These are important questions to consider. Taking the time to think about where you are now, versus where you’d like to be financially in years to come, will serve you well. The pandemic is an excellent example of something that can derail all sorts of plans, particularly financial ones. November is Financial Literacy month and there is no better way to become more financially literate than taking control of your finances. In this blog, we outline three ways to help you become more financially savvy for the future.
Track Your Expenses
Managing finances is daunting for many of us, but it really does not need to be. In our everyday lives, we all incur essential and discretionary expenses. An excellent way to stay on track with how much you spend each month is to break your expenses down into sub-categories such as health, home-related expenses and utilities. Seeing your expenses laid out in written form can really illuminate whether you are spending more than you need to be. For example, are you always eating out for lunch rather than making something at home? Are you driving the car instead of walking or using a bicycle? Reflecting on your spending habits is a useful exercise to understand where your money is going each month. Our Expenses Worksheet here will help you jot down essential and discretionary expenses so you can make informed changes along the way.
Financial planners typically recommend that you save approximately 10% of your annual income as early as possible in your career. However, the reality is that how much you decide to save depends on a variety of factors, including lifestyle choices. Some people are comfortable living on a modest budget and enjoying the simpler things in life while others prefer to spend a bit more on hobbies, travel, holiday homes and new activities. It is absolutely possible to enjoy a lifestyle that works for you once you take the time to think about what that looks like both now and in the future.
Join a Group Retirement Plan
Research shows that only 46% of Canadians have a financial plan in place for retirement. This means that over half of us are ill-equipped to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle after finishing work. In our busy lives, we forget about where we will be after we leave the workplace. The good news is that it’s never too late to start saving for retirement and having a retirement plan. Inform yourself of all the savings options available to you, such as a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) or a Group Retirement Savings Plan (GRSP) If your company does not offer a Group Retirement Savings Plan, it’s worth reaching out to your HR department to find out if they would be open to doing so. If your employer matches the contribution you make, investing in a retirement plan makes even more sense for you. You can double your savings, without any additional financial commitment. For example, if an employer and an employee contribute 5% of a $80,000 salary per annum, that’s an additional $4,000 in savings for the employee. Participating in a company retirement plan is an excellent way to save for the future. Our custom-designed group retirement plans help organizations ensure that their employees retire well. We believe that everyone deserves to live a life that aligns with their goals and that’s exactly why our plans are customizable – everyone’s needs differ and these needs change over time.
Taking control of your finances has never been easier. Do you want to learn more about our group retirement services and plans? Open Access is a Canadian group retirement savings plan provider that offers different retirement plans. Contact us today to find out more about how we help employees in small to medium-sized businesses to achieve their financial goals. Simply get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you!