Why don’t we learn about personal finance in school?
I don’t think I’m alone here when I say everything I was taught about money was either self-taught or taught to me by family members. I went into high school knowing almost nothing about money and came out “prepared” for the real life, knowing almost nothing about money. I mean I came out with some really useful life skills like knowing that mitochondria is like a power plant for your cells. Or that calculus sucks. Probably my most useful skill was learning how to break an egg from several floors up while trying to not break the egg…Seriously, did anyone’s egg not break or am I just a terrible engineer?
Upon my graduation, the whole money thing wasn’t a big deal, I was heading to University. I had some money saved up, was working 20 hrs a week and was living at home with my parents help. Sad to say but I wasn’t overly concerned or really even aware of my situation in life and I don’t think I was alone. Then one day some student organization put up some craft paper on a wall with the title “Debt Wall”. Students were encouraged to write how much in debt they were in anonymously. After a few days this thing was filled with insane numbers. There were a lot of $30,000+ numbers, hundreds of them all probably from only student loans and maybe some credit card debt. It astonished me that people had put themselves into this much debt this early in their lives, such a deep hole to climb out of so early in life when soon you should be buying your first car, house and getting married or whatever else we used to think we were supposed to do right after high school or after your post-secondary education.
But that wasn’t me, I had no debt and I thought they were fools; without knowing how much I didn’t know.
Do you like reading about personal finance?
If you’re like me, then you think this site is awesome! But it’s still in its infancy, and there is a plethora of topics I won’t touch on for months or even years to come. I will get to them don’t you worry and I’ll get to them sooner if you let me know what you’d like to hear my opinions on.
In the meantime you should be checking out these other personal finance blogs that I read on a regular basis and I think you’ll enjoy them too.
Freedom Thirty Five – This is actually the first personal finance/investing blog I started to read on a regular basis maybe about 2 years ago. Liquid Independence is what the author calls himself; he’s based out of Vancouver so it’s mostly all Canadian related material. He’s been featured in the National Post and the Globe and Mail among a few other publications. His methods have sometimes been touted as crazy or extremely risky, because he leverages a lot of his assets to access more money in hopes of becoming financially independent by the time he is 35.
No really, how do you save money? I’m asking you personally.
Do you have a plan to save money?
Or are you like most of my family and friends and just throw the bulk of it in a “high” interest e-savings account and contribute an arbitrary amount of your income to a high fee RRSP through your banks’ advisor because you didn’t plan first?
I’ve been there! I still am for parts of it but I’m working to fix that and you should too.
Now that the 2015 edition of the Calgary Stampede has come to a close, I’m going to recap how I can help you get the most entertainment for you dollars.
For those of you who don’t know, the Calgary Stampede is a 10 day summer festival held in early July in Calgary, Alberta Canada. Most towns and cities have summer festivals that honor a prominent member of their community that helped shape it into what you see today. The Calgary Stampede is just like that, only honoring everything that could be related to cowboys/ranching; which were the foundation of life in Alberta. Although I’m sure stampede started off as mostly a rodeo and agricultural event, it has since swelled to encompass almost every facet of life. The Stampede now includes the rodeo events, x-games type events, a market place for selling mostly as seen on TV type products, a showcase for local Alberta visual artists, a talent search competition, several different musical performances at every level from beginning to professionals and a giant midway with rides, games and the largest variety of food you’ll ever see including for some reason the world’s most expensive hotdog and scorpion pizza…I know right, it got a little lost from its cowboy roots.
With over a 1.2 million attendees over the 10 days and dozens of concerts, and millions of dollars in rodeo prize money the cost of attending isn’t like most summertime festivals. Downtown hotels which are closest to the Stampede grounds have an average nightly rate close to 300 dollars which is a 69% premium over the usual pricing according to Trivago.com. A bottle of water or a pop at most vendors on the grounds will cost 4 dollars. Needless to say food is also grossly inflated.
Basically the “Greatest outdoors show on earth” can also one of the most expensive outdoor shows on earth. But don’t worry! I’m here to help!
What is net worth and why should I know mine?
Net worth is a measuring stick. It’s the way to tell if you’re in debt as compared to just have debt. You can have debt, but still have an overall net worth that is positive, but if you’re in debt your overall net worth would be negative. Net worth is a financial measure which can be calculated by taking the value of what someone owns and subtracting what someone owes.
Net worth of course like most financial tools can be much more complicated but we’re going to stick with being simple. So, how do you calculate net worth simply?
Net worth = Assets – Liabilities
First let’s break down assets.
So how’d your first 3 months go?
Well my whole goal for the first three months of this website were basically just to get 10 articles up and then start sharing this with family and friends. I managed to get the ten articles up in my first month, so that went a little better than I initially thought it would. Most of the articles were personal finance and only a handful were travel related.
After those first ten articles I started to falter a bit with them so I decided to make a schedule for myself, which is the current Monday and Thursday updates. This started off with one update on Monday and then I got some terrible news and life got put on hold for two weeks at the end of May. Once the terrible news started to turn around and things got back to normal I started back and have hit the 4(5 including this one!) deadlines I’ve set for myself since I started back.
I’m planning to keep up the Monday/Thursday posts pretty consistently from here on in. So keep checking back for my
Wait, I thought this was a net worth update?
You’re partially right, for me it’s actually more of an update in general about this site. A big part of it is the net worth to see if I’m continuing to increase my wealth as planned but also I’ll be using these updates to set a few goals for myself. Reviewing your life and what you thought would happen over the next 3 months from 3 months ago I think will really help me achieve more in life, not just financially but in my career and personal life as well. But since you asked for it
ON TO THE NET WORTH UPDATE! BA DADA DAAA!
How do I save money on a cell phone plan?
How someone can save money on a cell phone plan is a topic comes up a lot at work actually. Just about everyone has a cell phone plan and pretty well everyone I know has a data plan with it. These can get expensive, especially if you’re adding multiple gigabytes of data to your plan. So how do you save money on a cell phone plan? I’ll tell you how I’m doing it.
Back in 2013 when my Blackberry Torch(I know, shameful but I loved the idea of the physical keyboards) started to act up I knew I’d have to get a new phone by the end of its contract term. Needless to say the Torch was a bit of a disappointment after seeing the phones that came out only a few months after its release. Although it was great to have a decent camera at all times and access to my email and an easy way to type notes or schedule my days, it froze much too often and was lacking in internet browsing speed. Read more
How can Professional Athletes going broke help me?
It’s no big secret that the majority of professional athletes are terrible at maintaining their wealth. There has been plenty of coverage on it in the media over the last few years. In April 2012 ESPN aired a documentary called Broke. The documentary interviewed multiple athletes, managers, analysts and numerous others from a variety of pro sports about the financial difficulties athletes face throughout their lives. Sports Illustrated also posted a popular article in 2009, How (and Why) Athletes go broke and more recently this topic was revisited by NPR.org and The Players Tribune. All of these provide reasons on how and why athletes go broke.
That’s definitely interesting information, how can this help me?
Well that’s what I’m here to help you out with. There’s tons of information (linked above) and the documentary is interesting as well, but they’ll all take time to read and watch. So here’s my take on five things we can learn from pro athletes going broke. Read more
As you may have noticed in my Q1 2015 Net worth summary, I had a lot of cash sitting around not working for me. With the Alberta housing market looking like it was on a downward spiral, I didn’t want to buy there just yet. So I decided to look into a rental property.
In February 2015 I was looking at mls.ca like I normally do. I have the tendency to surf MLS at least once a month looking at the prices of homes in all of the areas I’ve lived in. It’s only 4 different areas so it doesn’t take that much time. I don’t know why exactly I do this, mostly just from to feed my interest in homes I think.
This one particular time I was looking at places in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. It’s where I’m from and where a lot of friends and family still live. If there were opportunities like there are in Alberta, I would think about moving back, but until that time, it doesn’t fit into my financial plans. Or at least that’s what I thought.
This article “A house-poor couple confronts a looming cash crunch” was posted in the Globe and Mail on May 11, 2015. It got a lot of attention on their facebook page and /r/personalfinancecanada on reddit. A lot of redditors and Globe readers feel no sympathy for this couple and think it’s nothing but greed that has gotten them to this point.
It’s extremely hard to feel sorry for this couple even as you start to read the article. Sure maybe by the end of the first paragraph you might be thinking Oh no, a new baby on the way and they won’t be able to afford it! Until you get to the second paragraph and realize that they have a combined income of 128,000 dollars a year and that they purchased a 747,000 dollar home just four years earlier. That’s 5.83 times their gross salary!