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Are all your dollars working?
If they aren't, they'll disappear like the slackers they are
Hi, I’m Renée, a finance and business journalist, writer and content strategist. The Budgette is about single finances and is published twice a month. I prefer to write when I have something to say versus writing because I have to. It gives me time to speak to financial, legal and other experts. When I’m not here, I write and do strategy for other publications and brands. If you want to pay me for my work, that’s great. If you want to work together, message me or you can find me on LinkedIn.
Well, it’s September and we’re in our true new year, new notebooks and all. I took August off from this newsletter due to work, including what might be my favourite article I’ve written so far this year: ‘Rich aunties’ are living their best lives — and giving back while they’re at it. Here’s how they do it.
I bring this up not just because I really, really loved writing it but because there’s a line in it that has really stuck with me.
Porter says if every dollar has a job, it’s harder for a rich auntie to lend large sums of money.
What Porter was saying is that it’s harder to randomly spend or lend money if it’s already doing something. If the money is just sitting in your chequing account, it becomes easier to spend it. For me, I’d spend it on books, magazines and clothes, things I don’t actually need.
Every dollar (loonie, because hi, Canadian, but also, Euros, peso, etc.) has to have a job. That has been the theme of my financial life for the last month. I met with my financial advisor, Shannon Lee Simmons, last week for a gut check, ask a couple of questions and plan out the next four months. Part of that was assigning dollars to specific things.
In other words, giving those dollars something to do. That could mean a dollar is paying a regular bill, another is working towards your retirement (if that’s a thing you can do), and another is waiting for you to buy a drink with friends.
What I’ve found is that when your dollars don’t have a job, they get spent impulsively.
When you’re single, I think it’s even more important that you know exactly what your dollars are doing.
So here are some of the jobs I’ve decided they’re going to do. (This is not a democracy.)
Hydro (Power or electricity). I already have dollars allocated to this but I turned on my air conditioner this summer so more dollars were assigned there.
Taxes and HST. I freelance so have to pay taxes and remit HST (sales tax/VAT equivalent).
Food, including fancy coffees. Ignore Dave Ramsey about that if you LIKE fancy coffees.
Credit card payments
Emergency funds for the next two months, then those dollars get switched to my RRSP, then to my TFSA.
Classes. I’ve been learning Spanish since January.
A small travel fund
A discretionary spending account for fun things like books, magazines and clothes.
I have a couple of upcoming jobs for the dollars when they’re freed up. One is a website redesign in tandem with a brand refresh.
So that’s it.
As I’ve mentioned before, I tend to slip off my budget once a year, like a regular human being. What keeps me going is knowing that the loonies and toonies are being their brilliant little selves doing a thing, instead of just laying around.
Now I’m picturing a bunch of loonies and toonies working out. Weird. Now you’re imagining it too.
This week’s readings:
I did journalism:
I wrote this a while ago but it’s been updated. Nice. How aunts & uncles can help teach kids about money (Sunlife)
How New Tech Will Impact Affiliate Marketing (PartnerStack)
Ugh. Toronto housing market would stay unaffordable even in deep recession: report (Yahoo Canada)
Not everyone will need the $1.7 million. Some might need even more. How much money do you need to retire in Canada? Here's what to consider. (CTV)