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Shannon Lee Simmons is an award-winning Certified Financial Planner, speaker, Chartered Investment Manager, author, and founder of the New School of Finance.
During these difficult times, the financial impact of COVID-19 is a major concern for many households. For the first episode of the brand new Top 5 webinar series, financial expert Shannon Lee Simmons offered financial tips to help people navigate these uncertain times.
Simmons is an award-winning Certified Financial Planner, speaker, Chartered Investment Manager, author, and founder of the New School of Finance.
Here’s a recap of her top tips for managing finances:
Tip #1 — Find ways to recapture income.
Take advantage of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), if you qualify. Visit the COVID-19 Economic Response page to learn more.
Tip #2 — Pay attention to your expenses and live within your means.
Use savings first for shortfalls, and contact your bank to explore mortgage relief programs and options to potentially lower interest rates on credit cards.
Tip #3 — Do your taxes!
You may need this information for CERB applications. It ensures you've applied for the Canada child benefit and provides GST relief, if you qualify. Do your best to maximize forms of potential income.
Tip #4 — Figure out whether to cash in investments, pull out savings, or use debt to finance shortfalls.
Ideally, use your emergency savings. If necessary, use a TFSA or a line of credit. This is not the best time to use credit card debt or remove money from RRSPs.
Tip #5 — Make a plan for once this is over.
Pay off any accumulated debt first. Shuffle RRSP, TFSA and RESP contributions to do this as quickly as possible. Once paid off, restart contributions and start to build savings for future emergencies.
To get a more in-depth understanding, watch the full webinar online.