PHOTO CONTRIBUTED BY JEREMY VYN / SPUTNIK PHOTOGRAPHY
There is only one starting point, as quoted in the webinar “Let’s Talk Money: Financial Wellness Series” by Fred Masters, and that is to save and autosave every two weeks. Invest with your partner and in tech and health care.
Two out of three Canadians don’t have workplace savings and so earn, save, and invest. Diversify by sector, country and size, and set aside asset allocations in equity, fixed income and cash.
It is recommended that at your first full time job, you should start investing in a RRSP. Although, not all of this money is yours – in that some will be taxed – and so a more long term savings tool option is a Tax Free Savings Account. Every year new space will open up in this account and so as we age, a new contribution room becomes available.
Students with modest savings should aim to graduate with as little debt as possible. When looking to save for a downpayment for a condo or a quality used vehicle upon graduation, it’s a good idea to accumulate cash in a TFSA for such short term goals, and to even get started on the long term.
Those with children should open an RRSP with a maximum grant of $2500 a year and $96 every two weeks.
In consideration of marijuana stocks, they are said to be volatile and at an early stage of their lives, which means price movement is risky. This is the same with bitcoin, which is said to be incredibly risky and speculative. If you are going to invest, do so at 5% maximum and make sure it is money you can lose.
However, over the long term the stock market goes up.
“Hold on, as time works in your favour,” said Masters, in the case that your stocks tank.
If you take out early, you can lose and if you are young, the wait can work in your favour. In terms of investing, take into account your age and attitude towards risk. Further, align with your values and choose socially responsible businesses.
In looking for further resources, students can access moneysaver and moneysense.ca, as well as ask their banks about Eseries index funds for more information.
Masters shared that you don’t necessarily need a brokerage account; you can simply start with a robo advisor account of $20-50 using Tangerine or WealthSimple.
Laurier offers a variety of tips when it comes to creating a budget:.
Identify your goals (both short and long term, what would you like to accomplish), make a detailed and realistic plan of how you will achieve this.
Calculate your financial resources (personal savings and contributions from your family, scholarships/awards and bursaries, RESP contributions, student line of credit and bank loans).
Calculate your expenses, including education costs (tuition, fees, books), living expenses (residence fees, rent, utilities, groceries and meal plans), personal, debt and transportation (car insurance, parking, gas, maintenance, ect).
Create a personalized budget, consider whether a weekly, monthly or per term budget would best suit your needs. Include bill payments or tuition deadlines to ensure your payment is prompt and on time. Utilize online resources, such as those listed on the Laurier website.
Regularly review and revise your budget, keep up to date on sources of income, expenses and goals to ensure it reflects your goals and current circumstances.
Other tips to consider, include: having an emergency fund to pay for the unexpected, signing up for pre-authorized bill payments, only using your bank’s ATM machine, consulting sale flyers when making a purchase and be sure to take advantage of student discount days.
Students interested in furthering their money management skills can explore Laurier’s Money Management certificate, which includes four sections covering everything from budgeting, credit, investing and financial planning and can be accessed remotely on the mylearningspace website.
Those looking for a more personalized approach can access financial coaching for a 30-minute virtual session on Microsoft teams. The financial literacy specialists will assess your current financial situation and develop a personalized plan of action to achieve your financial goals.
The Laurier website emphasizes that they hope to provide tangible action steps that students can implement into their everyday lives. It is written that all advice is educational in nature and
by no means a substitute for a professional and the advice they may offer.