In our last blog we discussed the results from the USB survey indicating the deferral of financial planning by women to their partners. If you recall, the highest demographic for this was millennial women. Millennials are famous for being an easy target for mockery but perhaps it’s time for the prior generations to help them pull up their bootstraps when it comes to financial planning. Millennials are the fastest growing group in the workforce and are dealing with the challenges of graduating during a recession and the continued wage gap. Combine these factors with the likelihood of taking time away to have children and a longer lifespan, it’s more important than ever to master finances and long-term planning. Another layer of complexity is that most millennials are raised by parents who live with high debt-ratios. Baby-boomers were raised with a fear of owing money and made a concentrated effort to avoid it and to pay it back as quickly as possible. The next generations were handed credit like candy and indulged. Learning by example may not be the best course of action, so we’ve compiled some advice for the up-and-coming.
- Spend Carefully. Along the same lines as “think before you speak”, think before you buy. Evaluate what long-term benefit that item is going to bring to you. When it comes to the nickel and dime type expenses such as your daily dose of fancy coffee, invest in a fancy espresso machine at home.
- Build an Escape Plan. Life often throws challenges our way and true power comes from being able to choose your own path. Having some cash squirrelled away allows you to make the choices which are right for you and prevent you from returning back to what was keeping you in debt.
- Set up an automatic deposit from your paycheck to an account which you are not able to easily access. That way you never had the money, so you can’t miss it.
- Funnel your wins. Instead of “treating” yourself with your birthday gifts, tax return or bonus, treat your future self by putting it into your savings account.
- Manage Your Debt. You’ve grown up in an era of credit and debts from student loans to car loans to credit cards. Make a list of all you owe and the corresponding interest rates. This will enable you to prioritize which debts you want to pay off the quickest. High-interest debts should be the first target to stop the cycle of handing your money to an institution.
- Save for Your Future. It’s hard to look that far forward when you’re in your 20’s, but imagine the freedom of being able to live your life your way when you’re older. With a few sacrifices, you can save now and play later.
The slogan “girl power” has been used for decades to encourage and celebrate female empowerment, independence, and confidence. The term used most often relates to sports and employment; however, new studies are showing that women need to exert their girl power when it comes to finances and financial planning. A recent study released by UBS shows that 58% of women worldwide defer long-term financial decisions to their spouses. This study included nearly 3,700 high-net-worth married women, widows and divorcees in nine countries. The results of the study showed that 85% of women were responsible for the day-to-day finances; just not the long-term.
As 2018 becomes a shadow of the past and 2019 shines its opportunity upon us, it brings us closer to “that time of year”. Tax time. If you’ve ever seen The Lion King, saying tax time is like whispering Mufasa and watching the Hyena’s shiver. Now is the time where talk turns to deductions and retirement investments before the February cut-off for contributions. Now the shadow of 2018 is rearing its ugly head as it’s there to remind you that you had all year. You’re not alone. Millions of Canadians wait until Spring to start thinking about their RRSPs, and with a heavy heart they sigh and think “I’ll do better next year”. However, next year is already this year and it’s unlikely any signification changes have been made. Life has gotten back to normal after the holidays and lives have become a whirlwind of school, work, sports, family and just trying to manage life. Soon it will be summer and Manitoba will do it’s typical slow down where cottages become priority. Then school starts again and before you know it, it’s already the holiday season again. After which, you’ll sigh and say “I’ll do better next year”.
Unfortunately, we are not bears and are not afforded the luxury of shutting ourselves down for a few months. At a time where all you want to do is snuggle under a blanket on the couch and binge watch all the shows you missed while doing yardwork, the demands of family, friends and work dramatically increase. Tis the season of holiday shopping, parties and entertaining. Tis the season to exert extreme drain on our energy, wardrobe and pocketbook. Tis the season to spend.