The holiday period is right around the corner, and although that means quality family time and some rest and relaxation, it can also be a rather financially uncomfortable time of year without proper preparation!

With this in mind, OCP’s financial advisors have compiled a few simple strategies to help you ease into the holiday, stress free:

Write a budget

Write down how much money you receive from your salary, bonuses, benefits, reimbursements and other sources. Is this a higher number than your expenses? If not, make immediate changes, today!

Spend less, by trimming day-to-day costs

  • Such as your cellphone, Netflix and internet plans
  • Try planning meals and groceries to lessen takeout lunches and last minute ordering in

Eliminate unnecessary costs

  • Make a list of your current bills and their due dates, and pay your bills on time to avoid late fees and penalty charges. If you can’t make a list, refer back to point one and take action today!

Find ways to pay less interest on your debts

  • Focus on paying off debts with the highest interest rate first
  • Keep up with required payments (such as monthly minimums) on all your debts.
  • Consolidate your debts into an “all-in-one” loan or secure line of credit so you can make a single payment each month.

Set clear goals to help accelerate your savings

  • Write down all the things you’re saving for, and work out how much you need to set aside each month to reach your goals in the time frame you want, then pay yourself this amount each month as if it’s another bill.

Use online banking to:

  • Set payment reminders.
  • Schedule future bill payments.
  • Review your spending.

Make the most of workplace plans

  • Take full advantage of group retirement plans, including matching programs, and reduce taxes and out-of-pocket expenses with flexible spending accounts and healthcare benefits.
  • Start saving for retirement now, regardless of your age.
  • Plan to save enough to top up guaranteed government sources.

Work with an advisor

Reduce financial stress and start to feel financially secure. Your OCP programme provides money management support at no cost to you — call anytime to book an appointment.

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