Time for a financial spring cleaning: 7 tips and tricks from the mortgage experts at Halton Team Mortgages
As we enjoy the renewal and warmth of spring, many of us turn our attention to spring cleaning. But did you know that this is also a great time to give your finances a little attention as well? As your trusted mortgage broker, we’re here to help you get started with some tips and strategies to get your finances in order and prepare for a brighter financial future. It’s a great time to take stock, review your financial goals, and make the adjustments required to ensure you’re going to achieve them. Here are 7 tips and tricks to get the process started.
1- Review your credit report
Your credit report is one of the most important documents related to your finances, and it can affect your ability to secure credit or loans. Take advantage of the free credit report you’re entitled to each year (www.annualcreditreport.com) and review it carefully. Look for any errors, such as incorrect balances, late payments, or collections that don’t belong to you. Dispute any errors you find with the credit bureau(s) to have them removed from your report.
In addition to checking for errors, look for areas where you can improve your credit score. Paying down balances and making payments on time are two of the most effective ways to improve your credit score. The higher your score, the more likely you are to qualify for loans with better interest rates and terms.
Once you’ve reviewed your report, you can then monitor your score monthly through the major Banks or directly from Equifax or TransUnion. The Banks use either Equifax or TransUnion and most will update your score monthly.
2- Preparing to renew your mortgage
With Mortgages rates having gone up from the historic lows we saw in 2021, it’s important to know where you are with renewing your mortgage. If your renewal term is coming up even in the next year, it’s important to touch base now to make sure you’re ready to adjust to the new payment. If you’ve already received a call or a letter from your lender, remember, it’s always best to reach out and have a discussion to ensure you are making the right choice before agreeing to anything.
3- Consolidate high-interest debt
If you have multiple high-interest debts, such as credit card debt or personal loans, consolidating them into a new lower-interest mortgage can help you save money on interest and simplify your payments. This can be an effective way to pay off your debts and regain control of your finances. While home prices have dipped, and rates have gone up, if you have equity in your home this is most likely still a better option than having outstanding high-interest debt. We can analyze your situation and help you determine if this works for you.
4- Review your subscriptions and cancel unnecessary ones
Many of us subscribe to various services, such as streaming platforms, subscription boxes, or gym memberships, that we no longer use or need. Review your subscriptions and cancel any that you no longer use. This can free up some extra cash that you can use to pay off debt, save for the future, or invest in yourself.
In addition to canceling subscriptions, consider negotiating with service providers for a lower rate. Many companies offer discounts or promotions to retain customers, so it’s worth asking if there are any available to you.
5- Create a budget and manage your expenses
Creating a budget is a fundamental step in achieving financial stability. Use online tools and resources to track your spending and identify areas where you can reduce your expenses and save money. This can help you achieve your financial goals more quickly, whether it’s paying off debt, saving for a down payment on a home, or investing in your retirement.
When creating a budget, be sure to include all of your income and expenses, including bills, rent/mortgage payments, groceries, and entertainment. Review your budget regularly and adjust it as needed to ensure that you are staying on track.
6- Build an emergency fund
Having an emergency fund is essential for unexpected expenses or financial hardships, such as job loss or medical emergencies. Aim to save three to six months’ worth of living expenses in an emergency fund, and keep it in a separate account that’s easily accessible in case of an emergency.
When building an emergency fund, start small and contribute what you can each month. This may be easier if you set up automatic transfers from your chequing account to your emergency fund.
7- Evaluate your Investment Portfolio
With the changing economic landscape in Canada, if you have an investment portfolio it’s essential to review it and make sure it aligns with your goals and risk tolerance. You may want to consider rebalancing if it isn’t meeting your current needs. Halton Team Mortgages can connect you with a licensed investment advisor who can help you make informed decisions for the future.
Working with a trusted mortgage broker
Working with a trusted mortgage broker can help you navigate the complex world of mortgages and achieve your financial goals. At Halton Team Mortgage, we provide personalized and professional mortgage services to help you find the best mortgage solutions that meet your unique needs.
Our team can help you understand the costs and benefits of refinancing, debt consolidation, and home equity loans or lines of credit. We’ll work with you to find the best interest rates and terms for your financial situation and help you achieve your homeownership dreams.
Additional tips for a successful financial spring cleaning
In addition to the tips mentioned above, here are a few additional tips for a successful financial spring cleaning:
Start small: Trying to tackle all of your finances at once can be overwhelming. Start with one or two tasks and work your way up.
Set achievable goals: Setting achievable goals is the best way to help you stay motivated and on track. Be sure to celebrate your accomplishments along the way.
Involve your family: Get your family involved in the process to create a shared financial vision and set goals together.
Stay organized: Use tools like spreadsheets, budgeting apps, or file folders to keep your finances organized and easily accessible.
A financial spring cleaning can help you achieve your financial goals and prepare for a brighter financial future. Whether you’re refinancing your mortgage, consolidating debt, or building an emergency fund, there are many steps you can take to improve your financial situation.
At Halton Team Mortgages, we’re here to help you every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you achieve your financial goals.
Contact us to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you.
Here at Halton Team Mortgage, we often get asked questions by our clients.
Question: Why is my Credit Score Important?
Answer: Your credit score can determine what options are available as far as debt consolidation goes, lines of credit, or other financial products. A good credit score will help you qualify for the best mortgage rates. No matter your score, reach out to see if there are options that work for you.
Question: How can I consolidate my debt?
Answer: Consolidating debts involves taking a single loan to pay off multiple debts, with the result that you are paying less per month. You can explore your options with Halton Team Mortgages.
Question: I’m just paying my taxes, Should I already be planning for next year?
Answer: Yes and No. You don’t want to get overwhelmed, but as you finish your 2022 taxes, you want to be aware of what you ended up paying, and then look for options that involve lowering your taxable income for 2023. This is always easier if you get an early start.
Question: Do I need to start planning for retirement now?
Answer: Knowing your retirement goals, and what you need to start putting away to hit them is an extremely important part of getting your finances in order. If you’re making a conscious choice to prioritize other expenses, that’s fine, but you don’t want to be caught unaware.
Quantity of assets and mediocre credit are of no concern to us, and they shouldn’t be to you either. Just sit back and relax and let your friendly neighbourhood Halton Mortgage Broker help you through the entire home-buying process. We will handle your rate negotiations and all the paperwork to leave you with as little to worry about as possible. So have no fear, you can become a homeowner in no time….
In such a large industry, homebuyers can experience complex issues when it comes to mortgage a home. Without access to mortgage industry resources and expertise, you might make bad decisions and put your financial future at risk. Hiring an experienced, professional Halton Mortgage Broker, eliminate the risks and help you to locate and secure the best mortgage solutions to match your needs.