THE FIRST STEP TOWARDS FINANCIAL STABILITY IS YOU!
Improving financial stability does not start with earning more money because this will NOT solve your problem.
Over 1 in 10 Canadian households are late or skipping debt payments according to Stats Canada’s Survey of Financial Security.
I often feel the anger so intensely when reading comments on social media from people who are upset about financial stability.
It may be because the government increases taxes or takes benefits away or their employer does not give them a raise.
Situations vary and I’ve been in a money pit myself so I know how depressing it can be but it should never own you.
You can’t fix what you are blanketing with hate.
Let’s look at two examples:
- I want a better job- I don’t apply myself, increase my knowledge, apply for new jobs or network with the right people.
- I want to lose weight- I don’t eat right, meal plan, set goals, exercise, imagine a healthy me, push myself.
The above examples are huge in today’s world because people want to be happy where healthy living and employment opportunities are paramount.
In hindsight it may be however it’s not earning more money that will get you to the top of the hill it’s your mindset and how you use that extra income.
Beocoming financially stable is more about balancing your budget and improving the income you earn.
What if you can’t earn more money then what?
You focus on the money you do earn and how to best repair your financial situation which means letting go of your diamonds.
Too many people focus on more money when all they need to do is fix what they already earn.
How do I fix my personal financial stability?
Recently I was unable to pay my cable bill but managed to talk to customer service who was very understanding.
They allowed me to put down what I could but said that I would have to pay the bill in full by the next month.
Even though I was subjected to late payment charges all that mattered to me was that I kept my cable.
After having a moment to think about the financial situation I came to realize that things needed to change.
The problem is I don’t know how to improve my financial situation since I’ve always been bad with money.
As a child my parents paid for everything and as I got older credit cards took over for them.
I’m ashamed at the amount of debt I have but feel broken inside because I don’t know where to begin.
Currently, I’m holding $4325 of credit card debt on two credit cards that I pay the minimum each month.
Last month my car broke down which set me back which is why I couldn’t pay the cable bill.
Where do you suggest I begin fixing my financial stability before I end up bankrupt?
Document Your Financial Situation
Thanks for your email and just know that you are not alone on this journey towards becoming financially stable.
If you want to develop yourself financially you have to take the steps involved seriously as it doesn’t work short-term.
Financial gains always take time and although it may seem rough to start it’s the long-term results that bring home the bacon.
- What are your financial issues?
Sit down at a table with a piece of paper and pencil start thinking about what financial issues you are facing and write them all down one by one.
Don’t be afraid to add little notes or feelings to each point that you make especially if it is something positive.
By the end of 30 minutes, you should be staring at your financial life and it will paint a picture for you.
This is what everyone needs to do because trying to figure it all out in your head just isn’t going to cut it.
Trust me, I’ve been there and failed miserably.
Develop Financial Stability
Financial stability seems impossible today with the cost of living increases not to mention prices on the rise in just about every industry.
Whether you have a family or not you will want to keep them or yourself secure from incurring unnecessary debt.
Eliminating debt that you have created is important all the while still paying your bills.
Once you’ve conquered your debt you can begin to rise up and develop your financial stability by saving money and investing.
You don’t have to be debt-free to be financially stable either.
It’s more about being grounded when it comes to paying a debt and understanding the path you are on.
You’ve paid your credit card debt and student loans but now you have a mortgage.
Typically a mortgage is paid in 25 years or less depending on your payment schedule.
Don’t panic if you can’t pay your mortgage off speedy Gonzales because most people don’t.
What you want to eliminate is consumer debt and by doing so you bring stability into your financial picture.
Your monthly budget will be simple to manoeuvre because you aren’t trying to move money around to pay off bills you can’t afford.
Eliminate consumer debt and you’ll see that your financial stability will improve.
It may not be perfect but at least you’ve popped your head out from under the covers.
5 Steps To Improving Your Financial Stability
Become the leader of your financial situation and stop playing the victim.
I’ve yet to meet someone who has come out on top from sitting around complaining.
- Budget Your Money
- Own Your Debt
- Build An Emergency Savings Fund
- Save For Your Future
- Invest in Retirement
1- Budget For Financial Stability
Budgeting is obvious and I’m sure you wouldn’t be reading Canadian Budget Binder unless budgeting was of interest to you.
I don’t care if people don’t want to believe me or listen to me rave about the benefits of budgeting because it’s not my life, it’s yours.
What I can do is share our journey and how budgeting has helped improve our lives even when we were reduced to one income.
We’ve suffered loss from injury, employment reduction and having to find ways to pay our bills without any assistance from anyone.
It was tough but we made and still continue with our frugal living ways because we know what it’s like at our rock bottom.
Our bottom is someone else’s top and that’s what keeps us going because we recognize that money doesn’t solve problems, it’s our mindset.
2- Own Your Debt
When you own the debt you have incurred something special happens, you being to realize it’s your responsibility.
Using credit or loans to buy the stuff you can’t afford to pay cash for is something that is a privilege and not a right.
You still have to pay it back to the person who loaned you the money.
How would you feel if you owned a business and your customers paid very little or nothing at all?
I’m betting you wouldn’t be happy about it.
Some people who are owed money demand it but when they owe it and can’t pay it they have excuses and that’s ok for them.
Think about that for a moment.
Instead of coming up with excuses own your debt and do something about it.
Perhaps you might have to go to the library to access a computer and the internet.
You don’t really need that home phone or mobile phone with a data plan.
Pick the cheapest option.
Get rid of cable if you can’t pay your bills. You don’t need it.
Find other ways to entertain yourself.
Owning your debt means giving up stuff that you don’t need like those diamonds.
3- Build An Emergency Savings Fund
You will hear about emergency savings and how important it is to have that hidden fund for rainy days.
The problem is understanding what really is an emergency compared to something that you can control.
Paying for a trip to Hawaii and using money from your emergency savings is NOT an emergency.
Using your emergency savings to pay for monthly bills because you spent too much money at the mall is NOT an emergency.
An emergency is when your car breaks down and you have no control over it.
That’s an emergency.
Saving 3 to 6 months of your monthly expenses is so important and starting slow is better than having nothing at all.
Pay off debt first and start saving for the days you need emergency cash.
4- Save For Your Future
This isn’t an investment fund I’m talking about it’s a slush fund or money you can use to renovate your house or go on holidays.
If you want to enjoy your life by doing things then you have to save money to do so otherwise you’ll be creating debt.
Pay yourself first or even give yourself an allowance if that will help you save money for things you want.
If your budget doesn’t allow for this then you don’t do it until you can afford it.
It’s that simple. NO excuses.
5- Invest In Retirement
Sadly, with debt on the table, most people struggle to save money for their retirement and even say no to work benefits.
I know people whose employer will match what they invest into their RRSP but they can’t afford it.
That’s leaving money on the table but a reality for many Canadians.
Some people will say you should pay a debt and invest at the same time and if you believe you will come out ahead then do so.
What it really boils down to here is what your budget is able to handle.
For many people investing is the last thing on their minds when they struggle to pay off their monthly debts.
Do what works for you but don’t forget about the golden years because they will matter.
Shine it or Buff It
You see friends, having all the diamonds in the world won’t matter if you don’t own them so own your financial stability and shine bright like a diamond.
It’s far cheaper to shine your budget than it is to buff out your debt.
When you become at peace with your money you know you’ve reached financial stability in your life.
Discussion: What did you do in order to improve your financial stability?
I’d love to read your feedback in the comment section below.
Net Worth Losses and Gains
What happened to our money in June?
Well, for starters, we moved over some of our cash and invested it instead. The reason being, it’s more likely to produce a better return than what the bank account was giving us.
The markets have been anything but stable lately, so it’ll be interesting to see how our decision plays out.
The investments as a whole produced a gain for the month, which is good, however, the UK Pound to Canadian Dollar suffered.
We’ve even moved over money from Jr’s bank account to invest it too. Because he won’t need the money for quite a while, it’ll have time to build.
His invested money is similar to our retirement, no need to use it yet, leave it building over time.
The cash section didn’t contribute much to the net worth this month and I don’t suppose it’ll contribute much to the coming month due to renovations.
This isn’t going to worry us, we’ve been saving up for some considerable time in order to do this.
Saving up instead of placing it on credit is our usual way of buying something.
Understanding Net Worth
What Does Individual Net Worth Mean?
Net Worth is a snapshot of your financial health sort of like a picture or debt to net assets.
In simple terms, it’s a total of the value of your assets minus your liabilities.
We credit the growth of our net worth due to patience, perseverance, using a monthly budget and not giving up.
Your numbers may go up and down but don’t let the numbers scare you rather understand why and move on.
If you would like to use our budget I offer a FREE downloadable budget which I created and that you can use at home just like we do.
I don’t charge for it because I want you to save money not spend more!
There are tonnes of other free resources at Canadian Budget Binder to help you build your net worth.
Calculate Your net worth
Do you know how to calculate your own Net Worth?
We like to calculate our net worth every month so we know if we are still on track.
Some people calculate it yearly or quarterly but it’s up to you and how informed you want to stay.
Net Worth is only an estimate and not everyone uses the same type of figures to tally it up.
Some of you may not include vehicles like we do or leave out assets inside the home as we have.
You might be that person that believes that your house should be excluded.
It depends on what you want to calculate or what you can sell today and make money on for tomorrow.
Figuring out net worth is fairly easy as long as you know your personal numbers or monthly finances which means you need to do your homework.
Net Worth is simply adding up all your assets (what you own) then taking away your liabilities (what you owe) which will give you a net worth number.
Understanding your net worth will help you determine if you are on track to meeting or beating your personal financial goals.
It doesn’t get any easier than that.
Net Worth = Assets – Liabilities
Why not go ahead and calculate your own using our Free Money saving Tool Net worth Calculator (Canadian Budget Binder 2012)
When budgeting anything is possible, we are proof of that although we still have a long way to go in our journey.
These are our numbers and our goals, not a means of comparison towards your own goals to others target goals.
We don’t care how much money others make or if they have a high net worth or if it is lower than ours as it’s not a competition.
I hope our experiences will help guide you along your financial path working towards debt freedom.
Not everyone has the same path in life.
Some of you may have had to start over like I did or go to school a second time and now have OSAP loans to pay back.
Others may have divorced, lost money in the stock market or other investments, suffered job loss, fell ill or injured on the job and so on but you can’t let that stop you from achieving your financial goals.
Some of you may have been given trust funds, paid-for homes, paid educations or perks in life that give you a financial kick-start and that’s OK too.
Remember what I said, “It’s not about how much money you make, it’s how you save it”.
The only reason people accumulate wealth is that they know how to save or invest it wisely even if they did inherit money or win the lottery.
The smallest improvements should mean big strides in working towards reaching your goals.
Sometimes we have to fail in order to learn and we’ve all been there.
Money can be an evil force for some people especially those who have a negative attitude towards their own financial situation.
I urge you to be optimistic and little by little with determination you too should see improvements if you want that to happen.
Canadian Budget Binder Net Worth Updates 2019
Click the links below to read our net worth updates for the year.
- December 2018 -(1.66%)
- January 2019 (+2.37)
- February and March 2019 (+2.15%)
- April 2019 (+2.63%)
- May 2019 (-0.79%)
That’s all for this month’s net worth update but please check-in at the beginning of August 2019 to see how we made out in July 2019 with our financial portfolio.