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Lots of big plans? 3 tips to help you maintain your financial zen!

Found the home of your dreams? Decided on your wedding date? First child on the way? You’ve got a lot happening. How do you make sure these milestones don’t turn into financial burdens?
This active phase of adult life, marked by many happy events, also brings its share of new responsibilities, along with lots of expenses–which is why it’s important to prioritize your goals, keeping in mind that after you achieve the first one, there’ll be more to come!

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A budget is your best bet

To make the most of these happy times, you absolutely must protect your financial health and reduce money-related stress,” says Angela Iermieri, a financial planner at Desjardins. “And having a budget is one of the best ways to do that!”
By getting a picture of your actual expenses and income, while considering your future needs, you’ll have more control of your finances. “No matter what the goal, your choices and decisions must always be based on your budget and financial means,” says Iermieri.

Savings: a good habit

Even when you have a lot of expenses, you should still save. It might seem difficult, but there are plenty of little things you can include in your planning. “With automatic savings, even if you can only afford a small amount, you’ll save without even thinking about it,” says Iermieri. For example, you might take the 52-week money challenge , or get inspiration from Desjardins members, who share their secrets to saving.

Give some thought to financing

When it comes to financing, every situation is different and multiple solutions may work–you just need to find what works best for you.
More than just a payment method, your credit card is now part of your day-to-day. Online purchases, guaranteed deposits, phone reservations and quick payments are a regular part of your busy life, so it’s essential that you choose the card that’s best for you.
“Credit cards are a convenient, short-term financing solution. The balance should ideally be paid in full on the statement due date,” says Iermieri. But, if that’s not possible, aim to make more than the minimum payment. Depending on your situation, a low-rate credit card can help you meet your financial obligations.
To help you decide, find the best card for you.
If you’re still worried about meeting your financial obligations once you’ve achieved your goal, talk to your advisor. They’ll help you identify effective strategies, based on your life circumstances and financial means.

Try these money-saving ideas 

Outfitting your new home

  • Find specialty stores with surplus inventory. Prices are often more affordable.
  • Watch for discounts on home items and décor. Many brands offer reductions of up to 75% off some items.
  • Tell your friends and family what you need. They might have something.

Getting ready for a new baby

  • Look into government grants and programs that you might be eligible for.
  • If you’re expecting more than one child, check with stores; many offer discounts for twins and triplets.
  • Talk to other parents you know. They’ll help you determine what essential items you’ll need and how much you can expect to pay for them.
  • Buy second-hand whenever you can. You might be surprised how much you could save!

Celebrating your big day

  • If you can’t afford the dress you want, you can always rent instead of buying.
  • Shop around! Some fashion boutiques also sell discounted wedding dresses and attire for men.
  • Visit specialty art supply stores to save on decorative accessories.
  • Ask friends and family for help with organizing.

Source: This article was originally published on the Mouvement Desjardins website.

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