Daren Givoque, Financial Advisor
O’Farrell Wealth & Estate Planning | Assante Capital Management Ltd.
Rebecca Cronk, Fitness Trainer & Owner
Becca Langstaff, Fitness Trainer
Get Cronk'd Fitness Studio
Create a budget
It is very important to understand your cash flow. Most people tend to spend frivolously and don’t realize where their money is going. Tracking your spending will help you cut spending where you need to, so you can save for the things that are most important to you.
This is also important when starting any sort of fitness program or regimen. It is easy to spend a lot of money on gym memberships, personal trainers and fancy work out gear. Know what you want to achieve and a realistic budget for what you are willing to spend to help you get there. You should never have to suffer financially in order to reach your fitness goals.
Know your credit score
It is very important to understand your credit score because it reflects your financial credibility. It also affects lending. Your ability to finance a car or get a mortgage all depends on the health of your credit. Review your credit score on a regular basis to make sure there is nothing on it that shouldn’t be there.
Trans-union and Equifax are both companies where your can check your credit score online for a small fee. Borrowell.com and creditkarma.com are websites where you can check your credit score for free, but you should be aware that they will try to sell you a loan.
It doesn’t matter how you do it, having a handle on your credit score is an important part of knowing where you stand financially moving into 2020.
Know your options
When it comes to fitness there are many avenues you can take. If you aren’t sure where to start check out your local gym’s new client offerings and promotional specials. Most fitness facilities will offer trials/consultations to help you find the best option for you. This can be a great way to try out new classes without any significant financial commitment.
Pay down high interest debt
Credit card debt is a silent killer. Credit card companies take roughly 20 per cent of every dollar you put on the card in interest, making it very difficult to pay down. If you only ever pay your minimum payment you could be in debt for 35 to 40 years. Make it your focus in 2020 to get rid of your revolving high-interest debt. Taking care of that debt will do wonders in improving your financial fitness in the new year.
Using the tools available to you for saving is an essential part of improving your financial fitness. Use your RRSP and TFSA to invest your money and save for the future. Putting money into your RRSP will also give you a tax break which could lead to a refund that you can reinvest. Strategic borrowing can also be used to boost the amount of money you are putting into your RRSP every year*.
Protect your income
One of the biggest mistakes people make is not understanding what might happen if they cannot work. Critical illness insurance, disability insurance and life insurance are all important to have in order to protect you and your family. Using five cents on every dollar to protect the rest of the dollar is what insurance planning is all about and it is an important part of ensuring that you are financially stable no matter what happens.
Make the commitment
When it comes to physical or financial fitness it is important to make the commitment. You don’t have to be putting away thousands of dollars a month or working out every day to make progress. It’s all about finding a routine that works for you, your budget and your schedule. Getting help from a professional like a financial advisor or fitness trainer can help you outline realistic goals and keep you motivated. There is no reason why 2020 cannot be your best year yet, both physically and financially!
*Using borrowed money to finance the purchase of securities involves greater risk than using cash resources only. If you borrow money to purchase securities, your responsibility to repay the loan and pay interest as required by its terms remains the same even if the value of the securities purchased declines. Leveraging carries its own risks and is not for everyone. Talk to your financial advisor for advice on properly managing those risks.