Seven Items To Spring Clean In Your Financial House

2016-04-05   minute read

Debt Solutions

March has finally arrived. The land is starting to show signs of life, days are getting longer, snow is melting and flowers will soon be showing their beauty. It is also a time when many of us will go through our homes for the traditional “spring cleaning”.

After going through every room in your house, it may be a good idea to spring-clean your financial situation. Here is a small checklist of things to look at and what to pay special attention to. It will involve looking at a few documents and may involve a few phone calls and, if required, a meeting with your financial advisor, lawyer or notary.

Person calculating their debt on a calculator and laptop with paper spreadsheets on the desk

It can also be a good time to review your budget and spending habits: getting a large coffee every morning seems like nothing, but it quickly adds up… Remember that there are no good or bad expenses, that the unexpected can be planned, and that as long you plan ahead, you should be on the right track.

For all the items below, start by making sure you are up to date with your payments. You will preserve your good credit, ensure you have no surprise bills and it will ensure that any calls you make to modify your service will focus on your needs, not your overdue balance.

Let’s get started!

    • TV, Internet and phone services: review current services and adjust according to usage and preference. It may be time to remove unwatched channels or add a nationwide calling option to your cell phone package. Having a well-tuned package may cost more up front, but will reduce overage costs.
    • Energy bills: If you are on equal billing with your energy company, review your last statement to determine the amount of the adjustment will be made at the end of the yearly cycle. If it’s not obvious, call to get help figuring it out. This way you’ll be able to budget the adjustment.
    • Property and Motor vehicle insurance: When your car insurance or house insurance comes due, it’s always a good idea to talk with your agent or broker to review your needs, the value of the assets that need protection and to see if another company can provide better coverage. Remember that even if you rent, “house” insurance is important as it usually includes liability coverage that goes beyond replacing furniture and personal belongings.
    • Life Insurance: It may be a good idea to contact your insurance agent if someone in your family has a term life policy that is expiring or renewing automatically. If you’ve had a change of employment, started a business or had a family life change, it may be a good idea to review your insurance needs.
    • Investments: RRSP season may have just ended, but take advantage of spring and tax season to plan for next year. Your advisor will able to help you plan your savings and tax implications for the year ahead.
    • Credit cards and lines of credit: Now is the time to review your credit card accounts and line of credit. Are you carrying a balance? Do you have a low interest rate? Are you paying annual fees? There are no bad answers to these questions. Talk to your bank and credit card Company to see if you can get better credit conditions; you may also want to consolidate some debt into a lower interest loan or with a mortgage refinancing.
    • Mortgages: Take the time to review your mortgage renewing date and set up a reminder to talk to your mortgage company (or a mortgage broker) four to six months prior to renewal. This will ensure that you can take the time to negotiate the best possible terms, save money and be mortgage-free faster.

If problems come up when reviewing your financial situation or if you find yourself questioning your ability to get through financial difficulties, late payments or creditor action, do not hesitate to call an MNP licensed insolvency trustee. We will look at the best options to get you back on your feet and move forward with a debt free life.

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