Although a lot of us continue to work from home, many of the activities we used to do in the evenings and on the weekends have now been canceled. We're certainly spending more time with family and we're enjoying every minute of it even if it is just a FaceTime or Zoom call from one home to another. In the evenings, I find that I'm reading and catching up on many of the shows and movies I haven't watched over the last few years. This got me thinking I definitely have more time to work on some of the things that I've been putting off for the last while. The following list is what I'm going to call my “Lockdown Personal Finance Spring Cleaning List 2020”.
Even though the deadline has been extended, why not get your tax return done soon. Slips are now available and if the government owes you some money you could always use that extra money to cover expenses or maybe add to your tax free savings account. If you owe money, at least your filing will be completed and you can follow the government regulated timeline for paying any back taxes.
Review your debt
Interest rates have fallen, and if you haven't refinanced your mortgage in the last few years, you can check with your local financial institution to see if this is an option for you. You may also want to review any high interest debt, such as credit cards that you may hold and see if there's a way to have these interest payments reduced or lowered by consolidating. If you have questions on who to talk to about this please let us know and we can put you in touch with our bank partners.
Wills and Power of Attorneys
This is one that Canadians often talk about updating, but statistics show we often will push it off and wait for a later time to create these documents or update them. Now should be that later time! Review when your will was last updated, make sure your power of attorneys are still willing to do the job, or are still able to. If you have questions about these documents contact your lawyer, and let them know you'd like to make some changes. If you do not have a will and don't know where to begin please contact us and we will refer you to one of our partners
Time to dig out those old insurance files and have a look at your policies and verify if you feel like you have enough coverage for life disability and critical illness insurance we have a number of specialists on the team please let us know if you would like us to review this part of your financial picture
Savings and Budget
I can tell you that with restaurants not being opened and the inability to travel very far from the house that I'm certainly spending less money. This has also provided me with a better understanding of how much we do spend as a family on a regular basis. Why not review your regular budget - you check your bank accounts and credit card statements to see where the money goes and see if there's an option to cut back a little and add a bit more to savings.