Review your finances

By Jane Rooney, Canada’s Financial Literacy Leader

November 28, 2016

Financial literacy is about lifelong learning. Gain the knowledge, skills and confidence you need at every stage of life in order to make responsible financial decisions.

Make a habit of reviewing your personal finances and looking at your budget and savings plan on a regular basis. Life is always changing and it’s good to be prepared for whatever happens.

Some things never change

You need a budget

A budget helps you track your income and expenses. It also helps you manage debt and plan for the future. Your life changes all the time and so should your budget. Update it as you change jobs and income levels, take on new expenses, have children, buy a new home or retire.

Have an emergency fund

Make sure you have an emergency fund. It will shelter you from financial surprises. It’s money you put aside in case your dishwasher breaks or your car needs unexpected repairs.

Keep your debt in check

Less consumer debt increases financial wellness, which leads to greater overall wellbeing. We know money is the biggest source of stress. Keep your debt levels down and be more in control of your finances.

Why is reviewing your finances important?

Sometimes life “happens.” We have all experienced this, whether it’s an unplanned expense, a change of income or job, illness in the family or changing goals. Your budget is a great way to keep your finances on track. Every stage of life has different challenges and opportunities to determine needs and wants and manage your money well.

Your financial goals will evolve and should be updated as you leave home, head to university or college, buy your first home, start a family and approach retirement.

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada has tools, tips and resources to help you understand your rights and responsibilities. The Canadian Financial Literacy Database has close to 1,200 resources submitted by organizations across the country to help strengthen your financial literacy.

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