For those of my regular readers I celebrate Easter fervently and try to take advantage of the spiritual beginning to try and renew things in my life as well. A few years back my wife and I lost a great deal of weight, and we started on Easter and we have done various other things in our lives where renewal was the theme and Easter was the starting point.
This kind of renewal is important in life, but financially it can also be a good opportunity as well.
What new beginnings financially can you do around Easter?
- If you have been doing something financially for Lent (like giving up coffee and saving the money), did that work? If it did, maybe you can continue your Lenten savings and keep going? Maybe cut back on the coffee and save? If you have broken the habit (remember if you stop doing something for 21+ days, the habit is broken), stay away from it, for good.
- What are you going to do with your Tax refund (if you are getting one)? Here is a novel idea, take that money and put it in your RRSP, and start early for next year? The sooner you start the better and you are now getting a start on your refund for next year.
- A corollary of this would be to take your refund and put it directly on your biggest debt (assuming it’s your mortgage, but if you have Credit Card Debt, get rid of that). Putting money on your debt right now is good, given interest rates are going up very soon.
- Did you borrow money to buy an RRSP to get a refund? That money goes directly onto the loan, period, no questions asked. I don’t believe in the “borrow money for your future” concept that some RRSP firms sell, but if you have borrowed money to create your tax refund, the refund then goes on the loan right away!
- If you have a bad habit you have been meaning to beat (over-eating, impulse or binge spending, gambling, etc.,) now is the time to start. Easter gives you an excellent start point, and you don’t have the pressure of New Year’s resolutions, simply start and do it (no hype needed). Remember after 21+ days a new habit is set, so keep at it, but start now.
- Make a Financial Plan for the rest of the year. Easter falls on the end of the 1st financial quarter for 2010, so all you are planning for is the final 3 quarters of 2010, so it’s a little easier.
- Don’t call it a budget, don’t make a big deal, just write it down, and keep at it. If you slip, no worries, just get back to it. Guilt is an OK motivator, but it can also be a crippling stopper as well (I can’t get back to it, because I failed).
- Credit Cards, just do something with them, I don’t care what, just something. Get rid of 1, pay off 1, don’t use them, whatever, I have talked about this enough for folks to know, I think that Credit Cards are evil and dangerous.
Easter is the trigger and the beginning, just start.