If you’ve ever tried to assess your current financial situation, you may have felt like you needed to start investing, like, yesterday. There’s a lot of advice out there that says you should begin investing right away, even if you only have $100 a month to start.
But while that may work for some, it might not be the best advice for everyone. Whether or not you should be investing depends on your overall financial situation. If you’re not sure where or how to get started, try planning for and organizing your finances in this order:
Saving an Emergency Fund
If you don’t have an emergency fund, even if you have high interest debt, this should typically be your number one priority. Often we end up in a cycle of credit card debt because we don’t have money saved for emergencies – whether that be car repairs, vet bills, home maintenance, or otherwise.
It’s recommended that you set aside 3 to 6 months of expenses. If you don’t have this (or an amount that you’re comfortable with), pay off your minimum debt payments and focus on saving for emergencies. It’s recommended that you keep your emergency fund in a high-interest account that you can get access to immediately – so you have it when you need it.
Pay Off High-Interest Debt
If you have credit cards or other high-interest debt, this should be your next priority. The interest that accumulates on high-interest debt often outweighs the interest earned or any gains made on investments. So while it may be tempting to split your money between debt and investing, it’s likely that you’ll be better off paying off your high-interest debt first, and then focusing on investing after.
If you have multiple credit cards, call your bank to see if you can get a loan to pay off your cards. This way you’ll have only one payment instead of multiple, and the interest rate on a loan is often about 10% less than what it is on credit cards.
Once you’re in a comfortable position financially, have an emergency fund saved and low or no debt, you’re ready to start investing. There are apps, like WealthSimple, that can help you get started, or reach out to us at Everest Financial Services and we can put together a personalized plan for you based on your risk tolerance and unique situation.
Managing money is a highly personal journey and no advice is one-size fits all. Book a free consultation call today to see how we can help you.