Ten money management tips for financial security for your family

Even with the challenges of COVID-19 protocols, the basics of personal money management still apply.

Here are 10 financial tips to help you through these challenging times while still looking forward to reaching your long-term financial goals.

1. Create a budget – write down how much money you receive from your salary, bonuses, benefits reimbursements and other sources. Compare that to all of your expenses.

2. Spend less by trimming day-to-day costs such as cell phone and cable plans, and last-minute take-out meals.

3. 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.

4. Find ways to pay less interest on your debts. Pay off debts with the highest interest rate first. Keep up with required payments (such as monthly minimums) on all your debts. And consolidate your debts into an “all-in-one” type of bank account or a secure line of credit so you can make a single payment each month.

5. Set clear goals to help accelerate your savings –then “pay” yourself this amount each month as if it is another bill.

6. Don’t pay more tax than you need to – find out what tax bracket you and your spouse are in, and submit claims like child care costs, medical expenses and charitable donations with the tax return for whoever is taxed at a higher rate.

7. Use online banking to set up payment reminders, schedule bill payments and review your spending.

8. Make the most of workplace retirement plans.

9. Save for retirement now, regardless of your age.

10. Work with an advisor to set goals and develop a strategy to meet them.

Submitted by Dan Allen, senior financial advisor (retirement income and protection specialist) with Manulife Securities Incorporated.