We got some hot money tips from finance experts across Canada. 🔥 💸
We asked them...
What’s your #1 finance tip for millennials and young Canadians?
From mortgage advice and budgeting, to credit card and financial planning tips, their answers could help you get on track this month and on to a financially healthier 2017. Nice.
My number one tip hands down is to get help, and get qualified help. You don’t pay a personal trainer $80 a hour to watch you on the treadmill. You know that having pro can help you identify blind spots and fast-track your path to financial success. It’s never too early (or late) to engage with a Certified Financial Planner. You can find one at FindYourPlanner.
Know your credit score. Keeping tabs on your score is a good way to gamify your financial fitness. It will keep you mindful about not racking up debt, and a good score can save you money in interest. If you understand how to get a good credit score, you are less likely to abuse credit, like many people do with credit cards. One way to outsmart the credit card companies and build a great credit score is by ‘Netflix and Chilling’ your credit card: set up any automated monthly payments on your credit card (like your Netflix subscription), an automated payment schedule to ensure the amount is paid off every month, and chill the card in the freezer. This way you’ll show the credit bureau you can make on-time payments, which will have a positive effect on your credit score. Then, use a “spending account” for your discretionary spending instead of a credit card. The simple task of separating your spending money out of our chequing account and not using debt for day-to-day spending will save you from overspending. You can check (and track) your credit score for free, with no impact to your score at Mogo.ca.
Spend below your means. A dollar saved today will be worth $2 in 18 years at a 4% investment return based on the rule of 72 (72 divided by your rate of return is how long it takes an investment to double in value). So foregoing spending today can allow you to spend more in the future, retire earlier, etc. I’ve worked with a lot of people from different walks of life over the years and I find most people increase their spending as their income goes up and that makes it even harder and more elusive to become financially independent.
Ensure that your financial habits and activities align with your financial goals. Make a list of your 1 year, 5 year, and 10 year goals, understand what you want, whether it’s to buy a home or go on an extended vacation, and what you need to do to get you there.
Don’t buy "too much" home. I discuss this in my upcoming book, Burn Your Mortgage. Just because the bank says you can spend, say, $800K on a home, doesn't you mean you should. A bigger home comes with higher mortgage payments, utilities, home insurance and property taxes. It also has more rooms to clean and furnish. You don't want to end up "house rich, cash poor," with all your money going toward your house and little to no money left to save, let alone enjoy.
Pay off any credit card debt you have before you look at saving money or investing. The interest saved is like a guaranteed 20% return. Consolidate your debt and then start increasing your payments to reduce it as soon as possible.
Start investing as soon as you can! Reaping the benefits of compound returns and interest means you don't have to work as hard. Make sure your money is working for you, it pays off in the long run.
Find your "why" when it comes to your money. If you don't have your goals clearly outlined in front of you, be it affording to take a trip once a year or buying your first home, you won't ever be motivated enough to follow through with saving, budgeting and being smart with your money.
The earlier you start saving for retirement, the less you need to save each month.