Spring cleaning for your finances

Time to tidy up your portfolio

nolanWith spring in full swing, Calgarians are noticeably starting their annual spring-cleaning.

Yards are being tidied and garage sale signs litter street corners.

Yet, many don’t realize now is an opportune time to reassess winter’s finances and do a financial spring cleanup.

Mortgage360 encourages its clients to reassess their finances on a monthly or, at worst, quarterly basis. Rebalancing portfolios, eliminating erroneous spending and making sure no reoccurring bill charges have slipped through the cracks are all financially savvy moves.

Here are three things you can do this spring to head into summer in tip-top financial shape:

Examine reoccurring bill payments

In the online age, companies seem to be embracing the subscription model. Many people sign up for services to find out who their ancestors are or to train their brain, only to stop using the services shortly after the novelty wears off. In some cases they don’t even realize the service they purchased was recurring.

To make sure money isn’t going down the drain every month; review bank and credit card statements. If you find a charge for something you aren’t using anymore, cancel it. This goes for gym memberships and Netflix accounts as well – if you aren’t using it, get rid of it.

Increase your investments

If you don’t already have an automatic withdrawal set up every month to take money out of your chequing account and put it into an investment account, set it up now. You don’t have to invest a lot. Just make sure you are investing something on a monthly basis.

If you already have set up an automatic withdrawal, consider increasing it. A 10 to 15 per cent increase can have huge benefits 20 to 30 years down the road.

If you don’t know what to invest in, consider picking up Anthony Robbins new book Money – Master The Game. It will teach you how to beat the market and your broker in a safe and secure way.

Tweak your mortgage

The last, but favorite, spring cleanup tactic is to tweak your mortgage. Making a minor change such as switching to weekly payments or increasing payments by 15 per cent can knock three to five years off a mortgage. Making this type of adjustment annually has allowed my wife and I to reduce our 30-year mortgage to just 13 years.

If you want to get really crazy, consider refinancing into a lower rate or purchasing a revenue property. Then use the extra cash flow to pay down the mortgage even further.

To learn how to safely and securely purchase investment properties, sign up for Mortgage360’s next Cash Flow Club meeting on Thursday, May 21 by visiting www.mortgage360.ca/cash-flow.

Nolan Matthias holds a bachelor of arts in Economics, is the co-founder of Mortgage360 and the author of The Mortgaged Millionaire. Call Nolan at 403-615-6132 with your questions or to set up an appointment with an Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP).

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