Personal Finance

Better Finances for a Better You

Topic: "Financial Wellness"

← Curating the web to find the most interesting and helpful information about your money.

Infographic of the week

FP Canada™ 2024 Financial Stress Index

The 2024 Financial Stress Index reveals that money continues to be the top stressor for Canadians (44%), steadily increasing from 2023 (40%) and 2022 (38%)

FP Canada™ 2024 Financial Stress Index Year-over-year, the Financial Stress Index shows that working with a financial professional, such as a CFP® professional or a QAFP® →

Serious stuff

Financial wellbeing is learning how to manage your money and resources responsibly with an eye toward long-term financial security.

Explore resources to improve your financial wellbeing →

Serious stuff

Learn what financial wellness is, why it's important, and how it can improve your overall well-being. Plus, 10 tips to guide and improve your financial wellness.

Financial wellness: what it is, benefits, and 10 ways to get there →

Infographic of the week

A Map of Global Happiness By Country in 2024

Happiness, like love, is perhaps one of the least understood and most sought-after emotions and experiences in human life. And while many inspiring teachings exist about attaining individual happiness, it’s worthwhile to consider how happy entire countries are on a collective scale.

A Map of Global Happiness By Country in 2024 A Map of Global Happiness By Country in 2024 →

Serious stuff

The 7 levels of financial freedom, according to a millionaire — 50% of U.S. workers are at Level 2 by Ryan Ermey

What level are you? The 7 levels of financial freedom →

Serious Stuff

Wellness is a concept that has found its way into more and more corners of American life.

At its heart, wellness is about adopting practices—like exercising more and eating healthy—that help you live a better life.


These practices can also help you improve your financial life, under the rubric of “financial wellness.” This concept is about changing financial behaviours and adopting more effective money habits to secure financial stability and financial freedom.
Michael Adams at Forbes on Understanding Financial Wellness →

Serious stuff

Dr. Aditi Nerurkar offers five accessible ways to minimize stress in your daily life — no lavish vacations or big life changes necessary.

NPR LifeKit: 5 simple ways to minimize stress →

Saving

We're supposed to do things routinely for our health, like brushing our teeth, showering and exercising. And there are basic hygiene tasks to maintain your financial health too. Here are five tasks to tackle each year.

Saving NPR Life Kit: Start a financial self-care routine →

Budgeting

If you’re looking to create a personal budget, start with these six steps

  1. Calculate your net income
  2. Track your spending
  3. Set realistic goals
  4. Make a plan
  5. Adjust your spending to stay on budget
  6. Review your budget regularly
Bank of America - Better Money Habits →

Did you know?

Average household earnings in 2022 were $94,003, while average total expenditures for the year were $72,967, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Expenditure Survey.

American Households' Average Monthly Expenses: $6,081 →

Budgeting

7 tips to save money on family expenses from Discover

  • Focus on food costs
  • Keep birthdays simple
  • Give secondhand a chance
  • Choose frugal fun
  • Plan ahead for the holidays
  • Hack your housing costs
  • Talk budgeting and saving with your kids
Get the whole family in a savings mindset with these tips →

Word of the week

Permanent Life Insurance

Permanent life insurance gives you lifetime coverage. If you pass away while your insurance policy is still in force, your beneficiaries will receive a death benefit. Permanent life insurance policies usually build up a cash value. You will get your money back if you decide to terminate your coverage. The amount would be less than what you spent in insurance premiums.

You can easily track all your life insurance policies at Neontra →

Budgeting

When to make a budget:

  • Significant changes in your personal life
  • Job status has changed
  • When you don't know where your money is going
  • Find it difficult to save regularly
  • Your debts are escalating
  • Your feeling overwhelmed by your finances
  • Feel like you’re not in control of your money and debts
  • Thinking about a major purchase
10 Tips to Save Money →

Serious Stuff

7 Ways to Manage Financial Stress from TIMEstamped

  1. Figure out where the money stress is coming from
  2. Create a budget or spending plan
  3. Start an emergency fund
  4. Increase your income
  5. Automate some of your financial transactions
  6. Improve your money communication style
  7. Get outside advice and help
Here are some suggestions for taking charge of your money and feeling better about your circumstances →

Infographic of the week

What are people’s biggest financial stressors?

The route to financial happiness isn’t the same for everyone, though 81% of Americans agree that inflation and the rising cost of goods generate the most stress. But different trends emerge when we compare the generations.

What are people’s biggest financial stressors? Financial stress is such a challenge that many plan to retire three years later than planned →

Budgeting

Four Tips For Budgeting In The Modern World from Liz Frazier @Forbes

  • Don’t be scared of change
  • RE-Categorize your spending
  • Cut the right expenses
  • Budgeting is a practice
Learn more details from Liz Frazier a Fee-Only Certified Financial Planner, Author & FinLit Advocate →

Infographic of the week

The Happiness Index

Across generations, Americans are tending to find happiness in areas other than their finances. The financial situation is especially challenging for Gen Z and X; less than half report being satisfied with their finances.

The Happiness Index How, then, can someone stay on the road to financial happiness? →

Did you know?

Some 56% of Americans are unable to cover an unexpected $1,000 bill with savings, according to a telephone survey of more than 1,000 adults conducted in early January 2022 by Bankrate.

Most Americans are still struggling to build solid savings accounts →

Infographic of the week

How to Reach Financial Happiness

Many Americans believe that you need $1.2 million to reach financial happiness. So, it follows that 71% of Americans feel more money would solve their problems. This leaves us to wonder: how happy are Americans with their finances?

How to Reach Financial Happiness What makes people financially happy? →

Infographic of the week

Retirement Planning Mistakes

According to professionals, the most common retirement planning mistakes are time-related, like outliving savings or not understanding how inflation can affect a portfolio over time. The number one mistake? According to 49% of financial planners, its underestimating the sizeable impact inflation has on the value of retirement savings.

Retirement Planning Mistakes Charted: Top 10 Retirement Planning Mistakes from the visualcapitalist.com →

Serious Stuff

8 steps to helping children build good credit from Megan DeMatteo at CNBC Select

  • Start early
  • Teach the difference between a debit card and a credit card
  • Incentivize saving
  • Help them save early for a secured credit card
  • Co-sign a loan or a lease
  • Add your child as an authorized user
  • Have them report all possible forms of credit
  • Encourage them to apply for a student card
Learn more details on the best tips for parents trying to help their children build good credit →

Budgeting

9 financial New Year’s resolutions to set now and achieve in the new year from Alexandria White

  1. Save more
  2. Improve my credit score
  3. Create a personal budget
  4. Pay off credit card debt
  5. Pay my full credit card balance each month
  6. Track my credit card applications
  7. Check my credit score more often
  8. Check my credit report more often
  9. Sign up for a credit monitoring or identity theft protection product
Alexandria White of CNBC Select reviews the top financial New Year’s resolutions and how you can achieve them. →

Saving

5 personal finance resolutions for 2024 (that you can actually keep). If your usual resolutions are “go to the gym” or “eat healthy,” don’t forget that a mindful approach to money.

Saving Stress Test Podcast: Money management is also a ticket to improved wellness →

Serious stuff

How to donate to a charity with purpose and intention. Kevin Scally of Charity Navigator has some advice to help you make the right decisions. His group evaluates the effectiveness of over 200,000 nonprofit organizations.

Donating to a charity is a lot like voting for an issue you believe in — except you're voting with money →

Serious stuff

How to talk to your parents about their money. There comes a time when it's the kid's turn to take care of mom and dad. Here's how to broach this sensitive subject with your parents.

Life Kit NPR: Yes, end-of-life planning is a tough subject. How to talk to your parents about it →

Budgeting

7 Budgeting Tips to Help You Save More Money from American Express

  1. Know Your Income and Expenses
  2. Tracking Expenses Is Worth the Effort
  3. Pay Yourself First
  4. Look for Small Expenditures that Add Up
  5. For Bigger Expenses, Think Big Picture
  6. Track How You’re Doing, and Adjust
  7. Accentuate the Positive
Learn more from American Express about planning for a better financial life →

Budgeting

What is the 50/15/5 rule for saving?

The key takeaways to this simple plan are as follows: 

  1. Consider allocating no more than 50% of take-home pay to essential expenses.

  2. Try to save 15% of pretax income (including employer contributions) for retirement.

  3. Save for the unexpected by keeping 5% of take-home pay in short-term savings for unplanned expenses.

  4. You'll have 30% of your take-home pay left over for discretionary spending. That might include shopping, dining out or entertainment.

Marianne Hayes of Experian explains the 50/15/5 rule for saving →

Serious stuff

Author Tammy Lally encourages us to break free of "money shame" and shows us how to stop equating our bank accounts with our self-worth.

TED.com - Let's get honest about our money problems →

Saving

Many millennials and Gen Z’s have done everything “right” - they’ve graduated, found good jobs, are paying off their debt and saving money. So why is it so hard to live the middle class lifestyle their parents and older peers had at their age?

Saving Podcast: Stress Test by columnist Rob Carrick - Is the middle class dead for millennials and Gen Z? →

Infographic of the week

World Risk Poll: How Long Can People Survive Without Income?

In the wake of natural disasters or economic shocks, a person could quickly be left without income, which is why financial security is such an important aspect of resilience. The Lloyd’s Register Foundation partnered with Gallup and polled 125,000 people from 121 countries, asking how long people could cover their basic needs without income

World Risk Poll: How Long Can People Survive Without Income? How Long Can People Survive Without Income? Assessing Financial Security →

Serious stuff

Khan Academy has a great free financial literacy course. From understanding interest rates to navigating the stock market, this course breaks down complex concepts into easy-to-understand lessons that will empower you to take control of your money.

Khan Academy Financial Literacy Course created by Sal Khan →

Budgeting

Budgeting Tips - Incorporate only attainable income - Be reasonable with your spending - Keep an eye on your purchasing patterns - Regularly review your budget - Avoid using credit cards - Stay positive

Start building a better future with a budget today →

Serious Stuff

Teaching your kids about finances is incredibly important.

Here are 11 Financial Words all parents should teach their kids, according to Forbes:

  1. Saving(s): Age 4+
  2. Budget: Age 8
  3. Loan: Age 8
  4. Debt: Age 8
  5. Interest: Age 8-10
  6. Credit/Credit Card: Age 8-10
  7. Taxes: Age 10-12
  8. Investment – Age 10-12
  9. Stock – Age 12+
  10. 401(K)/RRSPs: 14+
  11. Credit Score: Age 15+
Forbes on the 11 Financial words all parents should teach their children →

Serious Stuff

How to deal with money struggles during a financial crisis:

Navigating a financial crisis can be overwhelming.

  • How do you decide what expenses should be prioritized?
  • Should you tap into your retirement accounts?
  • What about asking friends or family for financial help?
  • Should you apply for a payday loan?

The first step of creating your emergency plan is understanding your essential needs.

What to do with your money when crisis hits →

Budgeting

Building a budget helps you manage how you spend your money. When you control your spending, it’s much easier to achieve your financial goals, whether that is to save, pay off debts or simply live within your means.

Building a Budget: Helpful Tips for Students →

Saving

Investing against climate change - Climate change is a growing concern for many young Canadians, with some questioning where they should live, what they should be saving for and how they should invest.

Saving Podcast: Stress Test by columnist Rob Carrick - How climate anxiety is shaping small and large financial decisions →

Serious stuff

You might not realize it, but there is something called financial personality, and it can play a big role in your ability to handle and manage money.

How Your Personality Is Affecting Your Finances →

Investing

Investing Introduction

Whether you are new to investing or new to Canada, investing for your future is important.

Investing for your future →

Serious stuff

4 Common Money Philosophies (And What They Say About You). Struggling with your finances? Your deepest-held beliefs about money might be to blame.

Which Script Do You Follow →

Serious stuff

In 2021, 24% of people aged 15 to 49 had changed their plans with regard to having children as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most often, they planned on having fewer children or having a child later.

Family Matters: A new addition to the family? It depends →

Word of the week

Essential Expenses

These are expenses that are necessary. Another way to identify these expenses is to determine if they are 'needs' rather than 'wants'. Essential expenses might include: - Rent/Mortgage - Groceries - Utilities - Medical Expenses Unlike, restaurants, and entertainment, that are 'wants' or non-essential expenses and do not need to be made.

Follow every dollar - Track and analyze your non-essential expenses →

Infographic of the week

Visualizing the Hierarchy of Financial Needs

Behavioural scientist Abraham Maslow wrote “A Theory of Human Motivation” in 1943, arguing that humans worldwide are influenced by a “hierarchy of needs”. This theory organizes human needs across five levels, where needs in the lower end must be satisfied before progressing onto the next level.

Visualizing the Hierarchy of Financial Needs See the steps to creating a strong financial foundation →

Saving

Rob Carrick talks to Paul Kershaw, a professor at the University of British Columbia and founder of Generation Squeeze, a group that researches intergenerational fairness, about why many millennials feel like the middle class is dead.

Saving Podcast: Is the middle class dead for millennials and Gen Z? →

Serious stuff

Learn the 101 of financial literacy with a fun, dynamic guide that makes money feel empowering, financial literacy becomes a life-long habit that pays dividends.

Financial literacy 101 from the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education →

Infographic of the week

Visualizing Annual Working Hours

Comparing the number of hours people work in different countries can provide insight into cultural work norms, economic productivity, and even labor laws.

Visualizing Annual Working Hours Where does Canada rank? How do your working hours compare? →

Word of the week

Financial Literacy

Financial literacy is the ability to understand and effectively use various financial skills, including personal financial management, budgeting, and investing. The earlier you start, the better off you will be, because education is the key to success when it comes to money.

Financial Literacy: What It Is, and Why It Is So Important →

Serious stuff

Canadians' confidence in their ability to retire on time and debt free declined between 2016 and 2022, according to a new research report released by the Canadian Public Pension Leadership Council (CPPLC).

Research shows Canadians losing confidence in their plans for retirement →

Infographic of the week

Ranked: The Cities with the Best Work-Life Balance in the World

"While some careers can be relatively stress-free, maintaining a healthy work-life balance can seem impossible for many. The easy access to technology, blurred boundaries around work and personal time, and fear of job loss push many to work overtime, and fail to use vacation time or sick leave."

Ranked: The Cities with the Best Work-Life Balance in the World How did Canadian cities measure up? →

Word of the week

Emergency Fund

This is money that's set aside as a financial safety net. Depending on how much you have saved, an emergency fund could cover long-term expenses if you lose your job or with short-term unexpected events.

Start tracking your emergency fund today →

Serious stuff

"How improving your financial literacy can help ease stress in a tough economy. Brushing up on your financial knowledge can help to build confidence and freedom."

Managing money can be difficult for anyone, regardless of their financial situation →

Saving

If you’re looking for solid financial-planning strategies and information about the savings tools available, this podcast is for you.

Saving Podcast: How to crisis-proof your finances →

Serious stuff

Take this self-assessment quiz to figure out how your financial literacy skills and knowledge measure up compared to other Canadians.

Financial literacy self-assessment quiz →

Budgeting

You know a lot more about budgeting than you probably think. Even if you’ve never done any kind of household budgeting at all, you almost certainly already have had significant experience with it.

How To Make A Budget: 5 Time-Tested Approaches →

Infographic of the week

Charting the Relationship Between Wealth and Happiness, by Country

Throughout history, the pursuit of happiness has been a preoccupation of humankind. Of course, we humans are not just content with measuring our own happiness, but also our happiness in relation to the people around us—and even other people around the world.

Charting the Relationship Between Wealth and Happiness, by Country Does money really buy happiness? Let’s find out →

Saving

Without emergency savings in place, an unexpected car repair or job loss could force you into debt and derail your goals.

Saving Do you have 3 months’ worth of expenses in your emergency fund? See your scorecard today →

Budgeting

You know a lot more about budgeting than you probably think. Even if you’ve never done any kind of household budgeting at all, you almost certainly already have had significant experience with it.

How To Make A Budget: 5 Time-Tested Approaches →

Infographic of the week

How Gen Z Feels About Its Financial Future

Gen Z is an optimistic and driven generation. Many young people in this generational cohort are turning to entrepreneurship and side hustles as a way to supplement their income and build a brighter future.

How Gen Z Feels About Its Financial Future Gen Zers have a more positive outlook on their financial well-being than their millennial or Gen X peers →

Serious stuff

SMART financial goals help you identify exactly what you want and how you plan to achieve it. SMART goals are: - Specific - Measurable - Achievable - Relevant - Time-Based

Start setting SMART goals and track your progress over time →

← Curating the web to find the most interesting and helpful information about your money.