AN ACTION PLAN TO RE-OPEN YOUR BUDGET

Over the next month, Ontario plans to slowly loosen the restrictions of self-isolation and what Canadian's can and cannot do during the rest of the Spring months. It will be exciting to see most shops open for curbside delivery, hardware stores allowing folks to pick up necessary supplies for DIY projects like garden beds, decks, or new steps for camp, as well as Provincial parks allowing families to run around on their great maintained grounds. Regardless of where you may be financially, we've put together a few tips you can work on as our province RE-OPENS for business.

1) TALK WITH YOUR PARTNER

Having a conversation on where you are financially with your partner following social distancing is important. If you’re planning on recovering and paying down debt or government grants you should have a plan in place.

2) BE INFORMED, BE PROACTIVE AND PRIORITIZE

Figure out exactly how much money is coming in and going out, and how much you have saved. This will give you a 360-degree view of what you splurge on for fun with your family and what you need to make sure to be paying.

Northern Credit Union offers financial management solutions, it may be time to take advantage of our expertise. Start by making a budget of everything you need to pay for, and then a list of all your loans, lines of credits, credit cards and mortgage. Next book an appointment with a Northern Advisor to help you re-evaluate and find the best steps to get you financially secure. Interest rates are at a historic low – if you can, take advantage of this. Check-in with your Northern Advisor about consolidating your debt and loan options so you’re making the most of your payments.

3) SAFEGUARD YOUR EXPENSES

If you’re using online banking more than you ever have before it’s important to take control of your security and ‘enhance your PAC'. Northern now offers more options on your personal access code (online banking password) to keep your online banking experience safer than ever.

4) HELP WHERE YOU CAN, AND ENJOY.

If you’re planning on getting take out for dinner, or a great beverage, now is a great time to consider what is being made in your home town. Perhaps a local burger instead of a fast-food chain drive through, or a six-pack from a local brewery!

If you’re looking to support other Canadians in the travel and food industry after social distancing you should research a few plans for vacations. Consider different dates and locations and develop a Plan A and Plan B for this year in case dates don’t line up with re-open dates.

An alternative could be considering staying in your town for your time off and supporting some of your favourite locally-owned restaurants, hotels, coffee shops and breweries!

5) CONTINUE TO USE DIFFERENT WAYS TO BANK THAN IN PERSON AS YOUR NEW NORMAL.

Maybe you’ve been able to adopt new ways to bank since the pandemic started, there’s no need to stop. The True North Hub at Northern Credit Union has always offered the services that you’ve taken advantage of during the pandemic. Did you know there has been a 50% increase in people using mobile apps and online banking since the pandemic? It’s pretty convenient! If you can avoid a lineup and pay a bill online – keep doing it!

This is a hard time for everyone, but it's also an incredible opportunity as Canadian's to ban together and help your neighbour when and where you can. Together we can be stronger, True North Stronger.