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The Year That Was: Did You Achieve Your Financial Goals and Debt Plans?

The seasons have changed and as we reflect back to those warm summer days, it is time to look back on your personal finances and debt plans for 2015. Were you able to achieve the financial goals you set for yourself? If not, what were the reasons why?

November is Financial Literacy Month (FLM) in Canada. It is a great time to conduct a thorough examination of your personal finances over the last year. Completing a review of your finances can help in a variety of ways; it helps you to understand if you achieved the goals you set for yourself, gauge your spending and saving habits, and can help identify areas about personal finance that you may not be all too familiar with like debt relief options.

Financial Literacy Month is also part of a bigger push by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) to promote the National Strategy for Financial Literacy. It is based around the premise that the more financial knowledge Canadians can obtain, the smarter we can become with our money and pay down debt.

The financial review is an important part of managing personal finances and can help you identify debt problems early on, potentially preventing you from having to explore the bankruptcy process. The FCAC has a financial review plan that can help you get started.

It is important to be open and honest with yourself and anyone else that has direct involvement in your finances during the review. If you did not set financial goals for yourself in 2015, you are still encouraged to conduct a review. It will provide a baseline of your finances that you can use to build a debt reduction plan and compare back to at the end of next year.

During the review if you identify financial topics that you are not familiar with, or would like to learn more about, make a note of them. The FCAC also offers an abundance of information to help you improve your financial literacy and many useful financial tools, such as a budgeting tool and a mortgage calculator.

If you have identified debt warning signs during your review, do not be afraid to ask for help. Speaking with a Bankruptcy Trustee in Hanover can provide many different benefits. It gives you an opportunity to speak openly about your finances in a judgement free environment.

The Trustee can give advice about changes you can make in your spending and saving habits, which you can start to implement immediately. A Trustee will also help you explore debt relief options that are available to you and their benefits. For example, a debt consolidation loan merges your debts into one, meaning you will be making one monthly payment rather than multiple payments. This can reduce the amount of interest and the number of payments you make each month, letting you put more money towards your savings, while still reducing your debt load.

Take the time to review your finances now and take the opportunity to increase your financial literacy skills in the process. Continually improving your financial knowledge can help you make positive changes and help get you back on track with your finances and debt plans.

Join us in helping to spread the word about Financial Literacy Month by using the hashtags #CountMeInCA and #FLM2015.

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