Financial Literacy

These are the best personal finance reads from June

By: Nicole Ballantyne-Choo on July 2, 2018

It’s officially summer! I don’t know about you, but now that we’re halfway through the year, I’m ready for a nice vacation.

As I mentioned last month, summer is the season where I splurge the most, so if I want to go on vacation, I have to reel in my itch to spend so I can save to get away from the city for a week and recharge.

When I go on a trip, I like to make sure I get in a mixture of relaxing and exploring. Doing both costs money.

Since I am adamant on staying on financial track to afford a week off, I turned to all the money advice the internet had to offer and luckily, June’s personal finance reads didn’t disappoint with their abundance of smart advice. Here are my favourite posts that taught me how to create short-term goals like affording a vacation and how to save money without depriving myself of things I enjoy. (One article did make me feel kind of behind, but sometimes I need a kick in the butt.)

Short-Term Money Goals: How To Set Them And Save For Them via HalfBanked

Making big decisions can be overwhelming, especially when they involve a lifestyle change or if they cost a lot of money.

I’ve started to put more pressure on myself to save more money for bigger purchases. For example, while I know buying a house seems next to impossible, it’s still a goal of mine to be a homeowner. However, every time I think about how much money I need to save, and how much I need to make to afford mortgage payments, I shut down the idea and don’t bother setting a goal of when I’d like to own.

Desirae Odjick’s blog post put me at ease and made me look at saving for big purchases in a more positive light. She encourages readers to stop trying to achieve all financial goals at the same time because that just leads to excessive frugality and disappointment. Instead, she suggests creating short-term goals, mapping out when you want to achieve each goal by and then figuring out how much each goal will cost you and how much you will have to save each month.

After reading this post, I’ve re-focused and created monthly saving goals instead of putting random amounts into savings to hit my yearly goal.

The Young Buyers’ Club via The Toronto Life

 

This is the blog post I was talking about earlier that made me feel behind when it comes to being financially savvy.

These nine millennials all became homeowners before the age of thirty, and as I inch closer and closer to that age, my finances make me realize I’m nowhere close to owning anything more than a tent. Some days, it feels like I will be renting forever.

Feeling bad about myself aside, I was really impressed by how well all the young people in this feature know how to hustle. They had their financial goals and dreams in mind and did whatever they could to achieve them. Working multiple jobs, eating very cheap food and not seeing their friends.

While I can appreciate their drive and dedication, I also came to realize this isn’t how I want to live in my twenties. Owning at a young age would be amazing, but I couldn’t give up seeing my friends for long periods of time. And as good as junior chickens are, I couldn’t live on them — and I definitely couldn’t give up sleep to work multiple jobs.

This blog post made me realize while owning a home is possible if you’re really disciplined and have your eye on the prize, there’s also nothing wrong with saving at a slower rate. After all, for now, I’m happy to rent while I figure out my next steps in life.

Why You Need An Emergency Fund Of Stuff via Money After Graduation

I really enjoyed reading Bridget Casey’s article about having an emergency fund of stuff. Normally, the financial advice I hear is to have an emergency fund of money, which consists of three-to-six months of cash to cover essential expenses in case something unexpected happens like getting laid off or something needs repairs. While this is important, reading about a fund of stuff was a fresh perspective.

While having a lot of extra stuff lying around can be seen as hoarding, Bridget explains that having three months of household goods and toiletries is smart. After all, if you fall on financial hardship you won’t have to stress every month to afford the items you need. Similarly, if you end up with a severe injury, you will have the important stuff, like food and toilet paper to avoid painful grocery store trips.

Another great point she makes is that the emergency fund of stuff actually makes your fund of money last longer because you won’t have to dip into your money every month if you already have the essentials. Some items she has in her fund are Tylenol, toilet paper, diapers (if you have a baby) cereal, paper towels, toothpaste, tampons, and cleaning supplies.

After I read this article I looked around my apartment and realized I don’t have anything extra in my house. I pretty much buy something and use it until it runs out and only go to the store when I need to re-stock. There are times when I have seen something on sale and thought “should I buy more?” but I have stopped myself.

This article convinced me to start a small emergency fund of stuff just in case.

Millennials, Don't Feel Bad About Drinking Lattes Or Eating Avocado Toast via Huffington Post Canada

Okay, so this article is kind of a shameless plug, since it was written by the co-founder and CEO of LowestRates.ca, Justin Thouin. But I found it to be extremely helpful and I think a lot of readers can benefit from its advice.

Justin wants people to stop feeling bad about buying lattes and avocado toast. Yes, buying these delicious treats every day can add up, but people are throwing hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars away on their car insurance and mortgages because it never crossed their minds that they could pay a cheaper rate than what they were first quoted.

This article compares how much on average you are paying for your avocado toast or latte versus  how much on average you are paying for your insurance or mortgage, and how, just by comparing rates — hint, hint, you can compare on our website — you can save yourself money.

Basically, enjoy the little things and save money on personal finance products that actually make a huge dent in your bank account.

I hope these personal finance reads helped you revisit and refocus your financial goals to set yourself up to succeed. I also hope that from reading things you realize that it’s okay to have short-term goals so you don’t burn out, and that it’s okay if you aren’t exactly where you thought you would be financially.  


Finally, I hope you all enjoy your summer filled with avocado toast. If you have more personal finance savings tips for the summer, reach out to us on Twitter and Facebook.

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