Give your finances a boost this new year. Here is a list of financial resolutions to help you become better off at the end of the coming twelve months:
Eliminate personal debt. - Brad and Angie had fallen into the very common habit of buying lots of 'stuff' with their credit cards and soon were carrying a balance from month to month. At 19.9%, it is very expensive to live this kind of lifestyle. And any new purchases attract the same financing charge from date of purchase.
History tells us about half of marriages in Canada end in divorce. Andrew and Sara are about to end theirs and are concerned about the changes that will have to be made to their financial and estate plans. Some financial and estate issues they need to consider are:
No matter what income level, more people get into financial trouble because of too much debt than any other reason. 'Too much' means different things to different people. Very few people go through life without making a purchase on credit. However, trying to 'keep up with the Joneses' rushes too many of us into lifestyles we simply can't afford. Buy some things you need on credit, like a home or a car, but save up the cash to buy the things you want.
The neighbors have a shiny new sport utility vehicle to tow their travel trailer. They take a two week tropical vacation every winter. Their family room is equipped with the latest large screen TV and surround sound stereo system. Many people believe this is a sign of wealth. In fact, this is usually a sign of consumption.
More often than not, the above lifestyle is funded with huge amounts of debt.
As the sovereign debt crisis makes its way around the world, creating havoc in its wake, we can be thankful that Canada has weathered the storm in fairly good shape. The media has given us a play-by-play on the action and many people are concerned with the outcome. While we can't solve the sovereign debt crisis individually, we can focus on our own financial situation. Here are 5 keys for achieving sanity in your personal finances:
With so many doom & gloom news headlines, it is refreshing to know Canadians can still get very low fixed rate mortgages. A recent Financial Post article (March 9, 2012) explains that with big banks competing strongly for new mortgage business, now is a great time for Canadians to refinance their mortgages to improve personal cash flow.
A recent TD Canada Trust survey found that 10% of Canadians are considering the purchase of a condominium for their adult children. This is up from 5% just a year earlier and certainly reflects drastically increasing housing costs over the past decade.
These days, having a career presents many new rewards and far more challenges than it ever used to. What we used to take for granted, including our work location, has changed dramatically as companies continue to grow and even go global.
This can be great for a business and its bottom line, but really tough on the employees within it. Because we never know exactly what the future holds, you may find yourself facing a job transfer at some point along your career path.
For the book The Millionaire Next Door, researchers asked the question, 'Do you know how much your family spends each year for food, clothing and shelter?' Almost two thirds (62.4 percent) of the millionaires said 'yes.' Only about 35% of non-millionaires said they did, even though they are high-income earners.
The millionaires also budgeted very carefully for savings and most save 20% or more of their gross income. Few save less than 15%. 'Why save so much,' you ask? Quite simply, for emergencies, opportunities and to provide future income.