Usually the only time I want to talk about finances is when I’m due for a raise, receiving my GST cheque or getting my tax receipt. Other than that, finances can often be a bit of a taboo subject when conversing with friends, family and coworkers. People often say you should never talk about religion, politics or money on the first date—well I just had an amazing first date at an event organized by MeVest, with guest speaker and well known author of her new hit book “Well Heeled – The Smart Girl’s Guide to Getting Rich”, the incredibly smart and financial savvy, Lesley-Anne Scorgie.
Making money, make sense is like speaking a language. You have to know your audience to ensure the message is being received, and that it is being received well. Talking about money and learning about finances, saving, investments etc. has a catered sound for each individual and must be focused around individual needs. It was amazing to attend an event where everyone’s needs were identified, valued and responded to.
Sometimes as women, it can be comforting to take advice from a peer. Lesley-Anne helps break down these barriers, offering advice and support as well as tips and tricks around financial literacy. Her latest book “Well-Heeled – The Smart Girls Guide to Getting Rich’ not only offers the tools and resources to help women understand finances, but will leave you feeling empowered and in control when you slide on your favorite pair of heels and know exactly where your money is!
On Thursday June 5th at the ultra-chic Devonian Gardens in Calgary’s The Core Mall, Lesley-Anne and her team at MeVest coordinated an event that really spoke to women of all ages and situations about their money. The event started with mingling at identified stations where guests were asked to share their thoughts around certain finance related questions such as:
“What keeps you up at night in regards to your money?”
“What resources do you use to balance your budget, or understand your finances?”
“What priorities are important to you in the short term, and the long term?”
At first these questions can seem a little too personal or in-depth to be answering in public, however, the environment was so warm, welcoming and open that people put their guards down. It wasn’t about judgment it was about making the right decisions for yourself and being able to take something away with you that you can apply to your life to help you with future money decisions.
Personally, I often lay awake at night beating myself up wondering… “TFSA investments? RRSPs? Should I go take my MBA? Or pay off my student loans?” Everyone has their own financial demons, but it is important to be able to really understand them, and know what’s best for your current situation.
Here are some ‘breakaways’ from the MeVest that every “well-heeled” girl should know:
- Be frugal. Don’t be cheap, understand where the line is drawn. Maybe a pair of Louboutin shoes every month is a little excessive. When saving for a short or long term goal, be frugal. Know where you want to be and know that there are ways to cut back.
- Save 15-20% of your income. Yes you read that correctly! This was probably my favorite break-away from the event. Remember that saving still means being able to afford the basics in life, don’t starve yourself to put the extra dollar away, but be conscious of where you spend your money. Start slowly, maybe 15% is absolutely not doable, try 4%, in 6 months try 6% and so on.
- Figure out a creative way to make more money. Wealthy people are savvy in finding treasure with their skills. Find yours! If that means being a referee at a game twice a month or working at a retail boutique once a week; every extra dollar counts, and if you can find a job where you can use your talents to earn income, it won’t seem like “work”.
- Give back! Volunteer, join a non-profit, give to charity or sit on a board of Directors. Take a look at your circle, if the people in it are not supportive of your financial goals or can help you reach your achievements then it might be time to reconsider who is in your personal environment.
To find out more about MeVest visit www.mevest.ca
Until next time….