5 Tips for Reaching your Financial Goals in 2017


The New Year is an exciting time for fresh-starts, new aspirations and of course, New Year’s resolutions. A great 2017 objective could be finally reaching your financial goals so you can be in a better position to travel, purchase a new vehicle and yes, invest in real estate. It’s never a bad idea to start learning effective ways to save money and what better time to begin than the start of a new year?

Keep Track of your Expenses

No matter which way you choose to track your spending, it’s a smart idea to document your finances so you have a better indication as to where your money is going and how to create an accurate budget. Consider using apps like Mint or Penny. Each app links to your bank accounts and will help you understand your money spending habits and what you can improve on. If you choose to refrain from technology to track your habits, keeping a written “money” journal is an effective tracking method as well.

Set Small Goals

Great saving tips start with setting realistic financial goals. Chances are, you have larger aspirations in mind like buying a home, saving for retirement or having an emergency fund however, setting small goals is a great way to get yourself to where you want to be. Perhaps your smaller objectives could include paying off a credit card or having $1000 saved by the end of the year; both great places to start. No matter your goals, setting small targets is a great way to get yourself into a stronger economic situation.

Reduce Debt

Reducing debt is arguably the most important part of the financial process because once you’ve reduced or completely paid off your balance owing, you’ll be able to put aside more cash into a savings account. Also, reducing debt helps you reach your larger financial goals like buying a home. When applying for mortgage approval, one of the first things a broker looks at is your debt to income ratio. If you have high credit card debt or other loans in your name, this may hurt your chances at being approved for a mortgage.

Open Up a Separate Account

If you have a savings account linked to your existing chequing account and are a person who tends to spend their saved money, consider opening up a separate bank account strictly for savings. By not seeing your savings balance, you may refrain from reaching for that extra cash. Sometimes, the quote “out of sight out of mind” can actually prove extremely effective, especially where finances are concerned.

Create a Realistic Budget

When looking for money saving tips, creating a realistic budget you’ll actually be able to stick to is imperative in achieving your economic goals. Map out what you make each month (and/or every two weeks) and what expenses you pay each month. Be sure to include items like gas money, groceries, and entertainment as well as any utilities you have. Once you’ve done that, plan out how much money you can afford for debt reduction and of course, savings. This will help with your financial goal setting.

Buying a home is a smart investment decision but in order to do that, you need to ensure your finances are in order. By making the smart New Year’s resolution to reach your financial goals in 2017, you’ll fast track your way to increasing your equity and improving your future. If you’re ready to purchase a house, let’s talk real estate – contact me today.

4 Free Holiday Activities to Do in the Southern Okanagan that Won’t Hurt your Wallet


No matter what season it is, the list of things to do in Penticton is endless! Trying out a new restaurant on Main Street, renting a snowboard at one of the many regional resorts or shopping at a downtown boutique are all great local options. However, in December, spending extra money on Christmas shopping is unavoidable. Rather than spending your hard-earned cash on costly attractions, there are plenty of inexpensive ways to explore the valley instead. Don’t break your budget. Make these activities your “must-do’s” this December:


Munson Mountain Hike

Summer hiking isn’t your only opportunity to climb up mountains! This winter, bundle up the whole family (hot chocolate filled thermoses optional!) and head up Munson Mountain for breathtaking views of the Southern Valley and Okanagan Lake. Some people call this local attraction “the Grand Canyon of Penticton,” so you know it has to be good! Plus, you’re saving money and getting exercise by visiting a local attraction.


Wine Touring! 

Often when visiting South Okanagan wineries, you’re looking at spending a bit of money. A little hint to reduce costs when sipping this December? Visit the smaller vineyards as they usually offer free tastings. But, supporting the winery and purchasing from their selection is still highly recommended. I’m sure you’ll forgive the extra spending when you’ve experienced award winning Penticton wineries complete with astounding views that you won’t soon forget.


Christmas Lights Viewing

Looking for December events in the Okanagan? The most beloved activity of all is finding out where to find the best Christmas lights in Penticton! Over the years, some popular homes showing off festive holiday lights have been found on Huth Avenue, Edna Avenue, Carmi Avenue, and Dewdney Crescent, just to name a few. And of course, driving through downtown is a great way to see all of the Christmas spirit within the city.



When searching for inexpensive family activities in the Okanagan Valley, Penticton has volunteer opportunities that you should really consider over the Christmas season. A great idea when looking to give back? The Salvation Army’s Kettle Campaign. Every December, the Salvation Army is on the lookout for volunteers to help out those in need year-round. You can also find more places in need of help here.

No matter what’s on your winter bucket list, there’s all sorts of winter and Christmas events happening all over the Okanagan that don’t cost a thing. Markets, public skating, visits with Santa… there’s never a shortage of affordable attractions when living in the valley.

Loving where I live is all a part of the fun when selling homes to real estate buyers like yourself! When you choose me as your REALTOR(R), you aren’t just buying a new property in the valley, you’re also investing in the beautiful lifestyle associated with owning a gorgeous house in Penticton. Invest in where you live. Get in touch today!