How To: Do Some Financial Fall Cleaning

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As the setting of the summer sun begins to remind us, fall is here. While the days grow shorter and the nights get a little colder we are inevitably (though perhaps, reluctantly) reminded that winter is coming, too. A little bit of fall cleaning can help to declutter our homes in anticipation for a season cooped up indoors. Projects, like cleaning out the eavestrough, ensuring windows and doors are properly insulated, and checking smoke and carbon dioxide alarms, are important parts of any fall cleaning checklist, but what about a little financial fall cleaning? 

Take some time to clean the dust off your calculator, grab a pen and paper, and discover how you can declutter your finances with our checklist below!

1. Take Stock of Summer Spending

Fun in the summertime sun can really sabotage our savings. According to reports from BMO Financial Group, half of Canadians admit that their summer spending habits have negative long-term effects on their savings. Many Canadians take on more debt, avoid making payments on credit cards, and dip into savings to finance their summertime adventures. Take some time this fall to review your summer spending by going over your bank account and credit card statements. Make note of where you think you might have overspent (those daily Orange Mocha Frappuccino’s, maybe?) and where you can improve for next summer. The point of this exercise is not to make you feel bad about enjoying the summer, but to help you differentiate from spending and potentially wasteful spending.

2. Revisit Your Credit Card Agreements 

Woot, paperwork! Seriously though, while this is only slightly more exciting than watching paint dry, re-familiarizing yourself with the in’s and out’s of your credit card agreements can help save you money. While many people only ever pay off monthly minimum payments, interest still accrues on the total outstanding balance, and only making minimum payments can cost you more in the long run. If you are paying annual fees on your card, take some time to evaluate if those fees are worth paying; if you don’t use the features you’re paying for, think about switching to a no-fee card instead. Check out this great list of Canadian no-fee cash back credit cards.

3. Holiday Season Comes Quicker Than You Think

Benjamin Franklin’s quote, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail” really resonates here. While summer spending has been shown to mess with budgeting efforts, the holidays seasons bring with them their own challenges. Start planning for the festivities in your budgeting efforts now. A little planning will keep you on the “Nice List” when you’re ready to start shopping for gifts and preparing for holiday entertaining. 

4. Keep on couponing on!

With the change in weather comes a change in daily habits. Gone are the days where you can run out of the house without thinking about grabbing a jacket or sweater, you start to leave the sunglasses behind, and (depending on your complexion) you can forget about the daily slather of sunscreen. One habit you don’t need to change is the habit of finding great deals! Keep checking Caddle for great weekly savings on grocery offers, retail, and more!  

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