The fairy tales of yore would tell how the son left home for the road to make his fortune. To this day we still hit the road to go forth and make our fortune or we attempt to do so. Our definitions of fortune will differ since no two people or minds, are alike. So, just how do we plan for a financial future in Canada?
Start with Learning Basics
A job may start us off with the ability to survive pay cheque -to- pay cheque. Careful budgeting and spending may result in the ability to build savings. Success depends upon the amount of pay ( which isn’t always great for those on minimum wage) and the self-control we can keep from spending any surplus cash. Do you think you’re able to live on less, keep expenses low, have no debts, to create a surplus of cash to start a building a financial future?
Wealth, fame and fortune are dreams that are shared by many but some may have no idea where to start. Some of us are lucky to have parents who teach to build, or set their own financial plan, such as a Trust fund, or life insurance, and property, into place for the future of their children.
So we work even harder, or pass our own inheritance gifts onto our children. This can also be known as Estate planning. Others may want to do the same for their children, and it can be done.
A survey to rate financial knowledge found Canadians scored an average of 71%, and Chartered Professional Accountants offer financial literacy programs. Check them out!
Financial Growth Planning Ideas
I gathered a small list of available ideas to consider for building your financial future, and I highly recommend that you do your own research to develop them further :
- Savings, start a stash of cash into a Trust fund, add to it each month. It ‘s also recommended you have a Emergency fund set in place for the event of income disruption, as the Pandemic has shown us.
- Diamonds, depending on the 4C’’s, they don’t lose their original value. The Diamond Index provides information about ‘price trends as they happen‘. Updated every hour. Some diamonds are harder to re-sell than others so look for a common easy-to-sell diamond if cash is needed. Remember selling may take time. Ensure your fine jewellery is professionally appraised or you hold a GIA Certificate. A document that verifies a diamond is genuine and provides a description of it’s characteristics.
- REIT, Real estate investment trust, invest in real estate property with a REIT. Set it to deposit a portion of pay-outs into your own TFSA, RRSP, or other savings account, and to reinvest the other portion. I would suggest trying the popular investment platforms WealthSimple or Qtrade. Check if they offer these services.
- Collections, some are quite valuable, stamps, coins, art, antiques, hockey cards, to name a few ideas. We may have to think twice about selling some items for quick cash vs holding it for growth of your personal wealth.
- Bonds and Stocks, some will pay dividends. Again, see if you can have a portion sent to your TFSA, or RRSP. Investment apps may have DRIP services for your investments but do your research.
Wise and careful spending of your monies for building ‘assets‘ such as savings, investments, jewellery, even physical items such as electronics, camera gear, comics, and tools, can contribute to increasing your overall personal ‘net worth‘ though you should plan for items that ‘return‘ money back to you.
Your personal net worth refers to things that have value minus debts. Debts such as loans, outstanding bills, credit card balances, back taxes, liens against you. It’s viewed as ‘assets and liabilities’.
It may seem embarrassing to have only a small amount set aside but over time with dedication, each new item added, is a dollar value added to your personal net worth.
Don’t be hard on yourself. It’s okay to start small and ‘build‘ each area. It’s important not to be stuck in one area – keep diversity in mind too. Careful not to get caught up in ‘shiny bauble syndrome‘ either and end up being broke.
Records, Money Management and Taxes
Lastly, we must keep Records. Set up file folders, and file the receipts of all your purchases and include pictures. I would also suggest keep a digital copy of your items as a backup. Label these folders with the Year, use colored folders for easier separation of Investments, fine jewellery, vehicles, etc. Store it in a portable file case or box near your desk for monthly review, and updating.
Include information that belongs to each item identifying any name, address, phone number for each account, policy numbers, accounts, vehicle, etc. Create these files each year. This helps keep financial records and helps prevent problems with the tax man. Ignorance is not an acceptable excuse since Canada Customs and Revenue Agency offers FREE publications for the public. Visit online or your local library.
Organization of each purchase of assets or investments will help you keep your files up-to-date, and stay on track. This means it’s important! to schedule monthly appointments for yourself, review and update your folders, and to stay organized. Use your Notes app on your phone as reminders if adding new items to your financial growth plans.
Secure your Wealth
Last of the last important information. Secure your wealth means to scout for ways to ensure you protect your acquired items. Property insurance that covers theft can help towards the replacement of any stolen item(s). This is where pictures and all the identifying information becomes important for reporting purposes, and you’re able to provide it to your insurance provider.
Life tosses serious curve balls some days so if the original files are lost, and you stored your digital copy in a bank, good! (still include a second digital back up) but maybe you should check with the insurance provider if digital copies are acceptable. Always be prepared for those unknown events.
Insurance payments are an added expense, yes but it will give you a sense of security too. We don’t have control over our increasing extreme weather patterns that can damage vehicles, homes, or thieves that break in, and steal items from our homes. Again, insurance will be able cover some of the costs of the items depending on what they cover so read the fine print! Something is better than nothing.
Check around with different banks that offer Safety deposit boxes for an ‘annual‘ fee. This can help keep your expenses down. Make sure you keep a list separate and away from the safety deposit box that lists all items you put in the safety deposit box.
The reports in the news about people’s safety deposit box full of valuable items disappearing from a bank, of all places! Keep a list is like having a ‘trail’. It may help in the recovery of your lost items. Again, something is better than nothing. That little something is a small seed that you can use to grow your financial and personal net worth.
I’ve listed these suggestions to inspire you for your ‘own Financial planning future‘. There are numerous other methods to help pave the way to financial success, such as gigs, and we just have to remember that building wealth is not an overnight sensation.
A quick story, I once knew a man who made $75K a year yet drove an outdated car, and kept his life simple. No regular big spending on ‘stuff‘ but led a quiet life. His words to me were, ‘ never think having money makes you better than others. Stay real, keep your feet on the ground.’ Another elderly gent I had met told me the same advice. I keep their words in mind, and never let ‘pride‘ lead to inhumanity towards others.
Only with careful planning, knowledge, and a steady commitment, and dedication towards building your wealth. Your efforts will pay off. Good luck!
Learning in Motion
Extra Learning Resources
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AIC| An Informal Cornr, all rights reserved. Ginsense writes articles on business skills, development, health, science, technology and society and enjoys advocating for independence, security and a better world for all of us.