Scotiabank Offers Canadians Advice to Kick-Start their Finances in 2011

TORONTO, Dec. 30 /CNW/ - With the new year days away, resolutions are top-of-mind for Canadians. When making that yearly commitment to go to the gym or keep the house organized, Scotiabank encourages Canadians to also consider taking stock of their finances. Scotiabank offers financial advice on how to start 2011 on the right track.

  1. Review your financial plan. If you don't have a financial plan, now is the time to get one that maps out short and long term goals as well as emphasizes debt management. With a solid financial plan, you are less likely to leap before you look and make financial or investment decisions you'll regret in the long run.
  2. Pay yourself first, set-up pre-set contributions to an RRSP. The amounts should be based on what is generally required as annual saving towards the plan, within the constraints of what your non-discretionary spending needs are. For some people this might be less than what can be contributed to the RRSP for the year, but the extra can always be topped up by the RRSP deadline. It will be less pressure than waiting for that time to contribute one large lump sum amount.
  3. Treat your TFSA as part of your long-term saving/investing plan. Make sure it reflects your objectives and risk tolerances as you would with your other accounts. One of the simplest ways for Canadians to do this is to put a high quality balanced mutual fund in the TFSA which reflects your overall asset allocation strategy. Contributions, whether monthly or annually, will simply go into that fund without you worrying about whether the TFSA is balanced differently down the road.
  4. Spend less and save more. By cutting down your discretionary spending, you can redirect more money to savings or debt repayment.  Review your household budget to track how much money is coming in, what your fixed expenses are and determine if you're spending money on things you could live without. With any extra money you find in your budget, consider setting up an automatic savings plan so that the money you're saving comes straight out of your bank account. 
  5. Time spent now will give peace of mind later. In the case of your will, it should be reviewed no less than every five years and more often as you reach the retirement phase of your life. Any changes, whether health or financial, should be addressed as soon as possible. With respect to insurance strategies, ensure your life insurance needs are incorporated into your financial plan.  A sound financial plan should include insurance solutions to protect your loved ones and dependent children.

For more information on ways to get the upper hand on your finances check out www.scotiamcleod.com or www.scotiabank.com or visit your local Scotiabank branch.

About Scotiabank

Scotiabank is one of North America's premier financial institutions and Canada's most international bank. With more than 70,000 employees, Scotiabank Group and its affiliates serve some 18.6 million customers in more than 50 countries around the world. Scotiabank offers a broad range of products and services including personal, commercial, corporate and investment banking. With assets above $526 billion (as at October 31, 2010), Scotiabank trades on the Toronto (BNS) and New York Exchanges (BNS). For more information please visit www.scotiabank.com.

SOURCE Scotiabank

For further information: For further information:

Patty Stathokostas, Scotiabank Media Communications at 416-866-3625 or patty_stathokostas@scotiacapital.com


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