Sponsored by EQ Bank
The blueprint for financial freedom needs to be rewritten. We have an opportunity to completely rethink success. We should measure wealth not just in dollars, but also in financial confidence. But, what does financial confidence look like? It’s a feeling of having a sense of control of your financial situation. One that gives you a stronger chance of fulfilling the goals that matter to you. It also means being prepared for the future. So, where does financial confidence start?
How Millennials view money
It’s no secret that the media lumps Millennials into a single group. But, as members of the largest generation, they have distinct worldviews and approaches to life. There are, however, some shared common experiences among this demographic, particularly when it comes to finances. In fact, Environics Research found that fewer than half of Canadian Millennials feel they have enough money to live the kind of life they want.
And no wonder, given the slowed economy and fewer well-paid full-time jobs. Millennials are shouldering a much higher debt load than the generations that came before them. According to Statistics Canada, compared to Gen-Xers, Millennials have nearly twice the amount of debt, and close to three times the amount of Baby Boomers. And, while Millennials are more highly educated than previous generations, those degrees have come with the high cost of student loan debt.
In one generation, the financial rules have drastically changed. But, there are steps that can be taken to find solid ground among what can often seem like chaotic, economic rubble.
How to build financial confidence
One of the best things you can do for your financial confidence – and your financial future – is to develop consistent savings habits. The EQ Bank Savings Plus Account offers 2.00%* interest every day with zero fees, no minimum deposits or balance, and unlimited transactions and Interac e-Transfers®. You can even divide your money up into different categories, or buckets, while still earning high interest on each of them.
Here’s how it works: if you have multiple savings goals, like bulking up an emergency fund, saving for a vacation, and maintaining a foodie fund, you can set up an automatic transfer that deposits a set amount into each of your accounts. But, it means sticking to your budgets for each bucket.
Practice makes perfect, so make peace with that fact that when it comes to figuring out your savings goals and budgets, you’re going to make mistakes. See them for what they are (life lessons!), rejig, and try again.
Smashing the money stigma
Let’s face it, the mere mention of the word “money” can make people shift in discomfort. In an era in which the veils are being lifted off many societal taboos, a shroud of shame hangs stubbornly over money talk. We’re taught to fear it, we’re taught it’s too complicated - all messages meant to disempower us.
It’s time to push past the taboo, and normalize talking about money. Disrupt it by talking about it – openly and frankly – with your partner, your friends, your family, and your colleagues. Speaking of partners, it’s important both parties are open with one another about their fears, feelings, and goals in regards to money. This is particularly important in opposite-gender households, where research shows that the male partner takes the financial lead in most homes.
According to Sarah Zandbergen, Senior Program Specialist at stnce, “if you’re sharing your life with someone, money is bound to come up. Our research found that 90% of women will be the sole financial decision-maker in their family at some point in their lives. Knowing this, there is absolutely no excuse to defer ownership to someone else.” Smash the stigma, and get radically transparent about your salary, your financial situation, your debts, your windfalls, and your savings goals.
Financial literacy is within your reach
EQ Bank – a digital bank launched by Equitable Bank – has set out to
accomplish just that with stnce, their financial confidence initiative aimed inclusively at all Canadians. What began as an internal program designed for Equitable Bank employees has grown into a grassroots movement with a mission to inspire others to confidently take control of their money. And, no demographic cohort is more primed to do this than Millennials.
While there are endless resources on all things money, many still don’t tell Millennials’ story. EQ Bank’s backing of stnce couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. Speaking directly to Gen Y, stnce.ca is an online hub of educational and motivational articles that fills in the financial knowledge gap. This includes regular content from financial experts, op-eds, an “Ask an Expert'' column, book and podcast recommendations, and much more.
Release yourself from the idea of rigid money rules, and find what feels natural to you. This way, learning about finances becomes painless, motivating, inspiring, and dare we say, maybe even fun!