How to Budget Properly

Learning how to budget is an effective way to eliminate debt. Here are five way you can become an effective budgeter

1 . Start Early

Starting early allows you to experiment and make mistakes. Learning from my mistakes during my 20s allowed me to discover my financial spending limits. By understanding my financial limits at an early age I was able to set up a budget that was both realistic and easy to follow

2 . Use the Available Resources

The first of many steps in effective budgeting is going online and looking for resources. One useful tool that I used to build my budget is PersonalFinanceCanada on Reddit. For Canadians, this is the ultimate resource for budget planning. Not only is it a resource for amazing advice but also provides budget planners, net worth calculators and other great financial goodies

3. Answer the Hard Questions

Before you even start thinking about a budget you will need to answer the hard questions. Are you going to be aggressive or passive? Will you track your spending daily, monthly or even yearly? Is this a long term commitment or new year’s resolution that will only last a week? By answering the hard questions you will be ready to build your budget

4. Create Accountability

Accountability is the key to successful budgeting. When creating your first budget you should find someone you trust to build accountability. After finding that special someone set up a 15-minute window once a week to report on your budgeting success and failures. Not only is this an incentive for you to follow through on your budget but also reduce the burdens of the budgeting process.

5. Understand That Your Human

Finally, understand that above all you are human. Humans are inclined to fail and make mistakes. This is an important lesson as there will be days when you forget to track your spending or you somehow splash 3000 dollars on those special Nikes. Do not sweat the small things and understand that becoming an effective budgeter is a marathon and not a race


FIVE Awesome Passive Income Ideas


Do you know the slick way to gain financial independence?

I will give you 10 seconds to guess














Here are 5 awesome ways to build your Passive Income

1. Peer to Peer Lending
Just like it sounds Peer to Peer lending is like being a bank. You and a whole bunch of other people provide small dollar loans ($20 – $200) to an individual or a business at a reasonable interest rate. Think of it as crowdfunding a loan.

There are three big advantage of Peer to Peer lending.

A. First it allows you to spread your risk. You can for example give out 10 loans at $20 a pop. If one goes bankrupt you only lose the $20 dollars and you still have $180 dollars still providing a return

B. There is a low barrier of entry. You only need minimum $200 to invest as opposed to $40,000 dollars that you need to buy a rental in Greater Vancouver

C. the high rate of return is another advantage. Depending on the risk of the loan you can earn anything between 8% – 19% in interest. Not bad for doing no work!

One great peer to peer lending website to check out in Canada is Lending Loop. For those who are American who are bit spoiled you got a lot of options so google it yourself


This is as easy as it sounds. Get out of debt! Pay off that high interest credit card (19% geez weez louise what were you thinking???) and reduce that student loan to smithereens.

One way to pay off that pesky credit card is to transfer the balance to a lower interest credit card or even line of credit that has a lower interest rate. This will save you a lot of interest.

(Buyers beware: LOC interest is calculated daily so you might end up paying interest even if you pay off your LOC but do not worry its like 8 dollars not 800 dollars)

3. Real Estate Crowdfunding

If you live in a city with expensive real estate (I live in Vancouver) investing in physical real estate can be difficult. That is where Real Estate Crowdfunding comes along. Like peer to peer lending you along with others can invest in an actual house by pooling together your hard earned dollars. Not only do you protect yourself from the risk of a housing bubble burst but you do not have to worry about pesky tenants, broken down appliances, and lousy stratas(that is if you live in a condo or townhome)

4. Open a High Interest Savings Account

This one is easy way to build a passive income slowly. Here are the five step you need to take advantage of this passive income stream

1. Go to EQ (2.3% interest rate where else can you find that?)
2. Open up a High Interest Savings Income
3. Set up automatic payment that equates 20% of your biweekly or monthly income 4. Forget that you even had a High Interest Savings Account
5. Enjoy the compound interest baby!!!

9. Robo-Advisors

If you hate stocks and self directed investing like the Grinch hates Christmas then this one is for you. Robo Advisors are AI portfolio investment platforms that make it easy to invest and build up wealth with out even lifting a finger. Depending on your age, retirement goals and risk tolerance and for a low management fee the Robo Advisor will invest your hard earned cash into a mix of bonds, stock, cash, GICs, debt securities and many more!!! Two Robo Advisors to check out right now are Wealthbar and Wealthsimple. If this is not passive investing then I do not know what is

Four Stages to Financial Literacy

black point and shot camera near macbook pro

Due to a record level of household debt in 2013 in North America, financial illiteracy raises epidemic concerns. Financial literacy is an individual’s ability to make informed and effective decisions with their own financial resources (, 2013). In 2012, 42% of Americans and 50% of Canadian adults gave themselves a C, D, or an F in their knowledge of personal finance (Toronto Dominion, 2012; Bank of Montreal, 2013). In light of this deficiency, it is clear why households have saved less than 5% of their income (US Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2013; Statistics Canada, 2012).

This lack in savings combined with financial illiteracy, is one effort of household debt soaring to more than 140% of disposable income (Toronto Dominion, 2013). Younger generations of North Americans entering the work force face the risk of even higher debt levels due to increasing unemployment rates and student loans.

This blog entry shares my experiences with personal finance to encourage more financial literacy training, starting with children to young adults.

Stage 1: My Introduction to Financial Illiteracy

My experience with financial literacy began at the age of 10 with a first gift allowance of US$30. That day represented my first step towards financial freedom. I felt my parents recognized me as trustworthy and responsible; old enough to manage money. I was naïve. In just three days, I had spent the money on happy meals, gumballs and my favorite teenage mutant turtle action figure. I remember coming back to my parents with tears in my eyes. I thought I broke their trust. Instead of the anticipated lecture, my dad just smiled. This was my first financial literacy lesson; save a portion of your allowance.

Stage II: Aware, but Financially Irresponsible

Fast forward eight years: I have just entered the University of British Columbia. My first part time job was in security – I made minimum wage. I opened a bank account and put in US$350. I received my first credit card happily provided by the bank’s financial advisor. I remembered my dad’s lesson on savings and as I worked my way through university. And, I made some big purchases using my credit card to ‘pay later’. By the end of that year, my credit card debt was double my annual earnings. I dutifully made the minimum payments ($10/month). With a 19% interest rate, my debt rapidly increased. It looked like there was no way out of this situation. I again turned to my dad for support and advice. He provided my second lesson on financial literacy; don’t spend more than you earn.

Stage III: Overcoming Financial Illiteracy Eight years after, I was working in my first job – with Vancity Credit Union in Vancouver, BC, Canada. By this point, I counted 16 years handling my personal finances. My dad’s numerous lessons had guided me to overcoming financially illiteracy. I have learned that financial management is full of perils which can negatively affect an individual’s happiness in life and economic well being.

Financial literacy is best taught at a young age. With a continuously developing brain and a natural curiosity, Generation Z (those now aged 1-13 years old) can rapidly learn valuable concepts around debt, savings and wealth creation. Without basic financial concepts, people are more susceptible to bankruptcy, carrying debt loads, scams and higher financial costs.

Stage IV: Teaching Financial Literacy to Others

Based on this understanding, I trained to become a certified financial literacy trainer with Vancity’s Each One Teach One Program (EOTO). This program has volunteers sharing basic financial concepts with people from vulnerable communities. Each presentation covers topics from introduction to banking to identity theft to what to do about fraud. The presentations I have done to date have been met by participants with appreciation, happiness and relief. While the EOTO participants are from different backgrounds, they all shared common stories of financial hardship.

A unifying sense shared among the younger participants was confusion in their lack of financial knowledge. Gaining the tools to overcome this ignorance through these financial lessons bestowed EOTO participants more confidence in handling their own personal finance and the affairs of their families. Not only was I delighted to be helping others, I learned another important lesson. Financial literacy is not only about the freedom to act, but also about the empowerment through confidence to understand and control one’s own situation.


Based on my personal experience, financial literacy is best learned at an early age. Parents are encouraged to actively develop their children’s knowledge of personal finance. The best way is through meaningful shared activities like teaching saving during the holiday shopping season and using a family ‘piggy’ bank. There are many online resources and saving tools for parents. One example is America Saves which includes an online pledge. In exchange for children saving $5 a month, they can earn special benefits. While saving $5 seems small, just having a monthly plan goes a long way towards successfully financing college tuition or affording a car. More importantly, all lessons about personal finance young stay with a child to use throughout life. With the Holidays around the corner, perhaps the best gift to give is a lesson on financial literacy.

Awesome Websites to Check Out!

Financial Educator Council:

Practical Money Skills: