✔ Financial concerns might be especially pressing at this time of year, putting you into a negative money mindset
✔ A few minutes of meditation and mindfulness can get you into a better mindset to take on money matters
✔ This year you will want to address changes to your budget, taxes and financial plans, especially because of COVID-19
Winter blues are common, especially in northern countries such as Canada. The weather is cold and spring still feels a long way away. Suffering through a year of the COVID-19 pandemic has made this time of year even more bleak, with many Canadians dealing with lockdowns, isolation, health scares and job losses. Financial concerns are also more pressing at this time of year – when the holiday bills have come in and tax time looms.
All these real pressures can put you into a negative money mindset, which then in turn makes it more difficult to actually deal with your finances. We can help – a few strategies in mindfulness and small steps to calm your mind can get you back into the right money mindset to take on sinancial matters.
Take a moment
If you are feeling overwhelmed, take a moment to ground yourself and breathe. An easy 5-step meditation that takes just a few minutes a day can help reduce financial anxiety. Daily meditation has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety, decrease blood pressure and boost concentration. If you have access to outdoor space, stand outside for a few moments, close your eyes and breathe in the fresh air. Not only will you soak in some much-needed vitamin D — which regulates your mood, helps ward off depression and may have a protective effect against COVID-19 — but the fresh air will give you a boost of oxygen to help you be more alert. If you do not have access to an outdoor space, then simply open a window, sit or stand in front of it and breathe deeply for a few moments.9
You might also like:
- goeasy Academy: Your Money Mindset
- How to Pay off Debt Faster, Even on a Tight Budget
- How to plan ahead for your 2020 income tax filing if you’ve collected CERB
Tackle your financial issues, step by step
When you have problems that need solving, the best course to take is breaking them down into steps so that you don’t get overwhelmed and can tackle them easier. If you need to get out of debt or save more money, you want to have a plan for reaching these goals. Here are some specific issues you might be facing this year.
This past year has been unlike any other. You might have had some income loss because of COVID-19, or you might have had fewer expenses if you’ve been fortunate enough to work from home, or you might have collected the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Even if you budgeted regularly, it might be time to go over your budget and make changes that reflect your new situation. Our budget calculator can help get you started.
Tax time is coming up and this year will be different from most. If you collected CERB, you will get a T4A slip from the government and that must be reported as income on your tax return. The government has announced interest relief for support benefits and those eligible won’t be required to pay interest on income tax debt until April 2022. For more information, go to the Government of Canada website. If, when you do your taxes, you get a refund, you will want to have a plan of where to target that money – whether it’s into savings or reducing debt or both.
Financial planning for the year ahead
Why not decide now to create a financial plan for the year ahead? If you have a roadmap for the future, you’ll feel less financial stress and be in a better money mindspace. If you have a partner, sit down with them and discuss your goals for the future. Do you want to save more for retirement, or save up for a down payment on a house, or reduce your debt or improve your credit score? You’ll want to talk to your honey about money so that you’re on the same page.
We can help
Reach out to us to help you on your path to financial wellness. We offer a free, one-hour financial health check consultation that includes a credit score discussion. If you need support, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, remember that we are all in this together. We are here to help too: contact easyfinancial.com with questions and find helpful advice at goeasy Academy.