Pattie's Blog: Balance your life!
Published Wednesday, April 25, 2012 12:33PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, June 7, 2012 1:01PM EDT
Do you need to take control of your financial situation? Yes! We all do. Here are some tips to help get you started...
CUT back on unnecessary spending - now. Differentiate between nice to have and need to have items and balance your budget.
OPERATE as your family Chief Financial Officer and step up to the task. No one is going to care more about your financial situation then you. Pay off high interest debt first and if appropriate take advantage of low interest rates and consider refinancing your mortgage.
NOW is the time to save. Pay yourself first on every pay date by setting up pre-authorized payment plan. Take the emotion out of investing by going into the market on a regular basis and benefit from dollar cost averaging.
TAKE a long term approach to investing. Buy quality investments. Volatility is part of investing and reduces over time. Remember the three Ds -- diversification, dividends and downside protection.
READY for the unexpected…you could lose your job, the roof will leak day and the car is going to need repair when you least expect it. Create an emergency fund. Open up a Tax Free Savings Account and put a small amount away regularly for a rainy day. At the very least obtain a credit card and don't use it unless you need to for an emergency. Protect yourself today for potential uncertainty tomorrow.
ORGANIZE your finances into short, medium and long term time horizons. Set goals that matter to you and get excited about your financial goals.
LIFESTYLE will drive your financial decisions. Make tough decisions now before you find yourself in a tight corner -- for instance, consider downsizing home if you are house poor, upgrade your education to remain competitive in today's work place, and live below your means. You create wealth not by how much you make but by how little you spend.
Pattie Lovett-Reid is the host of The Pattie Lovett-Reid Show which airs on CTV News Channel at 8 p.m. ET on Thursdays. You can also interact with Pattie directly during Lunch With Pattie, a livechat that begins at noon ET on Thursdays at ctv.ca/askpattie