Week 2 Financial Tips
News from Victoria Times Colonist:

When it comes to making budget priorities, planning for the unexpected can often get short shrift. And no wonder. Who really wants to prioritize emergency funds or insurance premiums over goals like owning your own home, making sure your children get a great education or putting money toward a cause that really matters to you?

Perhaps what’s needed is a shift in thinking. It’s precisely because your other goals are so valuable that a plan for the unexpected is so important. Without a proper plan in place, a sudden emergency — for example, a loss of income for you or your partner, or an unexpected expense — can put all your carefully budgeted dreams in jeopardy.

What should I do first?

No matter your circumstances, an emergency fund is your first line of defence when the unexpected strikes. As an ideal minimum, it’s recommended that this fund be enough to cover your core expenses for three to six months.

Depending on how tight your budget is, however, having this amount on hand might be easier said than done. If this sounds like you, a good idea is to set up an automatic monthly or biweekly transfer into a high-interest savings account. By continually putting even small amounts into your emergency fund, you’ll at least have something to turn to when life goes sideways, putting your other budgeting priorities at risk.

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Smart Tips for Your Tax Refund
News from Indianapolis Recorder:

(StatePoint) Like any sudden in-flow of cash, your tax refund presents an opportunity to spend your money wisely or foolishly.

And while it would be easy to blow the cash on fleeting fun, like a shopping spree or a slew of the latest gadgets, experts say the money would be best used to pay down debt and invest in saving plans that can help you grow your nest egg.

Here are some ideas to help you make the most of your refund this tax season:

Eliminate Debt

Interest can build quickly, so consider using your tax refund to pay off a portion of your outstanding debt. Whether it be credit card debt, student loans, or a mortgage, opt to pay off the obligation with the highest interest first. Or, eliminate an entire smaller debt in full if possible. Doing so will give you a sense of accomplishment and motivate you to keep going.

You can use financial calculators online to help you calculate where your refund would be most beneficial.

Budget

Budget and plan how you will use your refund. Once you know the amount you’re due to receive, spend time planning how you wish to allocate the money. Free online services like

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