Are you making good money and still living paycheque-to-paycheque.  Are you battling the debt monster?  You are not alone.  Forty-three percent of Canadians are spending more than they make.  Almost three-quarters of us are carrying debt according to a 2012 CIBC poll.

Here are five simple steps you can take today to make a big difference in your family finances.

Debt Monster1.     Have a really great goal

We spend all sorts of money on things we don’t need because we don’t have a compelling reason not to.  Set a fun goal – a reno, a family trip, a new bike, a spa day. When you want to buy something, consider if it will move you closer to or further from your goal.

2.     Separate your Spending

Use two accounts for your household cash flow.  Keep all of the money needed for the bills safely in one account.  Move money for daily spending to a different account and use it for groceries, gas and entertainment.  If the monthly spending account gets low, stop spending!

3.     Put a note on it

This simple and silly strategy is highly effective at reminding yourself what you really want.  Write your big goal on a sticky note and stick it on your credit card.  When you go to swipe it you are reminded of your priorities and can make a different choice.

4.     Hide debt repayment in your plan

Set up automatic payments to your debt so that the payments get made consistently, moving you closer to your debt-free goal.

5.     Don’t double spend

If you pay for something on your credit card, move that money out of your bank account since it is already spent.  Make a payment onto the credit card or put it into a savings account until the credit card bill comes in.

Small steps lead to big changes in your money life.  What steps are you going to take today?

Loved these ideas? Want to talk about how to do more to make friends with your money? Set up a time to chat with Karen.

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