Thursday, September 19, 2019

It’s Worth It




“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” ~~ Malcolm X

Whether you are a student looking ahead or an adult looking back, you would agree education is worth money to you.  Your idea of owning “things”, travelling to “places”, giving “freely” to others, or simply paying the “bills”, all rests on the need to have money.  A decent or greater income inspires dreams to happen. 



Our willingness to expand our knowledge and develop our skills molds us into a money-making machine.  We generally don’t see ourselves in this light but the reality is we must generate income to support ourselves financially.  How we choose to do this is entirely our decision.  We can all agree education or on-the-job training contributes to our success. 


Any form of education is never a loss cause. At any age you can switch gears and pick up new skills. An educational course may lead you on the path to becoming an agricultural mechanic, esthetician, or bookkeeper.  You may be focused on a career as a professional accountant, lawyer, or an oncology nurse.  Or perhaps your heart is set on being your own boss; entrepreneurs benefit from business management courses.  In order for your career to turn you into a money-making machine, you will need money to pay your education.  No surprise here. 






If you are the parents of young children, these three phases -- “before”, “during”, and “after” -- can fund a child’s education dream.  

The “Before” Phase. One option to help parents is a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP).  In a previous article, I asked Have You Started Yet and explained the Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) adds 20% to your contributions.    Early contributions alongside with the grant will compound with time and interest.  Going this route and having the extra financial assistance is worth it.  

The “During” Phase. Both the parents and students can fund the ongoing costs with a combination of employment income, savings, scholarships, or student loans. The Globe and Mail created this calculator to determine the annual costs. Working through the numbers helps plan an appropriate course of action.  If necessary a student may need to work part-time time and take only partial courses to cover both the tuition and living expenses.  

The “After” Phase. This phase, the “catch-up phase”, is when student loans should be repaid before additional debt is acquired.  The money-making adults are now able to generate income to pay back the loans which helped fund their education. 

The above phases appear most appropriate for young adults; however, I would never discount an opportunity for anyone willing to return back to the books. Certainly building up savings and applying for education loans may be suitable options for any person. With the right mindset anything is possible. Distance learning or educational institutions open the door for people to earn a diploma, certificate, or university degree and set themselves on a new career path. 

Certainly when we witness our income is less than adequate for our needs, we can always learn new skills to increase our earning ability.  Looking outside the box might reveal a clue as to how we can make this happen. We give ourselves permission to snoop around and gaze for an appropriate fit.  Who knows…an interest in a new skill might be discovered. When we discover our calling, we will know the cost of education was worth it.  



If you long to know the right career path for you, you may delve further and ask some soul-searching questions.  Your call to action can be found in this link and aid in your pursuit. The key is to keep hunting for the ultimate job because money matters and so do your dreams. It’s worth it!  

Thursday, September 5, 2019

What Will Your Reality Be?



The realization kicks in around the time we are in our forties.  We feel we have been working endlessly and begin to seriously contemplate retirement.  Will we be financially ready in fifteen or twenty years?  

Up to this point, we haven’t adequately saved.  When we glance at our bank or investment statements, we feel like someone’s been stealing our money.  But the stark reality opens our eyes. We don’t need to worry about anyone stealing our money.  We do a good job of spending it.  When we recklessly spend, we steal money from ourselves.  The harsh reality is we exchange our money for every simple pleasure life offers us now. The practical reality tells us we don’t have to give up living and enjoying life to save money.

Let’s be W-I-S-E about the ways we save and spend while we enjoy life. 

W – Wealth can be built up in multiple ways, both in our investment accounts and home (and other real estate). Putting yourself on “automatic” is the best way to accumulate wealth.  In David’s Bach’s book, The Automatic Millionaire, “automatic” means setting up payments to automatically transfer into a savings plan.  The concept is known as paying yourself first.  The first 10% of your salary belongs to you (to be tucked and hidden away) with the remainder directed to other needs.

I – Investing for the long term is a slow and steady process. We talked about the rabbit and turtle analogy in the previous blog, Connect the Dots.  Because things don’t happen as fast as we would like is not a reason for us to be discontented with the results. Think about someone dealing with a shoulder injury; the healing process cannot be rushed.  A child born today doesn’t graduate from high school tomorrow.  Because you invest $100 a month now, doesn’t convert you into a millionaire in a year.   The world view believes everything should instantaneously happen.  For certain things, like instant oatmeal which cooks up in two minutes or less, this is true but investing in the markets has its own philosophy.

S – Simply spend and borrow wisely. These two need your attention when everyone and everything whisper in your ear, “Why wait when you can have it now?”  Television ads, Facebook posts, and marketers encourage us to part with our money.  If we don’t catch ourselves when temptation knocks, we fall into its trap. 

This point comes from the book, The Automatic Millionaire.

“If we didn’t have enough cash to buy something, we didn’t buy it.  The entire time we’ve been married, we’ve never carried credit card debt. When we used the cards, we paid them off the same month.”

Can you say the same as Sue does?  The interest paid on any unpaid credit card balance squashes dreams.  We don’t want this.  

E – Enjoy life. You are encouraged to dream, the very premise of this blog website. So don’t stop dreaming rather “chase” and “create” the very things you desire to achieve.



Saving for retirement does not require discipline when you heed the advice of making savings automatic. The discipline is only required to set up the process. Your future reality will then take on a life of its own.  The reality of a comfortable retirement is yours to paint in the colours of your choosing.  Do you see the endless possibilities?