What Do You Love Spending Money On?
As part of our onboarding process, we often ask clients what they love spending money on, what they hate spending money on and what they are currently saving for. This gives us the opportunity to truly understand your unique situation and values before we start planning for anything. I really like asking these questions because this is what makes planning personal and let's be honest, it's called personal finance for a reason! While I find learning about others' values fascinating, I realized that quite often the conversation is one sided (and it should be - all about you). So today, if you've ever been curious, I’m going to share my answers to these questions so you can get to know me a little better.
What I Love Spending Money On
1. Insurance (JUST KIDDING!) I would say the #1 thing I love spending money on is airplane tickets. Not because we’re going to a sunny, beach destination, but because it means we’re going to visit family. Whether it’s my in-laws in California (contrary to popular belief – not always sunny) or my sister in British Columbia (where it’s sunny for only 3 days a year) a flight means it’s time to re-connect, relax, share some laughs and create some memories.
2. Music – I’m one of those guys that still goes into HMV to buy a new CD every once in a while. Although those days are getting fewer and far between, I’m still a huge supporter of iTunes music and frequently stock up on gift cards. I listen to music whenever I can: doing dishes, in the shower, while I nap (seriously), when I go for a jog, and on my drive to work. The last full iTunes album I purchased was Views by Drake.
3. Charitable Causes – We worked hard to eliminate our debts and student loans, so now we have more cash to do what we want with each month. I volunteer on the board for Relay For Life with the Canadian Cancer Society and I love donating my time and donating money towards a great cause.
What I Hate Spending Money On
1. Restaurants – It’s an odd view to have, but it’s true. I track my expenses. I know we spend about $400 a month on groceries. When you go to a restaurant for one meal and the bill comes to $80 with tips and taxes and appetizers, that’s almost a whole week’s worth of groceries! I certainly do not go to restaurants for convenience (to avoid cooking and cleaning). I also have no issues going to restaurants to celebrate a cause, like a friend’s birthday. Anyone that knows me knows I love spending time with the people in my life and if we do so at a restaurant, I’ll survive.
2. Insurance (This one isn’t a joke) – Insurance is important. So important. I truly see the value it brings if something awful were to happen to me. I just hate the fact that I don’t know if something will actually happen, and until it does, it’s easy to view insurance as wasted money. So every month, I’ll pay for insurance, knowing that my family is protected (in case) and that’s what matters!
3. Car Repairs – I am not a car guy. I always said growing up that I just wanted an inexpensive car that got me from point A to point B and I’d drive it until it died. The problem with that is that is as the car ages, the repair bills get bigger and bigger. When you factor in labour costs, a $20 part can still cost over $200 if it takes a few hours to install it!
What Am I Currently Saving For
1. A House – Markets are soaring these days and with house prices rising so quickly, the goal of saving 20% for a down payment keeps taking longer and longer. That being said, we are financially comfortable renting where we are, in a space that is big enough for the three of us. By continuing to rent, we are able to save more dollars on a monthly basis for other goals we have.
2. Retirement – I’d be a hypocrite not to list this here. Thanks to the power of compound interest, the earlier you start saving, the less you’ll have to save, overall, to reach a retirement goal. There are lots of great sites that expand on this – just Google “Compound Interest”.
3. Elliott’s Education – This is a no-brainer for my wife and I. Start an education fund when he’s young (we actually just finished paying off our loans the month before he was born) so we just flipped some our old payments into his newly established RESP. The fact that the government gives a 20% bonus on our deposits is icing on the cake.
Stay tuned for next week’s blog, where we’ll feature Rob’s perspective and how generally priorities change as one gets closer to retirement. Thanks for the read!