Being financially broke sucks. Living from paycheck to paycheck is very difficult. And not knowing how to raise money for next month’s rent? That’s the worst!
But many of us have been there. Perhaps you have to decide between fixing your car’s heater (so you would drive to work at 6 a.m.) and buying groceries. The good news is that PersonalBanker can help you rethink your financial habits and empower you to live a more rewarding life fueled by an in-depth understanding of finances.
Look, when you are struggling financially, all you can do is focus on the current money issues such as rent, a car that won’t start, a leaky basement, or your son’s college fees. Your happiness falters every day, and your relationships with your loved ones suffer under the weight of money-related stress.
Now, don’t get this wrong, I don’t believe money can solve all your problems. But you know what? Neither will financial struggles. It is time to seek help from experienced financial planners and advisors at PersonalBanker.
To understand PersonalBanker’s unique approach to financial planning, first you need to know the money-problem many Canadians are facing currently.
The money problem
At some point in life, you’re likely to find yourself strapped for money, out of credit, and searching for solutions. But what could throw someone into the abyss of debt? The financial planners and advisors at PersonalBanker unanimously agree that most financial challenges are associated with bad financial habits such as;
1. Spending more cash than you make.
This might seem obvious. But “empty wallet syndrome” can sneak up on you too. Sure, there are high debts that you purposefully incur, like buying a home, a car, or your child’s college fees. However, it is often the everyday expenses – money for your child’s field trip, gas, or lunch with a colleague – that eat away your budget. You might be left wondering where all the cash went.
Sometimes, it’s not that you have bought big-ticket items. It is the culmination of small expenses that quickly add up and eventually cost you thousands of dollars.
2. Excessive credit card debt
A credit card is often used as a cash management stop-gap. A recent TransUnion report revealed that Canadians are opening fewer credit cards but spending more cash on their existing cards. Though this might seem like a short-term benefit in that there are fewer credit cards, your debt-to-income ratio matters more.
One of the major problems that most Canadians face is accruing interest on credit card balances. When combined with payday loans and other forms of credit, credit card debt could outrun your income and plunge you into an endless cycle of debt.
3. Credit score & credit history problems
Credit history and credit score problems are not explicitly cash problems. However, the two are intertwined. Financial institutions such as banks use your credit score to determine your creditworthiness for long-term financial transactions. Suboptimal credit scores or credit histories can make lenders decline your loan applications. And if you still qualify for the credit, there’s a good chance you will face a high cost of credit (interest rates).
So, how should you address the dark cloud of financial chaos hanging over you?
A solid financial plan is a great starting point
Working with a financial planner can help you navigate the current financial challenges, unforeseen circumstances and better prepare for the future. This concept has held true during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a recent FP CanadaTM report, the respondents who worked with a financial planner were 77% more confident about their financial health at the onset of coronavirus pandemic than those who didn’t use financial planning services. During the pandemic, these respondents were 74% more confident about their finances than those who didn’t use a financial planner. They’re also 68 percent less likely to worry about the financial impact of the pandemic.
Financial planning is no longer a thing for the high net-worth individuals or Canadians with quite complicated household finances. It is more than just consulting with personal bankers at HSBC to learn more about financial products such as mortgage auto loans. Working with certified financial advisors and planners can help you focus on your financial priorities and create a plan that takes into account all important aspects of your financial health. This will give you confidence in your financial future and in managing unanticipated life events.
More than just financial planning
What’s the most expensive annual budget entry for an average family in Canada? If you still think its housing, you will be shocked to learn that an average Canadian family spends more on tax than any other single expense like food, clothing, and housing combined! Don’t be misled into believing that those income & payroll deductions on your paychecks are the full scope of your tax burden.
To understand the full extent of your tax burden, consider all taxes that you pay throughout the year to municipal, provincial, and federal governments, including fuel taxes, sales taxes, carbon taxes, property taxes, and more. So, you need tax management help to maximize your net income (income after tax deductions).
Another key aspect of your finances is debt management. This is more than just paying down your credit card balances, payday loans, and other forms of credit. The debt management experts at PersonalBanker view debt differently. For high net worth people, debt can be perceived as an asset, just like a home can be seen as a liability. You need a debt management expert who can help you identify and reduce the destructive debt first.
Poor investment management and related decisions could also drain your financial accounts and toss you into deep debt and other financial challenges. It’s time to measure your wealth not only by calculating your total revenue and net worth but by analyzing your monthly cash flow and overall asset creation. You need more than just a financial plan to achieve a level of asset management.
Lastly, risk management is more than just protecting yourself from issues like job loss, death, or disability that could interrupt your cash flow. Depending on your situation, you need a professional finance risk manager who can identify risks, analyse them, and help you make decisions that could set you up on a long-term growth trajectory.
The traditional approach to tax management, debt management, investment management, and risk management is becoming a thing of the past. The increasing cost of living, uncertainty linked to coronavirus, and other factors affecting your finances require you to rethink your spending and financial management habits. Let PersonalBanker be your guide to minimize your tax obligations & risks and maximize your cash flow & long-term growth.