What is something you post about that you think Canadians need to hear now?
Den: We think it’s important that Canadians—and young Canadians especially—know that retirement is an amount of money, not an age. When you retire, you stop earning an income to pay for your expenses, and government funding alone likely won’t allow you to keep living your current lifestyle. Investing is key to ensure you control your future.
What is the biggest misconception people have about growing money?
Den: That if you just work hard enough, you can make it and be financially successful. The problem with this is that it’s not about hard work. If it were, then there wouldn’t be such a gap between the wealthiest people in society and everyone else. This doesn’t mean that your hard work isn’t important, but it’s about that plus setting yourself up for success by increasing your income and investing that extra money, instead of succumbing to lifestyle creep. (Lifestyle creep is when you make more money, [and] you then spend more money to “keep up” with everyone else.)
Do you use a budget, and if so, how do you budget your money?
Steph: Yes. I budget my money monthly with a Google spreadsheet. I create a standard, monthly budget that I aim to hit every month, and then I adjust it on a monthly basis when I know certain expenses are coming up. I invest the same amount of money every month no matter what, then I determine my fixed costs, before deciding how much room I have for discretionary or non-essential expenses.
Do you invest, and if so, what is your investment strategy?
Steph: Yes. I use a robo-advisor to invest in passive funds that track the markets, which means that after selecting a risk level, and setting up automatic monthly transfers to my account, I can just sit back and let the platform invest the money for me.
Den: I also invest in passive funds that track the market, but I invest a set amount of money each month by buying the same funds myself.
What is your take on debt?
Den: Debt is a topic that’s misunderstood, because it’s often viewed from the lens of being either good or bad. The reality is that debt is a tool, and we can either ignore it or learn more about it. Debt can be both detrimental to a person’s financial health and [beneficial for] building a financial footprint when used responsibly. In other words, paying off your credit card in full, every single month, to build a credit score. Education is key. We want our videos to remove the fear associated with topics like debt, and instead empower people to build their financial tool box. I shared my debt-free journey, specifically with student loan debt, on our YouTube channel.
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