There is a reason why I didn’t write this post about cleaning your personal finance at the beginning of the year earlier: most people wouldn’t have read it anyway! I noticed that while most of us came back to work for a few weeks already, we only started working this week! I guess we can call it the post Christmas trauma? 😉
Prepare your tax paper
The tax season is coming and you should start receiving your end of year statements and other documents relating your investment transaction (I hope you took your capital losses this for 2008 in order to use them against your previous year capital gains!). Start getting your paper in order so when it comes time to fill your tax return, you won’t be running like a crazy dog after cars!
Establish your investment strategy
You have two things to look after in term of investment. Has your financial situation changed? Do you have the same goals? If yes, you don’t have to play around with your asset allocation. However, you must make sure that you are well diversified. If you were only in financials and oil (you must be crying by now), you should reconsider selling some of your investments and buy stocks in other industries.
The second point is to look at your investment options. In Canada, you can contribute to a RRSP account and receive a tax return (you have March 1st in order to have your rrsp contribution count for year 2008 and get your tax return this year). You also have the TFSA option. This account allows you to put 5K per person tax free in any kind of investment vehicles.
Reconsider your debt structure
You played Santa Claus and Rudolf just brought your Master Card and Visa statements? How about transferring your balance to a 0% APR for a few months in order to give you a break? I looked around and I found a great offer: 0% APR credit card. You will be able to transfer your credit card balance to 0% APR credit card with a 0% interest rate several months. This is obviously not a long term solution, but in the meantime, it could help you set up a budget and pay it off. Click here in order to apply for 0% APR credit card.
If you have too many debts to pay off, maybe you should consider consolidating your debts via a personal loan or a mortgage if you have equity in your house. Then again, you won’t solve the root of your problem (debts results from a cash flow problem and not from interest rate) but it will surely help you out getting out of debt.
Manage your cash flow
Still looking for a 2009 resolution? How about getting a budget done and sticking to it? You will be in a better position to see what goes well or wrong in your personal finance. Draw a budget at the same time so you can see the evolution of your net worth from year to year.
So get your broom and your calculator and start your personal finance cleaning 😉
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