Friday, January 30, 2009

Money matters...

I recently purchased and read "The Money Book: A Survival Guide for Canadians under 35" by Kevin Cork (a.k.a. "The Screaming Capitalist").

It was a pretty easy and informative read, even though it didn't really give me as much detail as I was looking for about different savings/investment options--GICs, CSBs, mutual funds, etc.

Anyway, the point it hammered home to me is that I really should've started investing my money the year after I started earning an annual income--i.e. when I was 18 years old!! And that even though I can't regain the 7 years I've wasted, I shouldn't delay but should start saving now!
"Anyone who is currently less than 35 and does not have a million saved at retirement won't have "nice" life; they'll have a "fridge-box under the bridge" life filled with dogfood." - Kevin Cork

So currently I'm looking into RRSPs (I didn't realize you could carry forward your tax deductions for RRSP contributions!!) and am trying to figure out how to best utilize the tax-free savings account I already opened with Scotia. Currently it's just a cash account, but I think it would make more sense to purchase some GICs or mutual funds for it as well...

Honestly, I would really like to find a financial advisor to help me with all this, but I guess I'll just have to muddle my through until I move back to Canada permanently.

It's pretty ridiculous when I survey my accounts and realize that I've got probably less than a third of the money that I've sent home is actually still in accounts at home--the rest has gone to paying off credit card bills, buying manga, etc. etc. Even if it's only $25/month into an RRSP, I need to start doing something to save for my future (and not just for my next trip)!

The recent car accident also made me realize that I really ought to build up an "emergency fund" here in Japan. Even if it means sending a little less home each month (painful considering how well the exchange rate is working in my favour currently), I've realized that money in the bank in Canada doesn't do me much good when I'm facing the possibility of paying a 100,000yen insurance deductible for car repairs and payday is still 3 weeks away! Sure I can get money sent back to Japan from home, but in a real emergency, I might not have the time to get the transfer set up and everything.