03/06/2014 05:22 EST | Updated 05/06/2014 05:59 EDT

Forget the Garage, Spring Clean Your Finances!

Spring your clock and your financial health forward

After a long and cold winter, most of us can hardly wait for fairer weather and the first signs of spring. For many, the first sign of brighter days to come occurs this weekend when we spring our clocks forward.

And for most of us, spring on the horizon means it's time for our annual spring cleaning.

But, if you are like most Canadians, it may be more important to focus on spring cleaning your finances rather than washing the windows or cleaning out the garage.

Why you ask?

Statistics Canada's latest report on household debt indicates that the average Canadian household currently owes $1.63 for every one dollar of income earned. What's more is that money troubles seem to keep us up at night.

According to a recent BMO poll 63 per cent of adult Canadians identify personal finances as their top worry.

Given these stats, we suggest that while you're turning your clocks ahead, why not take some time to check-up on your finances?

After all, there is no better time to clean up our finances, reduce debt and let our financial health bloom.

To help those who wish to eliminate the worry caused by their personal finances, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada offers these tips to help you get started with your financial spring cleaning:

Clean Out the Clutter

Addressing your financial health is always easier when records are organized and up-to-date. Take the time to organize your bills, receipts and statements, or establish a new filing system that will allow you to get organized and start tracking your spending.

Check Your Credit

A clean and accurate credit report is essential to a healthy financial outlook. When spring cleaning your finances, take the time to request free copies of your credit reports from TransUnion and Equifax. Your credit report is a snapshot of your financial health, so it's important to review for accuracy and any mistakes you may find.

Wipe Out Debt

As tax refunds start to make their way into mailboxes across the country, consider putting yours towards eliminating credit card debt. If the return is not big enough to completely wipe out your debt, design a savings plan to tackle debt throughout the year.

Balance Your Budget

While budgeting always seems overwhelming, it's really just a list of money coming in and money going out. Download a free app or web program that can easily help you manage your finances and reduce overall spending.

Save for a Rainy Day

Once you have cleaned out the clutter, created a debt repayment strategy and addressed your household budget. It's time to start saving for the future. Creating an emergency fund, or saving for a rainy day, is a great step towards financial freedom.

Tackling debt and cleaning up financial problems can create peace of mind, making this the perfect time to get your financial house in order.


Which Parts Of Canada Have The Highest Household Debt?