Financial Review for Fall
As you make changes to your home to prepare for the cooler months, this is a good opportunity to take stock of your financials so you can prepare for the coming holidays and new year.
Check your budget
By keeping a regular log of your expenses and earnings, you’ll have a complete snapshot of your financial state. Even if you don’t, your financial standing can be determined by reviewing all of your assets (e.g., your house or investments) and debts (e.g., credit cards). If you’re not meeting your current financial goals, make adjustments to your budget to spend less and/or earn more money.
Prepare for upcoming expenses
Adjusting your budget will help you meet any expected expenses. For example, if your car needs servicing before winter, start saving for potential repairs or changes in the fall. Small lifestyle changes, such as bringing your own lunch, coffee or tea, could help you save money for this upcoming expense as well as any other planned expense in the future.
Know your options for unexpected expenses
An emergency fund may help you deal with unforeseen expenses, but sometimes it’s not enough capital. Consider a line of credit to assist you when your current budget can’t meet your financial obligations. The interest rate is usually lower than most credit cards and you can pay back the balance in full at any time. Avoid withdrawing money from retirement savings plans or any locked-in investments to cover these expenses as this may do more harm than good for your financial future.
Review insurance policies
If you’ve renovated your home, moved to a new home, and/or have a new addition to the family, it may be wise to review your current insurance policies to make sure everyone and everything is covered. While most people opt for home and life insurance coverage, it’s also important to consider mortgage and disability insurance coverage as these may help cover the gaps you may have in your current insurance policies.
Check your mortgage
Knowing your numbers can help you determine if you can take steps to become mortgage-free faster. If your budget allows, consider increasing your payment frequency (e.g., monthly to semi-monthly), increasing the amount for each mortgage payment, or providing a lump sum payment. If you are close to renewing your mortgage, make sure it still fits your budget and your lifestyle. If not, consider contacting a mortgage broker to help you find the right mortgage for you.
Visit MCAP.com for more information on products and services and use the free Find a Broker tool to find a mortgage broker in your area.