November is Financial Literacy Month in Canada but even if you live somewhere else, now is a great time to take stock of your personal situation, set goals and take some steps to get back on the right track. The holidays are just around the corner and can sometimes cause stress as you think about the extra bills that pop up: gifts, food, entertaining, etc. You can almost bet on busting your budget in December so why not get a head of it this month.
So, let’s take some steps now to help de-stress so that we can enjoy the holidays. Here are 5 ways you can “celebrate” financial literacy month this year.
- Try a “No-Spend November“. Yes we are already a few days into the month but the basic concept of No-Spend November is to minimize all spending to only the absolute essentials or pre-planned expenses. One way I’m focused on minimizing spend this month is to forgo my daily stop at Starbucks on my way to work. This saves me a minimum of $5 a day and up to $15 if made multiple stops or also added a breakfast sandwich.
- Adopt a cash only policy. We did this a few years ago to give us better visibility into our spending. We each received a small amount of personal spending money each week that we could spend on anything we wanted, no questions asked. The twist? We began to get very competitive to see how much money we’d have at the end of the week. In no time, we had a couple of thousand dollars saved.
- Take the opportunity to do a financial health check and make sure that you have the right bank account, credit card and mortgage to meet your needs. Check out these easy to use tools if you are in Canada. There are so many options out there that if you get the right account you could be saving $$$ every single month – there really is little to no reason to pay for an account.
- Get your Credit Report. Yep, sounds exciting, right? But seriously. One of the best ways to protect your financial health is to ensure that you have protected your financial and personal identity and to also identify any weaknesses. In Canada, check out Equifax and TransUnion. In the US, take a look at this USA GOV site for information on how to obtain your credit report.
- Join an investment seminar or consider taking reading a personal finance book. Often local community organizations, banks or investment firms will offer complimentary investment 101 courses and these can be helpful to increase your knowledge. If you can’t find one or don’t have the time then try reading one of these books:
Any of these ideas will be a step in the right direction and will be time well spent. Have another idea we should consider? Share below!
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