The latest news has been focused on rising interest rates, surging inflation, and economic uncertainty with suggestions that the Canadian economy could be tripped into recession.
With all this information circulating, now is a good time to discuss ways to adapt your finances and protect your future. Fortunately, there are a few key things you can do to get started today!
- Set a budget and reduce monthly expenses and overall debt by including the following:
- Review your income and expenses and identify areas for reduction – such as getting a cheaper cell phone plan, reducing streaming service subscriptions, reviewing transport costs, etc.
- Make a list of your current high-interest loans (such as credit card balances). If your mortgage is up for renewal, you may be able to benefit by consolidating debt into your mortgage to save on interest and free up cash flow with one payment. Refinancing your mortgage before the renewal is also an option, but a review of the penalty cost versus your debt consolidation goal should be considered. As your mortgage professional, I can assist you with this analysis.
- Allot a percentage of your income towards savings such as an emergency fund. Your goal should be to have the equivalent of 3 to 6 months of earnings in this fund to provide breathing room should you lose your job or face any unexpected expenses. Another form of emergency funds could also be a line-of-credit. Once set-up, these generally have no cost to you unless you use it in the event of an emergency.
Having a healthy and realistic budget will give you peace of mind and allow you to properly allocate your monthly cash flow between debt, expenses, and savings.
- Evaluate your investment portfolio:
- While you will want to avoid making any knee-jerk reactions, it maybe a good time to diversify your portfolio to help reduce risk. Consider rerouting your investment to real estate or other areas to ensure you have various sources of income and always talk to an expert.
- Find additional income sources!
- Many people have found innovative ways to increase their income by asking the following three questions:
- Are you a fit for a potential promotion?
- Do you have a review coming up?
- Do you have transferable skills that you can apply to consulting or additional contract work?
One final reminder – don’t panic. I know the word “recession” can be stressful but understanding what is happening and making appropriate adjustments will help you stay financially secure.
If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We would be happy to chat with you anytime about the impact on your mortgage, or how to make changes for the long-term.