(NC) Your financial wellness is as simple or complicated as you want to make it. If your money supports the life you choose to live – for as long as you need it to – then consider yourself successful.
Money sometimes feels overwhelming. It doesn’t have to. Here are some tips to help:
Track your spending
Budgets are like dental floss. Boring, and sometimes a little painful. They’re also easy to do and worth the effort.
Know what your take-home pay is each month. Subtract the amount you need to commit to basics like housing, food and other obligations.
What’s left can go in one of two directions – in or out. Decide what you want to save each month and do your best not to spend it.
Credit cards are convenient, and a useful way to build a credit rating. If you can pay your full credit card balance each month, you won’t have to pay interest in addition to the amount you’ve borrowed.
Expect the unexpected
If the 2020s have taught us anything, it’s that life can go sideways in a hurry.
Jobs can be lost, sometimes with little or no warning. A serious illness or injury can also put you out of work. For most of us, any one of several scenarios could mean real financial difficulty.
So, it’s important to manage these risks with the right insurance coverage. If you can build one, an emergency fund is also valuable.
Look ahead to your retirement
We live in a country that combines the freedom to create a financial life for ourselves and our loved ones, with programs that can provide assistance. Understanding how these programs work helps ensure you’re covering what you need to with your personal savings, insurance and investments.
The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) is an example. It’s designed to provide you with a portion of your retirement income, in addition to what you can save elsewhere. If you are at least 60 and have made one or more valid contributions, you qualify for CPP benefits. CPP Investments manages the Fund in the best interests of the CPP contributors and beneficiaries. With more than $523 billion (as of June 30, 2022), the Fund is sustainable for the next 75 years.
There is real value in maintaining a long-term perspective. The more you’re able to think about money priorities over your entire adult life – as well as your immediate income and expenses at any given time – the more successful you’ll be in building real financial wellness for many years to come.
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