You are Worthy of Your Dreams

Fabian Montoya Fendt, Assistant Branch Manager, Saskatchewan

Thank you to Fabian from RBC for supplying this blog for students in honour of Financial Literacy Month 2020 (#FLM2020)!

Pause for a moment.  I want you to imagine you – a month from now, 6 months from now, or even a year from now.  I know how somedays it can be difficult to think about what your life will look like next Monday let alone a year from now.  Just try for a moment.  What would I see you doing?  What will you be doing?  What might you be buying?  What possibly could you be driving?  What education might you be pursuing?

Paint a picture of your future and permit yourself to dream.

And then consider these three pieces of advice to make your dreams come true:

  1. Make a plan.
  2. Begin today.
  3. Make good decisions along the way.

Make a Plan

A dream is simply a wish without a plan.    Financial Literacy, combined with enthusiasm, agility, and grit, will help you turn that dream into the life you deserve.  A good plan has clear goals – your goals.  The clearer your dream, the more motivated you may be to do what is hard to get there.

A good plan doesn’t only have a finish line, it has a clear starting line and a path connecting the two.

Your starting line is always changing because your financial circumstances are often changing.  Take time to understand your financial picture for today.  That includes not only how much you might make through an allowance or a job, but also how much you spend on the things that nourish your spirit from movies to concerts to video games and more.

Lastly, create your path.  Build a budget that connects your starting line with your finish line.  A budget should be flexible and still reward you by setting aside money for those things that you enjoy doing.   A budget that is too restrictive makes it challenging to stick with it.

Hint: Find a way of keeping your dream present every day so the decisions you make get you closer to your dream.

Begin Today

Now that you have turned your dream into a plan, start with simple actions.  Consider the impact of one less Slurpee or Tim Horton’s in a week.  Saving $5 a week enables you to invest $260 a year towards your dream.   It all adds up!

If you saved $5 a week for an entire year and then add on $5 a week for each year that follows for 10 years, you will have $14,300 in just 10 years.   Every little bit helps.  Start now with what you can.

Hint: If you receive a regular deposit, one of the best ways to save is to set up an automatic transfer into a savings plan set up with your bank.  This will ensure your budget for savings is transferred into your savings account before you might spend it.  Having access to online or mobile banking, makes managing your savings even easier.

Make Good Decisions

As we grow older, we gain access to a debit card and eventually a credit card and other types of credit including credit lines, loans, and perhaps someday a mortgage.  Learning how to manage our money matters not only for today but for the future as well.

Your first debit card can provide you with ease of access to funds when needed whether through an ATM or when paying for purchases at a store.  We still need to make good decisions on when we spend and how often to ensure we remain within our budget.  When we stop thinking of it as money, we can find ourselves spending needlessly.  We also are responsible for protecting our pin and our card.

Making good decisions becomes even more important when you have your first credit card.

First, not all credit cards are the same.  Find the credit card that is right for you.  Often, banks have a credit card selector tool to walk you through your decision making and help you make the right choice.  Also, your bank’s financial advisor can help you make the right decision.

Second, how you manage your credit card really matters.  A credit card is a safe and easy way to spend money.  It is also a big responsibility.  From how you choose to pay it down each month to how you protect your card, know your responsibilities.  Use credit wisely.  Credit should enable you to achieve your goals and not make the gap bigger.  Managing your credit wisely today will ensure you qualify for additional credit in the future.

Hint: Consider setting out three questions to ask yourself just before you spend: Do I really want or need this?  Is this the right time to buy this?  How will this impact my goals for the future?

And so…

When it comes to your goals, no one else is as invested as you to achieve them.  You are worthy of your dreams.  Take time to turn your dreams into a plan that will help you save and spend.  Begin today because every bit helps and be sure to make good decisions along the way.  By getting really good at these three things, these skills will help you pursue any dream throughout your life.

Good luck and start chasing your dreams.