The foundation for financial responsibility means being diligent on each and every source of spending. That is not to say that you never spend money, but it does mean you spend money only after you have all the information you need to make informed decisions. Financial decisions should never be rushed, pressured or done for political gain. Council has the added responsibility to consider what our spending will accomplish in the short, medium and long term. As a former financial adviser, I always focused my clients on sound financial principles such as living within your means, controlling your debt and always having an emergency fund. I found that asking yourself, ‘is this a need or a want?’ is a simple but crucial question. Sometimes that means doing more with less or looking for alternative solutions. Put another way, just because government can spend your tax dollars doesn’t mean it has to or that we abandon financial common sense.
Once you have your finances in order, then it is a matter of prioritizing your spending. We are all concerned about keeping taxes low and my goal will always be on zero or negative tax increase if possible.