I’m about a week behind schedule, but I had to share my first step to financial independence. Plus it was free! Win-win for me.
My local library runs a lot of free activities, including book clubs and apparently, financial seminars. First Frugal Findlay tip: Find free things to do. The local library is usually a good place to start!
The one closest to me last week offered one on budgeting, which was put on my local Credit Counselling Society. I signed up and then showed up on schedule, which was 6:30 pm.
The presenter was well informed and very interesting to listen to. He had a background as a teacher, as well as a bank manager, which truly came out in his presentation. The steps were quite straightforward and if it was still difficult to follow, he referred us to the local credit counselling society, where they could provide support around budgeting and debt repayment.
Frugal Findlay fact: Some, but not all, credit counselling societies are run as non-profits. This means that they receive donations (usually from the big banks!) to provide services to individuals. If you require support in regards to credit, pick a non-profit one. Cost will be lower for you and you won’t be paying an arm and a leg for help.
I also ended up going home with a lot of amazing information and helpful tools, including a monthly expense tracker. My goal from this day forward is track where my money is going, in least for the next month.
As well, it left me with a feeling that apparently, I have been doing better than I thought. I keep track of my money through Mint.com, I have a small savings account, and a small RRSP plan. It’s something. Needless to say, the priority is still debt repayment and stopping those NSF charges from my old bank (who I know HATE). Either way, it was a small step forward and one that has left me with some serious homework ahead.