Director, Financial Planning
Financial Literacy month is here again. You can tell by all the financial stories in our news feeds. Some warn you to watch out for hidden investment fees. Others explain the benefits of RRSPs and TFSAs. And what about that new First Home Savings Account? There’s always something to learn (or be reminded of) when it comes to managing our money.
Turning Plans into Action
At Money Coaches Canada, we’re happy to help educate you on the technical aspects of personal finance. But what we find even more effective is teaching the financial skills and behaviours that, when combined with the technical knowledge, help you live the life you want – a life with reduced stress, increased clarity, and more meaning.
At some point in our financial journeys, we have probably all wanted to cut back on unnecessary expenses, set a savings goal for a home renovation or a new car, or start planning for our children’s education and our own retirement. But sometimes it’s not clear how to put our plans into action. It’s one thing to know about RRSPs and TFSAs, and another thing to understand which is your best choice right now, given your own particular circumstances and priorities, and how to make the best use of each account.
This is where our Money Coaches can help. We get to know you and what is truly important to you. We listen to your hopes and worries, work with you to define your goals, and then create a plan to help you achieve them. Instead of just recommending particular accounts or products, our plans reflect your personal preferences and objectives, take into account all the complexities of your own life, and provide clear and practical action steps to help you reach your goals.
Perhaps you want to take a year long sabbatical to fulfill a lifelong dream, and need to understand how this will affect your long-term finances. Or maybe you have diligently saved throughout your working life, and now want to know how much you can afford to spend, or donate to your favourite charity, in retirement. It might even be something simpler that provides a big benefit, like setting up a Spending and Savings plan which, in addition to making sure all your bills are paid and you’re saving for the future, sets aside money each month for you and your spouse to spend as you like. This is the kind of financial literacy that we focus on providing – customized plans and action steps to move you towards your goals with confidence and clarity.
Teaching our Kids a Different Kind of Financial Literacy
You can plant the seed for this form of financial literacy, which focuses on goal setting, prioritizing, and taking action, early on. In addition to talking to the young people in your life about the types of investments or savings accounts you use, you can also discuss why you’re saving, what you’re choosing not to buy, and what actions you take that make you feel more financially secure.
Gary Rabbior, the President of the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education, beautifully describes the forms of financial literacy that he thinks we should be teaching in his article, Should we give up on financial literacy? Are you kidding me?
“We can teach our kids how to differentiate needs and wants. We can teach them about the influencers in their lives that will try and make them believe a want is a need and they really have to buy a certain item. We can teach them that every financial decision entails a trade-off – giving up something else today or in the future for what they buy today. They can learn that, through deferred gratification, they can build up savings to acquire things that are really important to them – and that will help them achieve their goals. We can teach them the importance of staying in control of your finances – setting your own limits – and not letting others tell you how much you can borrow or spend, which can push you beyond your comfortable stress limit.
We can teach them the importance of assigning value to non-material things – friendships, relationships and simply feeling happy. We can teach them about the importance of compassion and why some are better off than others and how, if they wish, to be able to help others in need.
In short, we can teach these outcomes, and others, which, if taught well, can be life-changing.”
Helping you with the details, while keeping the big picture in mind
Our Money Coaches work with you to build customized financial plans that are clear, understandable, and make your dreams achievable. We can help you with the details, while making sure the big picture reflects the life you’ve always wanted to live.
So, dream big! And let one of our Money Coaches help you get there.