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Do you know where you spend your money?

“We actually find we spend less in retirement than we thought”, says Vivien, a 55­-year-­old  retired retail manager. “Since we watch our money more closely than ever before, we have stopped spending money on things we really don’t need anyway. This doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy ourselves, but my husband and I are amazed about the amount of money we used to spend that we couldn’t account for!”  Excerpt from “Second Life ­ The New Retirement” by Barry LaValley with Tatjana Burcul

Do you know where you spend your money? Canadian Mortgage Life InsuranceWorry about your financial security can be a key stress factor during your working life and even more so as you enter the retirement phase of your life. For many people, the stress may come from feeling that they have little, or no, control over their financial situation or because they don’t have a clear picture of where they spend their money.

Can you account for where all of your money goes now? Are you uncertain or feeling not in control over certain aspects of your financial situation? For example, your disposable income can fluctuate if you are self ­employed or if you are hit with an unexpected bill you hadn’t counted on (health care costs, vehicle maintenance and house maintenance are all good examples of large, unexpected expenses). One way to minimize uncertainty is to keep your money and where you allocate your resources, you can use your money in a way that maximizes its use to serve your purposes.

While many people feel that budgeting is only for those with limited resources, budgeting makes good sense no matter how much money you have.

It’s also important that you involve your partner in analyzing your income and expenses, and in budgeting exercises so they have a clear picture of the family finances too.

Why is this so important?

With the knowledge of where your money is going and working out a budget allowing you to manage your resources, you can eliminate much of the uncertainty as to whether you have “enough” to live your life. Keeping close tabs on revenues and expenditures is vital in the business world. It is also important in your personal life as a way of managing uncertainty and stress. If you find that managing your expenses and revenues is an activity you don’t really enjoy, ask for help from someone you trust who enjoys this level of detail ­ just to get you started.

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