Cash flow planning to-do list
1. For one month, write down every bill you pay and every purchase you make, no matter how small, to get a balanced and accurate picture of how you spend your money.
2. Check your net monthly income (your take-home pay) against your average monthly spending to see whether you usually have a deficit or a surplus.
3. Whether you’re operating at a deficit or a surplus, try to take 10 per cent of your gross income (before deductions) and arrange to have it automatically deposited in an RRSP account.
4. Make sure there is room in your budget for irregular or unforeseen expenses, such as car repairs, new clothes or holidays. Calculate how much these things cost you in a year, divide by 12 and then add the result to your monthly spending for a more realistic picture.
5. If you find that you’re spending more than you’re earning, something will have to change, so write down your priorities and find ways to cut back.
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