2018 has been…interesting. Realistically 2018 didn’t start January 1 for me. My depression had me curled up in bed most of January whilst others were embarking on their personal goals. I didn’t really have any major goals lined up so I just felt lost. It is not February 24th, I watched Black Panther last week and whilst I am in no rush to suddenly conquer the world, I am committed to changing my life for the better; starting with my finances.
In the last 10 years I have accumulated a fair amount of debt, and to be honest my finances have run away from me. I am not an anomaly, a lot of people don’t really understand finances. There is a vast difference between recognizing money and knowing finances. You see, for most folks; the goal is to get a job that pays the bills, feeds themselves + their families, purchase some goods and maybe even go on vacation. Most folks want to keep money matters as simple and easy to understand as possible. For a lot of folks simple = avoidance.
However knowing finances is about understanding budgeting, investing, saving, value and solvency, the most powerful aspect being solvency- the ability to take care of all your money needs without debt. In June 2017, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, “MoneyTips conducted an exclusive online survey in June of 410 people on the topic of credit. 71% of the respondents said that they knew their credit score, while 29% admitted that they didn’t know. Less than 53% of adults under 30 said they knew their score, as compared to more than 75% of older adults. And 52.9% of those making $30,000 or less annually didn’t know this key number.”
Whilst these stats are applicable to the US population, Canadian debt and insolvency are on the rise, in fact Canada now leads the world in debt. According to 2017 reports in McLean’s, “A report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives found household and corporate debt-to-GDP increased 20 percent between 2011 and 2016, blowing past Australia’s 14 percent gain. And in September, the Bank of International Settlements warned the country’s debt levels are putting it at risk. Household debt is more than 100 percent of GDP in Canada, according to the report, surpassing other developed countries such as South Korea, the U.S. and U.K. While most countries have seen their levels of indebtedness fall since 2007, Canada is a rare exception, digging itself deeper into the red. “.
So for the month of February, I decided to focus on establishing the right foundation for financial solvency and freedom. Now that I have my the right foundation to get my financial act together; over the month of March, I will be sharing what I learned with you, in the hopes that it will help you avoid my mistakes or help you get your act together.
I will cover tools, resources, processes, and options. Finances can be intimidating and overwhelming but they are not impossible to learn, manage and master; even if it is just the basics. The more you know the more empowered you are and I want to see you win.