Ferris Bueller said it best: ‘Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.’ We’re not talking about smelling the roses (although we do advocate that too) but this carpe diem attitude can actually help families make the time to manage their finances properly.
We know what happens when life gets too fast and balancing every ones’ activities and routines with professional careers make it difficult to find a moment to yourself—not to mention time to evaluate your finances. But by taking the time to look at your day-to-day finances, you could discover there are a few simpler ways to manage your money.
Start by taking the time to look at how much you can spend each month.
Write down the amount both you and your spouse make and subtract the money that will go to bill payments. A monthly budget is a smart way to keep track of your spending. Decide who pays which bills by determining which salary goes directly into paying the bills and which is left for day to day spending.
Take a look at the contracts you’ve signed.
Are you really taking full advantage of your cell phone or satellite package? Have you been to the gym lately? If not, it might be a good time to cancel your contract or alter your plan. There’s no sense in paying for things you don’t use. Take a look at your bank accounts. If you’ve opened several over the years, you might want to consider joining them together. It’s a great way of lowering the amount you’ll pay in fees each month.
Make fewer impulse purchases.
When you’re about to buy something, ask yourself how necessary it really is and think about if it fits into your monthly budget. If you buy this item, will you need to sacrifice something else that month? Do you need or just want it? Just because it’s on sale today, doesn’t mean you’ll need it tomorrow.
So take the time to find out where your money is going. You might just find more opportunities to smell the roses before life whizzes by too fast.
For more information about creating the financial future you want, visit rbc.com/couplesandfamilies. Get the advice you need and download your own personalized Guide to Everyday Finance.
The strategies, advice and technical content in this publication are provided for general guidance only. This publication is not intended to provide specific financial, investment, tax, legal, accounting or other advice for you, and should not be relied upon in that regard. Readers should consult their own professional advisor when planning to implement a strategy to ensure that individual circumstances have been considered properly and it is based on the latest available information.