Financial Freedom

Four Steps to Financial Wellness

Are you feeling stressed about money?  Being in control of your finances is one way of reducing this signifcant stressor in your life. There are four simple steps that everyone can use to create financial wellness:

1. Spend less than you earn.

2. Save some money from each paycheque.

Login to your online banking and click on 'Transfers'. You can setup automatic, recurring transfers into your savings account, TFSA or Term Deposit.

Need to open one or more savings accounts? You can do that too! Click on 'Account Services' and choose the account that works best for you. You can even rename each account to identify your savings goal.

3. If you have debt, pay it off.

Click on the 'Take Charge' tab for a plan to help you get started. A spending analysis and budget will identify where you can make the changes that will ensure you succeed. A home equity line of credit or consolidation loan may help by paying off higher-interest rate debt, allowing you to repay your debt more quickly at a lower interest rate.

4. Mitigate your risks.

What if you lose your job or get sick? Start an emergency fund (not a line of credit and/or credit cards) and get the right insurance coverage in case of accident or illness. How much do you need to pay each month for necessitites and save for a minimum three months? Learn more about our Life and Health Insurance offerings.

Talk to a SASCU Advisor to develop a plan to manage and improve your financial wellness. Need more information about insurance? Contact our SASCU Wealth team today!

Take Charge

Taking action now makes the path to retirement a much less bumpy one, as small changes over time have more impact than trying to scrape together your nest egg in your last few working years.

Here is how you can get started:

  • Do a spending analysis.
    You need to know what you really spend each month and where the money goes to take control of it.
  • Create a budget.
    This is your spending roadmap, so you can plan your spending and make the choices that help you achieve your financial goals.  You'll sum up your sources of income, determine your fixed and variable expenses and identify your 'must haves' and 'nice to haves'.  You get to make the choices that are right for you.
  • Track every nickel.
    Seriously - those nickels add up! (A $4 coffee before work each day times 50 work weeks costs $1,000 per year.)  All you need is a notebook and pen to get started. Keep your receipts and enter your purchases in your notebook each day. At the end of the month you can track your spending and decide where you want to make changes.

  • Budget Workbook

    SASCU has the tools you need to determine a plan for savings, retirement and more. Get started now with our online Budget Workbook!

Live Within Your Means

So you did your spending analysis and found out you were spending more than you earn each month?  That's true for most Canadians.  It costs money to live. You need to pay for food, clothing, housing, transportation, communication, and a dozen other necessary expenses. Then there are things like vacations, eating out, entertainment, gifts and so on.

To live within your means, there are really two options:

  1. Spend less
  2. Earn more
The best option to start with is to reduce your spending! It's surprising how the little things add up each week. It doesn't mean you have to stop enjoying them, but you can prioritize what is important to you and eliminate those items that don't add value.

Reduce temptation with these tips:

  • Setup a transfer plan that puts the amount of money you decide to save from each paycheque into a savings account automatically. A Tax Free Savings Account is a good option, as money that isn't in an account attached to your debit card is less likely to be spent. Or for only $25 per month, you can start a PayDay Savings 3-Year Term Deposit.
  • Leave your debit and credit cards at home and pay with cash.
  • Set aside the money you can afford each week for miscellaneous spending, and spend only that. When it's gone, wait until next week before spending more.
  • Check the local flyers, plan your meal menu for the week and go shopping with a list.
  • The Okanagan Regional Library offers magazines, music CDs and feature film DVDs that you can check out for free!
Just as it's important to reduce unnecessary spending, it's important not to deprive yourself of everything. Put aside a small amount of money every week for treats. Your treat may be anything from your daily latte to a weekend getaway or a special item you've had your eye on. If you've saved for these things, you can spend without guilt—and then you'll be less likely to splurge.