Personal Finance

A young person’s guide to financial empowerment

A young person’s guide to financial empowerment

When it comes to personal financial reading, I try to read as much as I can but lately it’s been tough to read books from cover to cover.  It seems the only time I get to read a book is when I am travelling a lot by plane.  So with my recent two week stint of travelling, I had the pleasure of reading How not to move back in with your parents by Rob Carrick.

Rob Carrick is one of the most well known and highly influential personal finance celebrities in Canada.  Rob has been “THE” personal finance columnist at the globe and Mail for over 10 years.

The young person’s guide to financial empowerment

Rob’s latest book How not to move back in with your parents: A young person’s guide to financial empowerment has a really long title but is really easy for me to recommend.  I’ve been in the financial industry for 21 years and for most of my professional career, I have focused on issues around retirement.  My expertise naturally lends itself to those about to retire or already retired.

One of the things I love about Rob’s book it’s focused on helping people at the other end of the spectrum.  Rob does an amazing job tackling all of the relevant and tough issues for the 30 and under.  Here are some of the issues he covers:

  • Education issues – Rob not only talks about saving for education but also finding other ways to fund and pay for education.
  • Debt issues – According to Carrick, this is a big problem with the younger generation because the youth have never had greater access to debt than today.  Carrick provides some great advice whether you are a student or new in the workforce.
  • Banking – Choosing the right bank account is more important than you might think.  it’s something we use every single day so it’s important to know the fees you are being charged and the interest you are or are not earning.
  • Saving money – Saving money is pretty self-explanatory.  Carrick gives some good common sense tips on how to start saving sooner than later.
  • Budgeting – I really hate this word but for many, it has to be done!
  • RRSP and TFSA – Saving money using RRSPs and TFSAs is very important to financial success.  Carrick provides a very good primer for those that need to get going on these important accounts.
  • Buying a Car – Carrick gives some good, practical advice on buying cars.  The car industry won’t like his message about putting off the purchase of a car for as long as you can but he makes some interesting points around rethinking the whole car thing.
  • Buying a Home – Buying a home is one of the biggest financial milestones in life.  Carrick cautions people about spending too much money on housing and that renting may be better for many.
  • Weddings and Kids – This chapter was really relevant to my life right now so I will be forcing my wife to read this chapter a few times.  If you have kids, you should read it too!
  • Wills and Insurance – This is the part of personal finance that we do not love to talk about but yet it’s really important!  Carrick also talks about all different kinds of insurance in this chapter.

Making it personal

The biggest endorsement I can give is that I will make this book essential reading for my kids.

I make living teaching others how to achieve financial empowerment and I feel a really strong responsibility to make sure I teach my own kids about money.  That being said, this book was really personal for me because as a dad of 4 boys, this book reminded me of a lot of the key issues they will face in the years ahead!

When it comes to personal finance, we’ve all heard the old cliché’s about getting started on your financial journey like the younger you start, the better off you will be.  Everyone wishes they would have started sooner than later.

At the end of the day, it’s important for parents to lead this journey in helping the next generation get a head start by filling in their heads with good knowledge.  Sometimes, parents don’t know how to do this properly.  Sometimes parents are more than willing to help but kids don’t want to listen to their parents.  Sometimes parents are poor role models and teach their kids the wrong habits instead of the right ones.

Whatever the case may be, Carrick’s book is a great tool to aid in the quest of helping the youth become financially empowered.  This book may be the best gift you can give someone in their teens, twenties or even thirties.

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