Why Learning How to Handle Your Money Will Make You Become More Successful

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Hi, hi !

Hope everyone is doing amazing on this gorgeous, sunny Tuesday, here in Montreal. Lately I have been having a lot of trouble keeping the blog up to date and bringing new, fun content to you guys, partly because I was recently offered a new position at work and literally devoted all of my time to it. So far, this journey has been such an exciting opportunity for me and I am thankful for every moments. I love my job and I am SO passionate about Fashion and writing; this is a bit of a dream come true, I must say, and if I had to look back at every step of the way, ever since I graduated from University, and round up achievements, progression, setbacks and success, I’d say I’m in a pretty good place right now :)

Which brings me to want to chat a little bit more about that post-grad life and its ups and downs… One thing I made a priority in my life, ever since I started earning an actual, grown-up, real-life income of my own, was to learn how to properly handle my money in order to be more successful. Because yes, as much as I hate to remind myself, I have always had this pretty carefree relationship with money: I would spend a crazy amount every month on sushi and signature coffee, I would book trips and vacay’s all-around the world whenever I needed (read here, wanted) a break from life, I would go out almost every night with friends, Uber my way around the city and manage my bank accounts like a five year-old, cumulating fees and interest for pretty much any possible reason. Not to mention that I maxed out my credit card about a hundred times during my four years of College without making full payments each time… Yup, I was pretty much financially immature !

But hey, that’s all in the past now, right ? ;) I mean, the smartest decision I made after heading back to my parent’s for a while when I sold my apartment, was to take charge of my finances, settle my debts, meet with my bank and plan for the next years to come. Here what I learn on the fine art of handling your money the right way and why you should start doing it NOW… 

1) It gives you options

Fixing yourself a budget, saving some money and investing the rest in all part of a healthy relationship with your finances ! Believe it or not, THIS will give you options in life, not credit cards (as I liked to believe myself…). Now that I have savings of my own, every want, need, interest or dream of mine actually is a possibility. Being on top of my finances gave me flexibility in allowing myself to pursue the things I really want or need in life. Plus, if I ever have an emergency, I know for a fact that I won’t be taken aback by a messy situation (read here, have to beg my parents for more money than they have already given me!). Being financially independent and managing my money correctly also gave me the option of investing and owning, instead of renting. I’d honestly have never thought that at 24 years-old, I would be able to just go to open houses and decide what my preferences were before making an offer and getting to build for myself the home of my dreams ! But hey, I still asked my parents to back me up money-wise, just in case ;)

2) It will allow you to grow your goals

Think about what it is that you want in life, short-term. Want to start your own business ? Want to build a home for yourself ? Want a family ? Want to buy a car ? Want to go back to school ? Wan to travel ? these are all things that require capital. A lot of it. Of course, smart saving and hard work will allow you to pursue those dreams of yours but what if, you could get what you want and more..?

Wanting to own you business becomes owning and expanding your business.

Wanting to build a home becomes buying the exact property that you want, in the exact neighborhood you’d want.

Wanting a family becomes being able to afford taking longer parental leaves and spending extra quality time with your children while growing up. Also, being able to provide for them and give them exactly what you want.

You get the picture…

Setting yourself achievable goals doesn’t mean you have to settle for what is achievable. It simply gives you a starting point to go above and beyond, after those things you really want.

3) It brings you comfort

Of course, there is also the question of comfort; what is essential and what is superficial to your everyday happiness ? It is up to you to decide what a good living situation is, or how you want to spend your free time, or even who you want to spend it with. That said, a good financial situation in which, YOU are in control, makes it easy for you not to have to settle for less than the essential. I like to live close to work so I’m buying in a nearby neighbor; no need to worry (too much!) about the cost of living in that area. I mean, it sounds simpler than it actually is, I’ll give you that, but it feels pretty rewarding and empowering not to have too many limitations when it comes to where I want to live, since this is what I personally consider essential to MY everyday happiness :) 

4) 50/20/30 rule

The 50/20/30 rule is at the core of my (new!) ability to handle money, thanks to my boss ladies at Career Girl Daily. It is basically, yet, another way to budget, only this time, made-to-measure for that newly-grad, newly-professional, career/success saavy girl who has a weakness for Fashion, beauty and all-things lifestyle & trendy ;)

50 – Your needs

Needs always come first and are really the last you should be trying to save on… Like it or not, these are often weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or annual payments that, although aren’t going to vary much, you will need to make on a regular basis. These may include (but aren’t limited to) rent, groceries, utilities, car/public transport card, phone bill, student loan, mortgage, etc…

Editor’s note: My personal take on rent is that it shouldn’t cost you more than 1/3 of your income, after tax deductions. If you end up spending more than that, chances are you might be living a little over your budget but, then again, it all depends on what is and what is superficial to you.

20 – Your savings

It does sound like a lot but trust me; saving around 20% of your income each month will do wonders for your financial independence and flexibility. The 20% is going to be ultra beneficial for your retirement contributions, to pay off debts, to be able to make bigger, more important purchases like a new car or a big trip, and so on… Have good savings can also get you out of trouble if you have an emergency, get injured, get sick or even, get laid off one day (not that you ever will because you’re a kick-ass, hard-working young professional who even knows how handling her own money will make her become even more successful!). 

30 – Your wants

Now let’s have a little fun ! The last 30% of your income can be spent on, well, literally anything you’d want. As long as the two first steps have been taken care of DILIGENTLY, you are good to go ;) Whether its your Spotify subscription, an addiction to Starbuck’s, a desire to travel the world or simply eating out on a regular basis, these are your wants and they need to be fulfilled too !

Photo credits: @deycallmejai // 2J Photography

5) 4 books to read to learn how to make the most of your money

If this post triggered a certain interest in you and you’d like to read more about this rocky, long-term relationship you will be living with money for the rest of your days(!), you might want to give a try to these four books that also happen to be favourite’s of mine and pure literacy delights, if you like (read here, don’t mind) finances: On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl's Guide to Personal Finance, Money: A Love StoryFinancially Fearless & Don’t Sweat Guide to Taxes.

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