There is no handbook that comes with having kids, other than the newborn booklet you take home right after giving birth in the hospital. And it was so helpful! From the basics on the expected behaviours and needs of your new baby: how you need to feed them, bathe them, and in general care for them to help them thrive. You get a stack of pamphlets to take home with even more information and resources you have access to. Fantastic! As a new mom, I truly felt that there was a lot at my fingertips which proved to be quite useful. Don’t get me wrong – there was nothing in that material that could prepare me for the emotional and exhausting adjustment of taking care of a newborn baby. NOTHING. That I had to learn from experience…and boy did I. Baptism by fire, as they say.
If I were to reflect back on both the good and bad decisions I’ve made with money, it’s clear I’ve made some really good ones but sadly made a few dumb ones as well. If only I could take them back…but I can’t. I tell myself I have plenty of time to make up for it but you can only keep saying that for so long…before you reach a point where you’ve significantly decreased the future lifestyle you could have had. Sad outcome.
Do you ever think that you’d like to be financially smarter? We are so lucky in this era to have access to endless information online. And all of the things you spend your time doing online, wouldn’t it be worth your time to learn more about money, investing, saving, and finance in general? Of course it would be!
Ahh fees…they pop up all over the place. Administrative fees, penalties, processing, service, you name it. And I always used to pay them! Never considered using my power as a customer or potential customer to persuade a business to waive my fees. Until my husband came along. Whether it was negotiating the cost of our internet and phone services down, haggling the car dealership to a record low price and then still getting mats tossed in, to outright asking for various fees to be waived…he doesn’t let an opportunity slide. And it works!
Robo-advisors, disrupting the financial services industry…wellll not so much. New technology emerges to automate certain manual process in the financial world and all of a sudden it’s a robo-advisor vs. financial advisor debate. At least that’s what happened when these start-ups first came on the scene in the last few years. One firm’s marketing campaign advised investors to ‘fire your advisor’ and switch to their low cost automated advice platform.
When we started shopping around for a house, I was inclined to use the current lender I was working with. Why? Out of convenience I suppose. We also knew we’d be facing a penalty of some sort to break the current mortgage so figured we would avoid that. Ultimately, we decided to shop around since our habit is to make good money decisions and how can we do that if we don’t give ourselves options?
If 30k dropped into your lap right now, what would you do with it? Maybe you would spend it. Or maybe you would consider paying down mortgage or investing. Or maybe some combination. Anything that goes into paying down debt or investing can’t be bad, right? I would say so. Although there could be a better strategy overall to ensure you get the most bang for your buck.
Ok so this keeps coming up so I feel that I need to speak about it. When you own mutual funds in a non-registered (aka ‘open’) account, you may get information from the mutual fund company that you need to file in your income taxes. Specifically, I’m referring to capital gains.
It’s no wonder why there is a financial literacy problem in Canada. For one, this hasn’t been introduced into the education curriculum. Second, the financial services industry hasn’t done a good job of making financial information easy to understand. In today’s world especially, content has become much more engaging and digestible. From infographics to videos and really well designed websites, we are becoming used to content being delivered in ways that capture our attention. And the use of plain language through examples one can relate to are what many business are striving for in their content strategies. It makes the complicated terminology and jargon used in financial services even less compatible with the learning needs of today’s society.
I have to admit, many of the things I’m going to talk about in this post are things I once enjoyed myself. My husband is the one who encouraged me to make changes that initially I balked at. Like, cut cable??? Come onnnn! I watched Y&R since I was 10 years old, and you’re asking me to just give it up?
Frankly, the first 20 times he brought it up I dug in my heels and insisted there was no way I was willing to go without cable. I’m happy to make all kinds of other changes towards a more frugal lifestyle but nuh uh…I’m keepin’ my cable. TV makes me happy. This was my mindset. Quite liberating to eventually find out that there are MANY things in life that will make me happy other than the things I had already grown accustomed to.