8 Common Financial Fails that are Easily Avoided!
8 Common Financial Fails that Are Easily Avoided!
It’s time for a quick, 5-minute workout to build your financial fitness and hopefully avoid some of the most common financial blunders we see over and over again.
1. Spending too much on a car. You should be aiming for 15% of your take-home pay for the car payment, insurance, and gas. The operating costs for a brand-new 2023 Hyundai Santa Fe (base-model $44,406+tax at 6.49% for 84 months) would be pushing $1200 ($700 payment + gas + insurance) which means you would need to take home $8K/month to “afford” one. Slightly used cars are still very reliable and offer a lot more value.
2. Investing before paying off debt. Be a little discerning with this one and make sure you pay off the right debts first! If your debt is a 4% to 5% mortgage, go ahead and invest any extra funds. Anything up around 7% or higher (credit cards are often 3 times higher!) should be on your hit list before you start investing. Stock returns have been pretty lackluster the past year, but annual returns for the TSX over the last 50 years averaged almost 8%.
3. Spending more than you have. It hurts to write something so obvious, but how can something so simple in theory be so difficult in practice? Too many wants is the root cause, but easy credit (not cheap, just easy!) and failure to track your spending and see just how big a hole you are digging every month facilitates this downward spiral.
4. Putting off saving, investing and retirement planning. Maxing out and investing your TFSA ($6,500 per year into an index ETF) from the time you are in your early twenties to when you retire at 65 will easily make you a millionaire. Never underestimate the power of compound interest when it is working for you!
5. Not understanding loan agreements. Plenty of fixed-payment-variable-rate mortgage holders are now finding out the hard way what that really means when interest rates go up. If you carry a balance on a HELOC or some other equity-backed line of credit you should read the fine print, especially if the value of your house has gone down. Canada student loans are now interest-free, but you still have to pay them back! Make sure you understand your obligations if you are looking at a student loan.
6. Not creating and using a workable, realistic budget. Have you ever failed at budgeting? Of course you have, everyone does! The problem is not budgeting itself, it’s your process for creating and sticking to your budget. Relying on guesswork for expenses, ignoring an emergency fund, not leaving any “wiggle room”, too time-consuming – these are all fatal flaws for a budget.
7. Getting caught up in “lifestyle creep”. The more you make, the more you spend – it is hard to argue with this one and that is the whole point of making more. However, if you were just getting by before (and not saving for retirement) and you receive a $500/month raise – do you get a shiny new car or a TFSA?
8. Failure to build credit and ignoring your credit score. If you have avoided the lure of easy credit and have little, if any debt – well done! If you have done that by completely eschewing credit altogether, that will come back to haunt you. Use a credit card and pay it off in full every month, or finance a car if the dealer has a good offer – but don’t avoid credit. You need to start building a credit score by using it responsibly, so when you do need to borrow money, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
If these tips sound familiar, your financial literacy may be better than you think, or maybe you have been attending our free webinars? Next week we are going to turn the tables on the webinar and rather than choose the topic for you, we will have two of our accredited financial coaches answering your questions live.
From managing debt to investing your TFSA – or whatever else is on your mind – this is your chance to get some straight-up, unbiased answers and advice. You can send in your questions HERE or ask them live on the day. Make sure to join even if you don’t have a specific question – there will be lots of great advice from the coaches.
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Upcoming Webinars by Enriched Academy
Ask a Financial Coach: Live Q&A
May 16 at 1:00 p.m. ET
Our financial coaches are AFCC or CFP accredited and have years of consulting experience, which makes this a great opportunity to get some practical, expert information and answers to whatever financial questions are on your mind. Interest rates are spiking so you may be looking for advice on debt repayment – but questions on TFSAs, RRSPs, self-directed (DIY) investing, GICs, mutual funds, ETFs, raising or rebuilding your credit score, selecting/evaluating a financial advisor, managing household expenses, retirement planning, saving for a home – or any other personal finance questions are all on the table! You can ask your questions live on the day or better yet, send them to the coaches ahead of time.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
How to Buy your First Home (for teens aged 14 to 19)
May 18 at 7:00 p.m. ET
Based on our EnrichedStart program now in use at high schools across the country, the contents of this webinar have been specifically designed to target the interests, needs and learning abilities of teenagers aged 14 to 19. This particular session will provide an overview of the process for buying a home. While it may be years down the road, owning a home is a dream for all Canadians and it is important to understand, prepare and know what to expect when the time comes. From renting versus buying to down payments and how mortgages work, we will give teens an insight into just what it takes to call yourself a homeowner.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
How to Invest in Real Estate without Becoming a Landlord
May 23 at 1:00 p.m. ET
If you would like to get into real estate and buying and operating a rental property doesn’t hold much appeal for you, our special guest Brian Bogaert of NLS Coaching will be sharing his knowledge from 20 years of experience investing in more “non-traditional” real estate opportunities. These include pre-construction condominiums, real-estate investment trusts (REITs), mortgage investment corporations(MICs) and private lending opportunities. Learn how these opportunities allow you to get started with less capital, take away the work of being a landlord, and offer the flexibility to invest anywhere in Canada – or around the world. Brian will explain the available options and run through the pros and cons of each as well as share a ton of firsthand experience and real-world data collected from clients and his own dealings over the past 20 years.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
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