Spring is typically a time for renewal: birds chirping, flowers blooming. But this year with lock downs and pandemic burnout, it can be hard to see the bright side. Financial uncertainty has taken a toll on Canadians, and not just our bank accounts. Studies link financial stress and anxiety to physical and mental health issues. That’s why a spring financial refresh is so important to wellness. A simple check-in on your financial habits will have a surprisingly positive impact on your overall well-being.
CONSIDER YOUR SAVINGS
Last year forced many of us to reevaluate our savings and prioritize building (or replenishing) a healthy emergency fund. If you set savings goals for 2021, maybe it’s time to check in to see how you’re doing. Making savings or investments automatic is a great way to keep on track, but it’s always useful to check in periodically to see how your savings goals fit your real-life budget.
PRACTICE MINDFUL SPENDING
Finding a spend-save balance that’s right for you can be a challenge. Here’s where mindful spending comes in. Taking the time to consider your spending will lead to more meaningful purchases that align with your goals and values and lessen the guilt and stress that can accompany large or impulsive purchases. Beyond essential expenses, mindful spending also means spending within your means, supporting local business and donating to charity if that’s what matters to you. And as the pandemic stretches out farther than we ever imagined, as important as saving is, taking care of ourselves is equally important. Mindful spending also includes making room in the budget to occasionally treat ourselves.
REVIEW YOUR INSURANCE
When was the last time you looked at your health, dental, life or disability coverage? Have recent life changes left you under-insured or uninsured? Checking insurance off your to-do list adds to your resilience. Good insurance you can depend on provides huge peace of mind, knowing you’re protected against the unexpected.
TACKLE YOUR TAXES
If you haven’t filed yet, the deadline is almost here. Make sure to claim your health insurance. And remember, if you earned less than $75,000 and received at least one COVID-19 benefit in 2020, the government is providing interest relief; you don’t have to pay interest on any amount owing until April 30, 2022. But do make sure you file on time because late filing fees still apply.
HEALTH PLUS FINANCIAL RESOURCES
If you’re a Health Plus plan member your Shepell Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) provides free financial resources. These include debt and estate planning support as well as confidential counselling. More resources are available from the Government of Canada. You’re not on your own if you are facing undue stress or anxiety surrounding your finances.
Even if 2020 threw you way off course, financial planners stress that keeping our finances in order is a work-in-progress. It’s not about perfection. It’s about the peace of mind that comes with taking charge of challenges and taking the right steps, even the tiny ones. While a financial refresh may not rank with a massage on your relaxation scale, you can rest assured it’s good for your overall well-being, especially this spring.
This Wellness Moment is from Health Plus Insurance. From our family to yours, take care and stay safe. A Health Plus advisor is always available for any questions about your insurance needs.
Health Plus is an OAHI Perks Plus Partner. For more information about the discounts available to members of the Ontario Association of Home Inspectors, click here. You must login in to the OAHI website to get codes and coupons.