a monthly budget to keep track of different things that might come up or to add extra cash in I might get from picking up a shift. Some people might think it’s excessive, but I’ve usually got a handle on things so that when I’m thrown a curve ball I’m able to handle it with half the stress.
5. START A NEW MONEY SAVING HABIT
When I was about 4 years old my dad started dumping the loose change he had in his pockets at the end of the day into a container. I’m not sure if it was a daily habit, but he said he never fished out any coins once it made its way into the container. When I was 16 he gave me the container full of coins as my birthday gift and it turned out to be about $1600! That’s just another example of something so small that you don’t even think about adding up to something worthwhile over time. You can start using an old school piggy bank. I prefer a digital one that counts your change as you go along. The last time I emptied mine I got $80 out of it and it wasn’t even full.
6. ORDER YOUR CREDIT REPORT
In Canada, you can order a free copy of your credit report once a year. We have to two major agencies to order from (Equifax and Transunion), so what I do is order from one company at the beginning of the year and one in about June. It helps me keep better track of what’s being reported and I can spot anything fishy faster if it shows up on my report. Luckily that hasn’t happened.
BONUS – WRITE YOURSELF A CHEQUE
I’m not gonna lie, I follow a couple of luxury/millionaire accounts on IG. I love seeing a luxurious looking mansion with a pool show up in my feed every once in a while. Why not find a way to give yourself a little high life inspiration with a little help from The Secret. I know…to some the Law of Attraction stuff can be a little hokey…but I love the concept and don’t mind indulging my inner hokeyness. There are probably more people out there giving gratitude and following the LoA thank you think. If you’ve ever noticed any of your friends having written affirmations or future cheques for crazy amounts of money to themselves and stuck them up on the wall…they’ve been influenced by the Secret.
I follow a Toronto-based YouTube vlogger, Today With Tray, and I noticed in one of this earlier videos he had the “wealth”, “success”, “happiness”, and “top real estate couple” posted on their bedroom wall. Their YouTube channel has gained a huge following and has almost 570,000 in their first year of posting videos. Can that be attributed to artsy fartsy Secret stuff? Maybe…maybe not. :p
Print off a cheque, fill it out, stick it in a spot that you can lay eyes on it every day… then just forget about it. Don’t question whether or not it’s working. Just go with it. If it helps you get extra cash in the future, what’s the harm?
Have any of you read The Secret? If it’s worked for you and has actually brought something you were hoping for into your life I’d love to hear about it!