Don’t worry ladies, we read you like an open purse. Our experts threw a lot of financial know-how at you at Purse Strings, and now you want a quick and easy refresher before you pass GO!, or invest in that posh little condo you’ve been eyeing at the corner of Boardwalk and Park Place.
Fret no more! We’ve pooled our resources together into a simple one-pager to help you balance your money management. Best yet, it’s free of charge! “Ka-ching!”
The Confidence Booster Juice
1. Start early, plan ahead.
Rifka taught us that “wealth is not a simple thing that’s good or bad.” Your credit card won’t magically run amuck through Yorkdale, and your savings account won’t turn you into Ebenezer Scrooge over night. So like any good relationship, the sooner you and your money get better acquainted and set expectations, the better.
2. You don’t have to be an expert. Ask for help.
Guys have the same problem with asking for directions. Seriously! Learn from their mistakes, and the countless hours you’ve wasted on the freeway because Jake knows better than the GPS.
“Remember, women who rely on advice from an advisor have higher levels of financial knowledge.” — Perri Maxwell, Assante Wealth Management
3. Be involved in your finances.
Better not hand this one off to someone else completely. If you do end up working with an advisor (or a trusted friend or parent), maybe set up check-in times once in a while to re-asses your situation — especially before big life changes. And don’t be shy about asking all the questions you need in order to feel assured in your choices!
“Nine out of ten women will be solely responsible for their finances at some point in their lives.” — Marissa Barnartt, Assante Wealth Management
Outline Your Money Mantra
1. Know where you stand.
Try and lay it all out on the line. Things to keep in mind:
- What assets do I have?
Think: what’s in the bank? Any RRSPs? TFSA? A pension? Israel bonds? Do I own a car/house, etc.?
- What do I owe?
Think: credit card, line of credit, mortgage, borrowed $ from a friend…
- What am I earning?
Think: Salary, government benefits…
- What am I spending?
Think: rent/mortgage, groceries, transportation, meals out, movies & entertainment, other incidentals…
Don’t forget what Fran from Jewish Family & Child Services said: hovering above the poverty line doesn’t mean you don’t need, or qualify for assistance. You can contact JF&CS for more guidance tailored to your circumstances.
2. Set your goals.
Where do you want to see yourself in 1 year? 10 years? (And don’t forget to dream beyond the wallet for this one; identifying major life goals will help you start thinking about the financial commitments they incur.)
- Pay off debt
- Make an annual donation to UJA
- Travel solo for 1 month abroad
- Retire to Arizona
- Become Beyoncé’s lead back-up vocalist (Sigh. One day.)
3. Establish a plan.
Ask yourself the probing questions that connect with your goals:
- How much can I afford to put towards paying off debt each month? At that rate, how long will it take to pay it off?
- How much do I want to donate to UJA each year? Can I afford it given my current finances, or do I need to earn more/spend less?
- How much do I need to save each year to retire comfortably at age 65?
- How much are singing lessons? How often will I need said singing lessons? …Or does Beyoncé need a dog walker instead?
Keep Rifka’s point in mind, that there’s “a difference between the cost of living, and living Jewishly.” Many Jewish lifestyle choices involve extra costs or expenses (keeping Kosher, living in a Jewish neighbourhood, sending your kids to Jewish school), so do your research beforehand to factor as much in as possible.
What to Look for in an Advisor
Heads up: it’s way easier than finding a husband.
- care about my values and goals?
- educate me?
- have a license to give advice?
- see the big picture, as well as the small details?
Other key questions to ask:
- Are they transparent about fees and compensation?
- Do I enjoy working with them?
The Keener’s Reading List
Recommended sources to improve your financial literacy:
Learn about an RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan).
Learn about a TFSA (Tax-Free Savings Account).
Learn about taxes and how to file your own return.
Meet with an Advisor directly! To contact Perri Maxwell and her Assante Capital Management Ltd. team, send her an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t shoulder the hard stuff alone. Explore the various resources JF&CS can provide.
This is some sound advice that you can pass on to your own daughter one day. Is that day coming sooner than later? You might also want to check out Yolk 2: Body & Brain.
Cover photo credit: “Engagement Ring Luxury Tax Monopoly” by PT Money. ptmoney.com