Our finances are one of those things that we either tend love or hate. Don’t let money issues take over your life, take control and spend as little 20 minutes once a week and you will start to feel confident about your finances.

What are your goals? Going on vacation to your dream destination? Having your taxes done early or on time and getting a refund? Saving for retirement? Or is it as simple as never receiving another overdue bill notice again?

These are 5 simple steps to get you started…

  1. Actually open your mail when it arrives and print your statements as soon as they appear in your inbox. Get a system!! Mine is 3 file binders full of plastic sleeves named with each company I receive a bill from & statements, Visa & Amex receipts, claimable business expenses and the such. I have 2 binders for personal papers and 1 for business, these absolutely need to be separate.
  2. Dedicate 20 minutes every Sunday afternoon for bill paying, emptying your wallet & handbags of any receipts, filing everything in the appropriate place and actually looking at your accounts to check there is no out of the ordinary transactions and plan for any upcoming expenses.
  3. If you are in a relationship, having open and honest dialogue when it comes to money is so very important. Understanding what each others needs or values are financially makes a huge difference to figuring out a plan. It’s great if you have the same goals but what if you don’t? How do you make that work? Why not make an appointment with your bank account manager or finance broker, talk in out and come up with a plan.
  4. Look at what you are spending your money on! $10 here and $20 there doesn’t seem like very much but it all adds up over a month. Are you signed up for similar services like Netflixs & Crave TV or music apps like Pandora & Spotify? Only pay for things that you actually use. Do you make your lunch and take it to work or purchase everyday at the local cafe?
  5. Always have a rainy day account, 3 months worth of living expenses put away for emergencies. Then take that $10 or 20 month which you were spending on service you never use and set up a regular deposit into the rainy day account. Save yourself fees and have an online account which you can deposit to regularly and withdraw only when completely necessary. Set up a savings retirement account and start contributing early beacause every bit adds up.