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Investing

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Sometimes I wonder how it’s possible I ended up blogging about personal finance. There is so much of it I find incredibly boring! I don’t like math, I like the results of investing but the process is a drag, and I would way rather spend money now than save it for later. Stick with me though…I don’t think it’s a bad thing. In fact, I think it’s relatable. I might be in the minority when it comes to personal finance bloggers, but outside of our community, there are a lot of people who lack an interest in money. They have more exciting things to worry about than budgeting and investing. And that’s ok, but lack of interest is not a good excuse for not having your shit together. There are plenty of shortcuts you can take to make the money part run smoothly while you live your life. For me,…

There’s no quick win when it comes to getting rich. And don’t even come at me with that ‘but you could win the lottery’ BS! It takes time to pay off debt, create good budgeting habits, and build your investment portfolio. That’s just life, but it doesn’t exactly encourage good behaviour. Spending money gives you instant gratification. You see people around you doing things you want to be doing (hello imposter syndrome!), and it’s hard to feel like you’re missing out. Saving money doesn’t give you that same instant boost. Sure, it will be great when you’re retired, but that’s SO FAR AWAY. The hardest part of your journey towards financial independence will always be the beginning. You’re motivated and ready to jump in with both feet, but you probably don’t have the high income or the pre-existing investment base to fuel instant returns. It’s slow, and that motivation can…

Saving money is a big deal. It sets you up for success and can build confidence in all aspects of your life. But how do you know where to start? Are you supposed to be using a bank account or are there better options available? In Canada, we have RRSP’s and TFSA’s that each have unique advantages for saving and building your wealth. RRSP’s are designed for long-term retirement savings. Contributions are subtracted from your income and can give you a tax refund. Then your money grows tax-free until you start withdrawing it in retirement. TFSA’s give you a lot more flexibility and can be used for a variety of savings goals. You don’t get the tax refund, but you do get the tax-free growth with none of the withdrawal penalties. Today we’re going to focus on TFSA’s and how to ensure you are choosing the TFSA investment options that give you the…

Today is International Women’s Day, and to celebrate I’m joining the #WomenRockMoney movement. The mission? Get more women involved in money and work towards equality. My contribution? I want to let all you ladies off the hook and motivate you to close the investing gap. For more inspiring posts head over to the WomenRockMoney headquarters, and get involved by sharing your money wins using the #WomenRockMoney hashtag. There’s this mentality that women need to be kind, nurturing, and accommodating, while also running the world from the backseat. This piles on the pressure and makes us feel like we need to do it all. But guess what? You don’t! There is nothing wrong with being a master at some things, mediocre at others, and even downright bad at something else. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses (that makes you human), and there is no shame in asking for help. Offloading the tasks you…

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone 💖 Whether you’re celebrating or not, there’s nothing wrong with sending out the love (and chocolate…there is nothing wrong with sending chocolate). The bf and I are not big on Valentine’s Day, it’s rare for us to go out and we don’t exchange gifts. I find that restaurants are so busy and a lot of places do a ‘special’ menu for the night, which often doesn’t stand up to their usual fare. Instead, we stay in and cook dinner together. Sometimes it’s fancy, sometimes it’s meatballs and mashed potatoes (that’s tonight if you couldn’t tell, but we’re doing real potatoes, you know, cause it’s Valentine’s Day). Now onto the other big event in February….RRSP season. February rolls around and all of a sudden everyone is concerned about making their RRSP contribution before the March 1st deadline. One quick note on that…it will make your life…

I am lazy. There are very few things that sound better to me than ordering in dinner, pouring a glass of wine and sitting in front of the TV to binge watch a new show. Even if I make plans, I very often dread them until I’m actually out the door and on my way. I know this about myself. I will put things off until the last possible second…you can call me the Queen of procrastination. I’m also a rule follower, so missing a deadline would be worse than doing the work. My life is basically a balancing act of procrastinating and then hurriedly getting the job done. Might not sound like a joy ride, but it works…almost always. What does my laziness have to do with my finances? Well, it means that if I don’t make things as simple as possible, they won’t get done. Saving money doesn’t…

Confession: I hate math… And right now you’re all sitting there thinking ‘But Sarah if you hate math so much then how the heck did you end up working in finance and writing a blog about money?!’ You’re not wrong to be a little confused, but let me try to justify my life choices. For as long as I can remember, math was always my least favourite subject in school. I struggled through, but my brain just wasn’t built to comprehend algebra and trigonometry. I have memories of my engineer (aka math brain) Dad attempting to patiently walk me through my math homework and me having multiple meltdowns because he didn’t do it the same as my teacher. That’s how math brains work; they can just figure out complicated problems. For me, it was more about memorizing steps than ever actually understanding what I was doing. I went to University without…

Are you saving money every month? If yes, where does that money go? Into a savings account at the bank or into an investment account like a TFSA, RRSP or trading account? Do you buy stocks, mutual funds, or ETF’s? Or do you stick with the security of cash, money market funds, or GIC’s? Or are you sitting there reading this wondering what the heck I’m even talking about? There are no wrong answers, but let’s be honest, some yeses are better than others. Millennials Aren’t Investing Even though many millennials have started saving for retirement, the proportion of their investments that are sitting in cash is much too high. According to a study completed by BlackRock in 2015, 61% of millennials were saving for retirement, but they held 70% of their portfolio in cash or cash-like (such as a GIC) investments. That’s high, like REALLY high. Cash serves its…

Do you know what would happen to the money you have invested with an investment advisor or in your savings account at the bank if the institution were to go under? Chances are this isn’t going to happen. But you just never know. Large banks and investment firms have gone insolvent in the past and will in the future. The good news is there are forms of investor protection out there to keep your money safe. Today we’re going to look at what coverage is available to you across five different sectors of the financial industry. Basic Banking Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) The first level of protection in Canada will be the one that likely applies to banks. I’m sure there are some people out there who hide all their money under their mattresses and have never opened a bank account, but I can’t imagine they are the same…

Maybe you’re sitting there looking through credit card statements and bank transactions wondering how the heck you got yourself into this financial mess. Or maybe you think you’re on the right track but not quite sure what you need to work on next. Today I’m going to break your finances down for you into 10 steps, so you have a coherent plan (and a fun little infographic) to follow. The system is straightforward, but I’m not going to tell you it will be easy. Paying off debt, saving money and applying for insurance require you to do some work and might make you feel a little guilty about how much money you spend on fro-yo (or coffee, or avocados, or speeding tickets). For that, I’m sorry (only a little though), but I promise that once you’ve made it through each of these ten steps (especially the last one), you’ll be…