MONEY. We spend our whole lives wanting it, figuring out how to get it, working hard to earn it, thoughtlessly spending it, wondering where it went, stressing out about not having enough of it, and worrying about not saving it for the future. Considering how important money is to living a happy life, it’s unfortunate that most Canadians carry some form of debt, primarily because they don’t know enough about their finances.
Christine Bobye, an Associate with World Financial Group, understands money. She knows lack of awareness and education about finances is typically what gets people into real trouble over time. She knows this because a friend working with World Financial Group helped her family get back on track after facing financial struggles in 2010. As a result, within the first 60 days, the family was saving over $1100 per month!
Since then, Christine has been helping people from all walks of life make sense of their financial situation. She provides valuable tools, resources, and recommendations in an effort to help individuals and families successfully reach their long-term financial goals.
MONEY MYTHS & PERSONALITY TYPE
The first step to taking control of your financial situation is to have an honest conversation about money. Unfortunately, unless you’re an accountant or a stockbroker, money is not a subject most people feel comfortable talking about.
In a group setting, discussions about money have been seen as inappropriate or taboo, which has led to misinformation and lack of education around finances. Much like the Leprechaun chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, we have come to believe certain myths about money that have led to our behaviours today, including:
- Finances are scary.
- I will be judged because of my financial situation.
- Money that is kept in a bank is “safe”.
- You must get out of debt (i.e., pay off your mortgage) completely before you can save money.
- Life insurance is not worth the money.
- It doesn’t take a lot of money to retire.
- I can save later and still reach my financial goal.
As a result of these beliefs, people tend to fall into one of two categories when it comes to mindset and choices when it comes to spending and saving money:
- Living in the “Now”
- Retirement Ready
LIVING IN THE “NOW”
As the name suggests, people who are “living in the now” make decisions in the present, with no real regard for the future consequences of their actions. They are motivated by instant gratification and use the money they have today to enjoy life in the moment.
When it comes to being financially responsible, they:
- Do not see the value in saving for the long term.
- See budgets as being restrictive to their current lifestyle.
- Are less likely to have set out a future financial goal.
On the flip side, people who are “retirement ready” make decisions thinking about their lives in the future, rather than living for today. They restrict spending in their early years to save for financial freedom and for the enjoyment expected later in life.
They are extremely financially responsible and:
- Are very budget conscious.
- Avoid debt at all costs.
- Are strongly motivated by financial goals.
- Realize the power of time (i.e., the longer you save the more money you can accumulate).
In the end, we all want to enjoy our lives (while managing to avoid unnecessary hardship). One personality type gets to enjoy life in the moment but faces financial struggle later in life. The other is more restricted now but enjoys financial freedom much later. Christine recommends a balanced approach to finances where one can enjoy living in the moment, yet still acts responsibly and plans for a secure financial future.
FINDING THE RIGHT FINANCIAL PROFESSIONAL
Although there are hundreds of books on personal finance at the local library, in addition to a wide variety of tools available online for download, Christine recommends sitting down with a finance professional to get a clear picture of your unique financial situation, identify realistic ways to decrease your monthly costs, and outline ways to strategically save for the future.
Before you go down that path, it’s important to find a finance professional you feel comfortable working with and who will continue to guide you from year to year. With so many variables to consider (i.e., the economy, your income and assets, expenses and unforeseen emergencies, new financial services, etc.) your financial health requires monitoring and someone to help you navigate through (potentially) troubled waters.
Below is a list of questions Christine recommends you ask any financial professional to ensure they are the right “fit” for you and your family’s needs:
- What parts of finance will you help me with?
- Will you take the time to explain the solutions recommended and why they will benefit my financial situation?
- How often will I see an advisor?
- What are your fees for service?
- Does your company charge extra fees?
- Does your company have “minimums”?
In addition to these questions, Christine has provided (on the following page) a budget worksheet that can be used to help prepare for your first visit with a financial professional. It will ensure you provide accurate information when reviewing your current financial situation and providing recommendations to help you reach your financial goals in a realistic way.
FINAL THOUGHTS …
Although it’s never too late to start saving, Christine cautions against waiting too long! She recommends taking the time to carefully research the right financial professional. Be sure to identify one who can help you make the most of the money you have today, finding unnecessary costs and putting the extra money where it’s needed, and establishing a long term plan for financial stability and success. Like Christine, you will be pleasantly surprised with the results!
About Christine Bobye
Christine Bobye, an Associate with World Financial Group, resides in Calgary. For more information, visit https://christinebobye.wfgopportunity.com/.
About DOTE Magazine
This article was published in Issue Five (Fall/Winter 2016) and available on newsstands on October 6, 2016. In the print edition a very useful Budget Checklist is also included. Contact DOTE Magazine for more information.