Pattie Lovett-Reid: Time to start your 2019 financial plan
We are now well into the new year, and odds are you really haven’t kicked into gear financially. This month is too important to your overall health to ignore the benefits. Here are a few tips to get you going.
1. New year, new plan. By now, you should know your net worth. Set some financial goals with a dollar amount next to it. It is really that simple. I don’t care how large or small your net worth is, we can all make some meaningful changes when we have a plan.
2. Spending and budgeting go hand in hand. The Bank of Canada recently highlighted that consumer spending is starting to slow down, and in a perfect world, we are all plotting a course for 2019. Any reasonable plan includes a buffer for unforeseen expenses.
3. Review your preauthorized purchase plans. This is the money coming right out of your account through automatic payments. Some expenses such as entertainment streaming services, gym memberships, and even magazine subscriptions may no longer fit into your budget, lifestyle, or new year priorities.
4. Make an early calculation of your 2018 taxes. You might need to alter your withholding, make changes your charitable giving strategy etc. The sooner you review your situation the more impact they will have on your finances.
5. Take a look at your asset allocation. Given the volatility we have seen in the markets, your various classes may have drifted out of balance. Use the beginning of the year to make any material shifts based on 2018 performance.
6. Consider a living will. There are many baby boomers wanting to help out family members today rather than wait until they are no longer here. You might have thought the gift giving season was behind us for no – but it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes it’s nice to give when it’s least expected.