Start next year off right by doing a financial checkup this year

General Nazarina DiSpirito 18 Dec

Don’t sabotage your New Year’s resolutions before the New Year even gets here! Do a financial checkup this year to get the New Year started off on the right foot.

Popular New Year’s resolutions are to be more organized and get personal finances in order.  However, you don’t need to wait until the New Year to get started. If you really want to get your personal finances in order in January, you should make sure that you have done a “financial check-up” before the end of this year.

What is a financial checkup? A financial checkup is an examination into the health of your financial situation, and can put you on track to a better financial future.  You should take a thorough look at your debt, savings, credit, and your overall financial goals (home buying, retirement, etc.)

Why can’t I wait until January? It may be tempting to put things off until January.  You’re likely busy with the holidays, and you may not be motivated to start organizing your finances now. However, the holidays are a perfect time to examine your finances. The holidays usually result in increased spending, which, combined with busy schedules that don’t allow you to always monitor your finances as closely as you would like, can spell trouble.  While you may have your holiday spending under control, it is important that you continuously monitor your finances, to make sure that you stay on track for all your financial goals, such as savings and paying off debts.

The end of the year is also an important time to examine your debt, and whether you may need to re-organize it.  You should look at what interest rates are you paying on your debt, and see what can and should be re-organized.

Deadlines are also looming. For example, the RRSP deadline is coming up.  Do you have cash for your contribution, or will you need a loan for that?  

Finally, doing a financial check-up will help you make better financial New Year’s resolutions.  You will have a good understanding of where you stand financially, and you will be able to make resolutions that are attainable, realistic, and in line with your overall financial goals. 

How do I do a financial check-up? Look at your savings, debt, and credit score (you can check it for free with Equifax or Transunion). Does what you see follow your financial plan and/or goals? Are you keeping your spending in check and saving as much as you intended?  Are you paying off debt regularly?

A mortgage broker can help you perform a financial check-up to determine whether you are on track for your home ownership goals.  A mortgage broker can also help you restructure your debt, so that you are making the best financial decisions for your situation and improve your cash flow.

Call me today to discuss how I can help you reach your financial goals. My services are free, and I can save you thousands of dollars!


What you need to know about mortgage calculators

General Nazarina DiSpirito 9 Dec


Mortgage calculators can be a great tool to give you an idea of what your payments would look like if you purchased a property for a certain amount.  Mortgage calculators can show how much your payments might increase or decrease if you change your down payment, amortization period, or interest rate.    

However, mortgage calculators are far from guarantees of what you can afford, what you will pay, what your interest rate will be, and even if your mortgage application will be approved. Mortgage calculators only take into account the minimal information you put in—typically your down payment, expected interest rate and expected amortization.  Mortgage calculators won’t factor in your debt, income, or your credit into their calculators, nor the addition of an insurance premium if you put less than 20% down.  You should also not assume that just because a lender advertises a particular rate, it does not necessarily mean they will offer that rate to you, even if the calculator tells you that you could qualify for that mortgage.

Mortgage calculators also fail to take into account other costs of purchasing and owning a home.  Legal fees, insurance, property taxes, and house maintenance are just some costs you should factor in when considering how much of a mortgage you can actually afford.

Mortgage calculations are often not straightforward, and are never as simple as punching a few numbers into a calculator.  While lenders may only focus on a few numbers, I am interested in the bigger picture.  As a mortgage broker, I focus on your entire story when I present your application to a lender.  My clients are more than just numbers—when I review a client’s file, I look at them as individuals with unique circumstances and mortgage needs. 

Call me today to discuss what mortgage best fits your story!