Tag Archives: finances

What Pokémon Go Can Teach Millennials About Finances

Image Credit: Pixabay

Ever since Nintendo released Pokémon Go, the gaming habits of millennials have changed. Almost everyone’s outside now, running to places where they can catch a Pikachu or Charmander. While the obvious benefit of Pokémon Go is staying fit and healthy, people can actually learn about finances while playing the game.

If you’re one of the millions of people who are playing Pokémon Go right now, here are some of things that you may pick up from the game.

Working hard to level up in Pokémon? Level up in real life!

The best way to keep your finances healthy is to make more money. With a bigger monthly income, you can save more. Level up your portfolio by learning more real-life skills outside your comfort zone or find a new job that pays your profession’s actual market value. If you don’t have any idea how much you should be getting, visit Glassdoor to see how much you should get paid for the job you’re doing with the experience you possess.

Do you have too many Pokémon? Get rid of them!

In the future, there’s this ongoing rumor that friends will be able to trade their Pokémon with each other. So if you don’t need the extra Pokémon, let them go. The same can be said with things that we don’t really need in life such as too many magazine subscriptions or a premium membership to a car club that barely gets used. You can save money by letting go of non-assets that you’re not really using often.

Join a team

In Pokémon Go, you are allowed to join either Team Mystic, Team Valor, or Team Instinct. Joining teams allow you unlimited access to information from friends, and this also applies to the business world. Don’t be a loner – join a group to get access to information that could prove invaluable. Do you specialize in putting on events? If so, go to expos and conventions and attempt to get a vendor’s license to showcased your services. If you work in the restaurant industry, you can find a group where you can share recipes and sell your goods. With a team, you’ll make positive progress with your finances quickly.

Keep walking

In Pokémon Go, you need to walk several miles in order to hatch your egg. In the real world, “hatching your egg” or “reaping the fruits of your labor” takes time as well. If your company offers a 401(k), by all means contribute to it. Keep on slashing at least 5% of your salary and put it to your 401(k) so when you retire, you’ll have something that you can rely on.

Millennials have the best resource available to them, which is time. According to FXCM’s insights, “people in their twenties and thirties will have a greater time period to potentially accumulate wealth than older investors.” So while it’s fun to play Pokémon Go for hours on end, don’t forget to dedicate time to improving your finances. You’ll be surprised at how time flies these days so don’t waste it. The key is to keep a balanced life.

Escape your debt by facing the facts

Financial Literacy-Janice Desautels
Financial Literacy-Janice Desautels

One of the keys to paying off debt, growing your savings, and staying on track with your goals for the future is to review your budget and finances when you’re thinking logically, not emotionally. When you find yourself in a state of anxiety or feeling overwhelmed by high-pressure obligations, it might be challenging to make decisions clearly that are in your best financial interest. It’s best to make money decisions and create financial strategies when you’re free of fear, stress, and frustration.

Here are 3 tips to help you make emotion-free money decisions:
Continue reading Escape your debt by facing the facts

Spring into your new life with your future wellbeing in mind

Financial Literacy-Janice Desautels
Financial Literacy-Janice Desautels

Photo by Moyan Brenn

As we move from the sleepy hollow of winter and feel the hint of warm breezes, many will be embarking on a new life as the education year is winding down. Many years of learning will be under your belt, and if you’ve planned wisely, a career that fires your passion is about to begin.
Your future holds promises of dreams and goals that will bring excitement and adventure as you strike the course of your career. However, the path you set now may not be the same path you want to continue on as you grow and mature.
Very few of us can predict when that path is about to change. This is exciting in some respects but can also be very devastating. If there is no foundation built along the way to provide a safety net, those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities may slip from our grasp.
Plan your life around your savings
The premise of that foundation is savings. A good plan of action when you embark on your career is planning your life around your savings rather than planning your savings around your life.
Once this becomes a routine, you won’t be enticed to spend beyond your means. A solid foundation takes time to build so use the time you have now to grow your wealth. Wealth doesn’t come from your earning potential, it comes from your savings potential – it’s all about how much you keep not how much you make.
Avoid this scenario of disaster: You’re young and you think that you have lots of time to save later. Now you want to move to take advantage of a new job, or travel, buy a car, a condo, and all that comes with owning a home. You have no savings so you incur the debt to fund these experiences, some at high interest and long amortizations.
Your new life now blossoms and you have a family, a bigger house, and children to raise. A larger mortgage, more credit card debt – but that’s OK because you still say you’ll have time to save later.
Take a page from the book of those who have gone before you. Nothing will be different; you’re now in the last season of your working career, and wanting to slow down and have more free time, but unfortunately you will only have saved a meagre amount. Now what? You have very little choices and not much control over your future. Doesn’t sound very appealing, does it?
Rewind and do over. You’ve made saving a priority first by keeping the end in mind: retirement. You’ve made a commitment that each month before any discretionary spending happens, a specified amount will go into a savings vehicle that over time will grow. These savings may have a number of purposes over the years, but will always include a base amount set aside for retirement.
In addition, since you are not living beyond your means, you have no credit card or consumer debt. Those large purchases such as a house will have a mortgage that is manageable because there was sufficient savings for a down payment.
Imagine the amount of interest paid over a lifetime of debt which would now be growing in your savings. That can amount to thousands of dollars.
Now, in your last season of working, you have a pool of money that gives you choices. You may choose to continue working, move to a warmer climate, or spend more time with family and friends. At the end of the day, the choice is yours.
You will have control over the quality of your life which is truly the meaning of wealth.
Janice Desautels has been working with families and individuals for the last seven years helping educate in the field of financial literacy. She is a Certified Financial Educator with over 15 years’ experience in teaching and training adults. For questions or advice, please contact jdesautels11lmlc@wfgmail.ca.

Believe it or not: balance isn’t everything, even with finances

Young Money - Vanessa Kunderman
Young Money – Vanessa Kunderman

Being a young person comes with a lot of pressure. And even though some of our slightly older and slightly wiser peers explain that this tension falls away as we age, it can still be a challenge to navigate through emotionally rocky waters while we try to find our independence.
A smattering of surveys have come out recently, declaring that millennials are the most stressed-out generation, with money and school being big offenders.
For example, millennials currently have an average of $15,194 saved in their RRSPs, according to a survey conducted in January by the Bank of Montreal. If you don’t have that saved, your inner alarms are probably going off at the realization you are statistically below average.
Why do we let these things have such a crippling power over us?
If you’re just starting an RRSP this tax season, applaud yourself for taking control and taking this first step. Remember, every financial situation is unique and you don’t need to think of yourself as a statistic. Some of life’s biggest financial changes happen in your 20s and 30s. Even this time last year, you were probably in a vastly different situation.
I read a quote recently from Ivanka Trump that helped me put things into perspective as a millennial. She said “people obsess too much about balance. A scale is only in balance for a brief second. Inevitably the pendulum swings. It’s impossible to maintain. Rather than obsess over perfect balance, I like to focus on my priorities.”
Now, I’m a Libra, the zodiac sign of the scales – my life is practically governed by balance, especially in the financial sector. But when I asked myself if I just wanted to be average, the answer was easy. Of course not.
Millennials want to be the best version of ourselves that we can possibly be. And that can’t be measured by the size of our bank accounts or the balances sitting in our investments.
If your priority this year is to accumulate some serious wealth, then make that your focus and stick to it. Set your ground rules and give it your all. Don’t feel bad if you’re not as socially active as you have been in the past, nor if you can’t keep track of every new restaurant to hit the city.
If you’d rather focus on starting a family or getting your health in check, don’t feel bad about not saving as much as surveys say you should be, or if you haven’t hit that $15,000 mark in your investments.
Life is a pendulum.
Vanessa Kunderman writes every month on money issues facing millennials. Email her at: hello@vanessakunderman.com.