Personal finance is as important to your health as nutrition, physical activity and being smoke-free. Your personal finance affects your housing, food security, etc. In fact, among 14 recognized social determinants of health (conditions that influence differences in health status), socioeconomic status or income and its distribution are arguably the most significant indicators of health status. Improving money management skills can lead to health improvement.
More and more Canadians are struggling with debt. In recent survey results reported by CBC, more than a third of 2,000 Canadian respondents said they have no money left at the end of the month after paying their bills. Furthermore, upcoming changes in Canadian interest rates have people worried. That increased stress can also have detrimental health effects.
“Having good money management and personal finance skills can help people to manage their debt and live within their means,” says Dan Hrychuk, Chartered Professional Accountant. “It’s easy to get caught up in debt, and that can be really stressful for many people. We need to learn to budget and save our money appropriately so we are able to reach our short- and long-term financial goals. Paying ourselves first is the wisest investment you can make.”
Hrychuk’s top tips for wise money management and good personal finance are:
Try to make saving automatic so you don’t have to think about it. Set up automatic transfers to your savings accounts or investments. You can do this through online banking. If you don’t have savings accounts or plans, learn about them and start one.
Budgeting helps you to determine what your income is and what your expenses are. It will help you to plan your spending so that you can save. Budgeting should include expenses like housing, cars, entertainment, food, utilities, insurance and travel.
Some types of debt have high interest rates. These higher rate debts can end up costing you a lot more in the long-term. Know your interest rates on credit cards, loans and lines of credit and mortgage. Focus on paying high interest debts off first. For example, pay off your credit card every month.
Are you looking to improve your basic personal finance skills? Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre’s January ‘Healthy Get-Together’ will feature Hrychuk as he presents ‘Personal Finance 101: Paying Yourself First’. This free session takes place on January 30th, from 7:00 – 8:00 pm in Auditorium A (Level 3). Parking passes will be available. Call (807) 684-7237 to reserve your space today.