Looking for ways to organize your finances and better manage your money?
While budgeting and financial planning might not top your list of fun things to do, getting your finances in order can help to eliminate financial stress and set you on a track for financial success. And, it doesn't have to be complicated.
By following a few simple strategies, you could begin to plan for your future and start working towards your financial goals.
Here are four simple tips you can use to improve your money management and put more cash back in your pocket.
Tips for getting your finances in order
1. Set goals
What are your financial goals and what do you want your future to look like?
Financial goal setting is the first step in creating a solid financial plan. When creating your goals, consider a combination of short-and long-term objectives including:
- Creating an emergency fund
- Creating a vacation fund
- Saving for your children's education
- Saving for a celebration (e.g. travelling to your friends wedding)
- Savings for a large purchase (e.g. a new laptop or exercise bike)
- Paying off debt
- Saving for retirement
- Saving for home renovations
- Saving for a house
- Saving for unexpected expenses (e.g. emergency dental work, parking tickets)
- Saving for irregular expenses (e.g. replacing your cell phone)
2. Establish a budget
Now that you've established your goals, how are you going to pay for them? A budget can function as a financial roadmap to help you turn your goals into reality.
Watch video - What's in a budget?
Insert heading textwith an optional subtitle
To create a simple budget, start by listing all of your income sources. This can include a salary from your day job, side hustle revenue, spousal support, or pension payments. Next, list all of your expenses. This should include your regular expenses such as rent, car payments, and groceries as well as irregular payments such as new tires or oil changes.
When you're finished, subtract your total expenses from your total income to determine how much money you have left over. If the number is negative, then you're going to have to cut some of your expenses to free up cash. You can also consider finding new ways to supplement your income to bring in more money.
Remember, if you don't know where you are, it's difficult to get to where you want to go. A budget acts like a "you are here" marker on your financial roadmap and makes it easier for you to stay on course and get to your intended destination.
3. Automate payments
Another simple strategy you can use to manage your money is automation, which can make many financial tasks more efficient and effortless. Through your bank, you can set up automated bill and credit card payments as well as regular automated contributions to your savings account or TFSA.
You can even automate your savings and investing. After some initial set up you simply set it and forget it. After some initial set up, you can start saving automatically to help your money grow faster with pre-authorized contributions.
With pre-authorized contributions, you decide how much you save and how often you save it. That amount you choose will be automatically deducted from your savings or chequing account and deposited into your investment account. It's a convenient and flexible way to build up your savings for your future.
By automating your finances, you can stop worrying about late payments, which means less money spent on late fees and penalties, and more cash flow available to keep your budget and financial goals on track.
4. Manage large or unexpected purchases
An installment plan is another strategy you could consider and use to manage your money and take control of your budget. You can use an installment plan on your credit card to help manage the cost of an unexpected purchase, like replacing your dryer, or a planned purchase, like your next travel adventure.
An installment plan can help you break up the payments for your purchases, like flights or a vacation rental, into smaller, more budget-friendly amounts.
An installment plan allows you to gradually pay for purchases over an extended period of time, usually over three, six, or 12-months.
Rather than having to take on a loan or apply for a new financial product, you can use the installments available on your existing eligible Scotiabank credit card to pay off your purchases. An installment plan such as Scotia SelectPayTM, provides a number of benefits including:
- Convenience - With the Scotia SelectPayTM installment plan, you can convert your purchases to installment payments after your make your purchase.
- Keep your benefits - If you choose to use an installment plan you still keep all of your credit card benefits including rewards, cashback, and optional insurance.
- Manage your finances - Keeping track of your finances is easy with an installment plan since all of your information is accessible in one place. With Scotia SelectPayTM, you can access all of your installment plan details using online banking or the Scotia Mobile App.
If you are using an installment plan, you want to make sure you are using it in a way that works for your financial plan as you built towards your goals. Here are two tips to keep in mind:
- Make your payments on time: Be sure to stay on top of your payment due dates and make your payments on time. To avoid missing a payment with Scotia SelectPayTM, you can set up pre-authorized payments to pay the full balance each month on your Scotiabank credit card account. This will include the current monthly installment payment.
- Don't overspend your budget: Once you've created a budget, you want to keep to it. An installment plan is a great way to prepare for large expenses and manage your cash flow, but you need to make sure that you aren't overspending what you can afford with too many installment plans at the same time.
Your Scotiabank advisor can help you create a financial plan for your future and see how installment plans could help your budget.
Scotia SelectPay is an installment plan feature (the “Plan” or “Installment Plan” or “SelectPay”) made available on eligible personal Scotiabank Visa credit card accounts (the “Eligible Account(s)”) that allows primary cardholders to convert an eligible credit card purchase of at least CDN $100 posted to the Eligible Account to an Installment Plan with monthly payments over a fixed payment (the “Installment Payment Period”) with a fixed interest rate (currently 0% interest rate) during the Installment Payment Period and an Installment Fee that applies to that Plan (the “Installment Fee”). The Installment Fee may vary per Plan and will be disclosed to you at the time you select the Plan.
Interest does not accrue during the Installment Plan but any unpaid remaining balance on your Installment Plan ( (the “Remaining Installment Amount Balance”) after the Plan ends or is cancelled by you or us will be re-applied to the balance on your Eligible Account. Your Remaining Installment Amount Balance is again eligible for an interest-free grace period. You will not pay interest on that Remaining Installment Amount Balance if we receive payment of the full balance (the “New Balance”) that appears on your statement in the month in which we re-applied your Remaining Installment Amount Balance to your Eligible Account. If you lose your interest-free grace period on the Remaining Installment Amount Balance, any applicable interest will then apply at the annual interest rate that applies to Purchases on your Eligible Account on that amount from the date of expiration or cancellation of the Installment Plan until the amount is paid in full.
Your Eligibility to convert an Eligible Purchase to an Installment Plan and the terms made available to you are subject to Scotiabank’s assessment at the time you request toconvert your Eligible Purchase to a Plan. SelectPay is only available through the Scotia mobile banking app to primary cardholders on an Eligible Account (with no co-borrowers).
See the full Terms and Conditions for eligible Scotiabank Visa cards, eligible purchases and additional SelectPay terms and conditions. All SelectPay rates, fees and terms are subject to change.