Money – it makes the world go ’round. We all have a unique relationship with money, and even in the best of times, it can be complicated to manage. So we’re here to share a few pointers.
What’s the very first thing we should all be doing to better manage our finances? Budgeting! Few people actually enjoy crunching numbers, but understanding your basic cash flow is a must.
What are your routine expenses? Rent, mortgage payments, car payments, insurance, food? So many of us go out and spend without a second thought, which can land people in hot water if they’re not careful.
The second thing we highly recommend is opening up several bank accounts: in a perfect world, you want to have five or six bank accounts at a minimum. Sounds excessive? Hear us out!
Account 1: You want to make sure that you’re saving enough money to pay your taxes. If you’re not an employee who has their income taxes automatically deducted from each paycheque, you need to have a tax account where you can put money aside whenever you get paid.
Account 2: If you are self-employed, you probably have GST and PST numbers that allow you to collect sales tax from customers. You will need an account where you can hold the tax you’ve collected, since that money isn’t actually yours – it belongs to the government. You’re simply holding onto it for them until you file your quarterly or annual return.
Account 3: This one is for the first part of your budget. What are your recurring expenses every single month? Money should be going into that account in order to pay off those routine costs.
Account 4: After that, you need an investment account. If possible, you should always take a minimum of 10% off any paycheque to invest and grow your money. At first, it might hurt to put that money aside and not really see it, but once time starts working its magic and compounding starts happening, you’re going to be really, really happy that you did.
Once your money starts to grow, it starts to get really exciting – almost addictive! – to put money aside. It’s thrilling to watch it snowball and see your future build up right before your eyes.
Account 5: The next account is your spending account. You still have to live, after all! Whether it’s for vacations, going out, hobbies … reserve a chunk of your money for fun stuff and allow it to live here. Credit cards make it really easy for us to go out and spend recklessly, but if you know you can only spend what you have available in this account, it really simplifies your life.
See? Having more than one account isn’t going overboard – it’s actually a fantastic way to track your spending and organize your life. With most banks, you can have multiple accounts that let you transfer money from one to another without paying a single fee, so it’s easy to manage them too.
We’re skilled at way more than just real estate. If you want to learn more about staying on top of your finances, we’re here to chat!