The best financial advice I’ve ever received
Note: this post was sponsored by Scotiabank for Financial Literacy Month, but the views and opinions are my own.
For Financial Literacy Month, I’ve been asked to share the best financial advice I’ve ever received. Now, if you’ve been following my blog for a while, you will know that I believe in the importance of having a financial plan, as well as making both long-term and short-term goals. I used to believe that once I had my heart set on a goal, any deviation from that path was considered a failure. But the best advice I’ve ever received was that in order to be successful in life, goals and plans have to be flexible and adaptable to whatever life may throw at you. And believe it or not, I got that advice from a children’s book.
This book was called Monty Goes South, and it was given to me by my field hockey coach when I was 17 just before I was about to “fly south” to play on a Division 1 NCAA team. It’s a story about how Monty the Canada Goose (yes, it’s a Canadian book haha) is watching all of his friends prepare to fly south for the winter. But because of his very real fear of heights, he has not learned how to fly. He considers all the different ways he could get south (like driving, sailing, or riding a skateboard), but eventually realized that he had no choice but to conquer his fear. He ends up flying south on his own terms and in his own way (backwards). :)
My takeaway from the book was that I would eventually achieve everything I wanted in life, I’d just take my own path to get there. That message stayed with me through my field hockey career, and I still think about my coaches and that message of hope today when it comes to my personal life, and my finances. I know there is not just one way, or path, to achieve financial success. It’s about learning the different investment vehicles and creating a financial plan that works for me in order to reach my end goal.
I’ve achieved a lot by turning my finances around in the last 10 years, but it hasn’t been easy and it certainly hasn’t been the life I thought I’d be living by age 34. :) But whenever I felt down about being in debt, not saving enough, or even not achieving any of the life goals that my friends were all experiencing (like marriage, owning a home, or traveling), I thought back to that book … and I reminded myself that I’ll get all of the things that I want, I’m just on my own path and need to follow my own plan. Okay yes, maybe that’s cheesy, but it has totally helped me conquer any “keeping up with the Jones” thoughts that have ever creeped into my head. When all my friends were traveling in their 20’s while I was paying down my student loans, sure I definitely had a case of FOMO, but I knew I’d get to travel in the future. And when I felt like my friends were all achieving amazing things with their careers (while mine was going nowhere)? I kept trying to learn new things, and eventually found my niche.
Maybe you’re like me and aggressively paid down your debt. Or maybe you’ve got kids, so you’re tackling your debt at a slower pace … or maybe you’re 40 and haven’t started saving for retirement yet. Wherever you are in your financial journey, just know that if you create your own UNIQUE financial plan, you’ll achieve your goals eventually – you’re just on your own journey there.
So, who gave you your best financial advice? Head over to Scotiabank’s Facebook page and tell them about the best advice you’ve received for a chance to win $1,000.
Author: Krystal Yee
I’m a personal finance blogger and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, climbing, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.