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Financial Expert: Here are the Financial Resources I Use

Written by:
Accredited Financial Counsellor (AFCC)

The world has no shortage of financial resources. You can find information anywhere and everywhere. With an abundance of financial resources available, it begs the question, what makes a good one and which advice should you follow? The amount of information and the variety of resources out there can make it overwhelming and difficult to get started.  

In this article, as a financial expert, I share how to sift through the financial resources to get to the good ones and I share some of my favourites!

Why is financial literacy important?

Financial literacy, having the knowledge to make good financial decisions, is incredibly important. It plays a major role in your ability to live your best life. It’s the basis of being able to do all the stuff that truly matters to you, and still keep your piggy bank happy, without racking up debt.

What makes a good resource from a bad one?

A good financial resource should lead you toward a more fulfilling life. The best resources will help you to spend money on what you value while living within your means.  

When it comes to money, we all do things differently and for different reasons. This means that we will all think and feel differently about money and the help that we need with our money.  A huge part of choosing who and what to listen to is just to decide if you connect with it.  Does it help you live within your means?  Does it empower you to reach your goals?  Do you feel motivated to stick with the advice?  You don’t have to like the same things as someone else. If it is helpful for you to reach your goals, use it!   

What kind of resources do I need?

The most important consideration is how you learn and what you need to take action.  Some of us can read a book and jump right into action.  Some of us need someone to guide us through every step. Knowing what it takes to motivate yourself, will help you decide if you need a book, a podcast or maybe even a financial coach.

My favourite resources

Here are some of my favourite financial resources!

Book: Smart Couples Finish Rich (Canadian Edition) by David Bach

I read this book many, many years ago but one thing really stuck with me.  I used to love to work out (and still do) but felt guilty paying for a gym membership. This book taught me to know what values are important to me and to spend in those areas. That made me realize that if health is one of my top values, then I shouldn’t feel guilty about spending money on a gym membership.  This sounds silly as it seems so obvious now, but it really was a big epiphany moment for me thanks to this book.

It also teaches many other important financial topics. Avoiding your ‘Latte factor,’ for example, so that you aren’t wasting money on things that aren’t important to you.

Don’t worry if you’re not part of a couple at the moment. There are other versions of the book for everyone!

Podcast: I Will Teach You to Be Rich

I get excited for Tuesdays to come around! That’s when new episodes of the I Will Teach You to Be Rich podcast come out! I love it!  The host, Ramit Sethi, provides assistance to couples with their finances. It’s much more than him just talking about the money. He also helps them understand why they make the decisions that they do, empowering them to determine if they want to keep making those decisions.  Often by the end of the conversation, they have turned their thoughts around and are motivated to make different choices.

Ramit also has a great book with the same title, if you prefer books.

Calculator: Canada Retirement Calculator

Believe it or not, the government of Canada actually has some really great resources online for all areas of financial literacy.  One of my favourites is their retirement income calculator.  It is very Canadian-specific.  You start by entering your expected Canada Pension Plan income (you can find this in your My Services Account). All your other pertinent information like your investments, employer pension and Old Age Security is next. With all that information entered it will calculate your overall retirement income.

Banks: Tangerine & Simplii

Tangerine and & Simplii are the go-to banks that I recommend to my clients.  The main benefit to these banks is that they are both FREE! Also, they both offer debit-credit cards. Meaning that you can use your debit card to make credit card purchases. That way money comes straight out of your checking account, blessing the chances and temptation to overspend. You can also open a bunch of savings accounts (again for FREE!) and nickname the accounts whatever you like. This can be very helpful if you’re saving for multiple things like an emergency, gifts, travel, or house maintenance. This can go a long way when you’re trying to stop relying on your credit card.

Humans

In today’s world, there’s so much information available to help you handle your money better. It can be a lot to take in, and sometimes, having a real person to talk to can make a huge impact. Having someone who can guide you, step by step, with clear and simple instructions may be what you need to finally make real progress.

Look for someone who will take the time to understand you and provide the help you specifically need. If they think there’s only one solution for everyone and you don’t agree, it’s okay to talk to someone else who can better meet your needs.

It’s best to look for someone who isn’t trying to sell you anything, also known as a fiduciary. They will give you advice solely for your benefit and not to fill their own bank account. Meaning you can trust that they have your best interests at heart.

You can find different professionals to help with different money matters. Accountants are there to assist with taxes. Financial planners can help with planning for retirement and investing. Financial coaches and counsellors can guide you in budgeting, debt relief, and developing a healthy money mindset.

Conclusion

If you have big dreams and goals in life, having the right financial resources can make a real difference in achieving them. Meaning, there’s no better time than now to look for financial education that meets YOUR needs!

For those struggling to keep up with debt obligations, the credit counsellors at Consolidated Credit Canada are a great resource to help. They’ll work with you to build a plan to get rid of debt. Leaving you with a clean slate to reach your financial goals.

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