This week, I am going to do something different. Instead of providing financial tips, I will be talking about my financial situation and journey. I come from a middle-class family. We make enough to pay the bills but not enough to buy extravagant things. From a young age, my parents taught me the importance of money. You need money to survive in this world. You need money to pay the rent and buy food. Every time I go up to SFU and take the R5, I pass by East Hastings. I always tell myself that I must work hard and make enough money to not be there (I am aware that struggling financially is not the only reason people live on the streets).
Learning from my parents and seeing people struggle financially are the reasons why I put a huge emphasis on financial planning and wellness. I am not looking to be a millionaire, rather I just want to live comfortably. I want to live without worrying about the next pay cheque. The reason that I am in such a stable financial position is because of proper planning and spending habits. Planning is crucial. Everyone should know how much they make and how much they need to spend to live within their means. Do not rely on your credit card statement when calculating how much you spend. Make an Excel spreadsheet and categorize your transactions. Look at areas where you can spend less. I find it surprising that this is difficult for a lot of people. The biggest offence I see amongst young adults is how much they spend on food and I am not talking about groceries. I know many people who buy coffee and lunch every day at work and I just think “why”. I hope they realize how it much adds up over time. When buying coffee and meals, you are paying a hefty premium for convenience and momentary satisfaction. It really is not worth it. I am not against going out for meals or drinks. I just do not understand why so many low to medium income earners do so on such a frequent basis.
I hope that people take the time to re-evaluate their spending habits and financial planning. Think twice before making purchases on “wants”. Start thinking about the future instead on only the present. Like my finance professor says, “nothing is worse than retiring with no money”.