A Money Coach in Canada

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Today’s tip is simply a friendly reminder that the RRSP deadline is March 1, 2010 (to claim on 2009 taxes).

Typically banks start putting their best foot forward in late January, and then through February to attract your contribution funds to them.  You’ll want to be prepared to seize the moment when it comes, so pull your funds together and ensure its liquid in time.  If you haven’t opened an RRSP account yet, you’ll want to do that now before the mania starts.

Photo Credit: SirTwilightKing

Ever been at the til, swiped your debit card, and had a nervous stomach wondering if you had sufficient funds to cover your purchase?

There’s an easy solution.

Mobile banking.   If your bank is like mine, setting up your mobile phone is painless.  When you’re in a situation where you want to quickly, discretely, know your balance (or recent activity) you’ll simply text your bank account and within a moment you’ll have a text back with your balance.

Depending on your cel plan, you may or may not incur text fees for this so you’ll want to be clear on that (although its usually only pennies per text).

Money Coaching Tip, Jan. 3, 2010:  Know Your Net Worth.

Nail it down.  So many of my clients would orient their sense of financial reality in things like their debt or their cash flow.

The grounding point instead should be your net worth.  The rest is a matter of working out the details.

A little 101:  your net worth is what you own versus what you owe,  when you sum it all up.  It can get a bit tricky – do you count your car as an asset?  What about your furniture?  Your jewelry?  Personally, I kept it simple, factoring in only the value of my home, how much I owed on my mortgage, my debt, my investments’ value and any pieces of furniture valued over $2K.

So take 30 minutes, open an excel spreadsheet (or whatever works for you) and plug in the numbers.   Revisit this at least annually, but ideally every six months or so (more often if you have a volatile portfolio).

It’s a great time to set ourselves up for success financially in 2010, so for the remainer for January, I’ll provide some tips and ideas each day.

As we move from 2009 to the new year – a fresh start – here’s an initial question for you:

Looking back on 2009, what one action/habit really worked for you, financially?

Now, how can you proactively plan to do more of the same in 2010?

For me, it was high drama (not always recommended):  I made a major change and moved up north for a while to accept a great job with the GNWT which is both professionally and monetarily rewarding.  I’m not about to move again, but I will refocus on my initial financial goals I’d set for myself when I made the move.

What does this have to do with money coaching?  Not anything.  But after the tough Copenhagen week, this brings some delightful comic relief to our global village (ps:  could more Indians move up here to Yellowknife, please?  And start a restaurant too?)