In 2010 I decided the only way for me to get a handle on my finances was to declare bankruptcy. I wrote about it as a guest series on Where Does All My Money Go. I could see no way out from that burden. Last year I cleared my bankruptcy. So what does that mean? It means I have a second chance but it also means rebuilding a basis for credit.
Three things are major money goals for me in 2012.
1. Get a credit card. I have been using a wonderful debit Mastercard from BMO for the last 2 years. I love it but I also think it is time to reestablish my credit worthiness so I will go after getting my first credit card this year.
2. I have NO emergency fund. This is a HUGE no no. I have learned anything can happen in a moment so I will make this my number one priority.I plan on having 5% of my annual income by the end of the year in this account.
3. I want to learn more about RRSP’s, mutual funds, TFSA, index investing and so much more. I need to round out my financial knowledge. I will have a plan in place to invest. I will start with just a small amount $100 a month. But that $100 a month can turn into much more by the time I retire. It is a start. I will also invest my GST, and tax returns starting this year into long-term savings.
So how am I going to find the $ to fund these when I have been living pay cheque to pay cheque? I had to go over my bills and figure out where I was overspending, what I could cut and make a dream board of what I really want. That will give me the incentive to stick to my plan.
There are also a number of great resources and tools I will be using to keep myself on track. I am also eliminating some very bad habits.
1. Opened an ING account, really they do offer the best interest rates and the lowest fees I can find right now. I decided to go with a tax free savings account to start me off. I will also have a separate fee free account for that emergency fund I am building.
2. Cut soda and Timmy runs. I realized I was spending over $50 a month on junk! Junk that I was taking into my body and since one of my goals is to create a healthier me this one is a no brainer. This $50 is going straight into long-term savings. Do you know if you smoke and quit you could literally save thousands?
3. Download @Shopcatch unto my smartphone so when I am looking to buy something I can find the best deal.
5. Continue to use Mint.com for my budgeting. Years ago I worked for the parent company Intuit selling the software to small businesses
6. Continue tweeting and planning conversations on Twitter on important money topics. The #cdnmoney chat helps me to learn and grow.
7. Utilize the calculators found on the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada site. By using the calculators I can estimate investments, etc so I can better plan my future. This site has alot of great resources for Canadians and I recommend utilizing it.
8. I will read alot so I can learn more about money, investing and financial planning. I think I have the frugal lifestyle down pat, what I really need to know now is how to make my money work for me.
For me the resources and tools will help keep me on track as I plan for my financial goals.
May they help you as well.