Family Values and Wealthing Like Rabbits

Image result for dollar bills canadaFinance, investing, building independence through wealth – all of that is new to me. Growing up, my parents did not go into details about finance. We didn’t talk about money; it was inappropriate to ask personal questions about money; and you should save money because there’s so little of it, you don’t know when you will need it. Spending money made you feel guilty. Saving it made you feel like you were depriving yourself. Debt was a big secret, too. 
I remember tax time – my parents were especially frugal, even before it was the “in-thing” to be. They would sit at the kitchen table, and we were exiled to our bedrooms to engage ourselves into a silent and solo activity. No one could speak, and no one was allowed to step into the kitchen for fear of repercussion. It was a stressful time for all, and we were glad when it was over. 
Even though my sister and I were raised by the same parents, with the same lessons in life, we each took away a different attitude towards money. My sister, five years my junior, started out miserly – she did not spend easily, and she was very satisfied to have someone else pay for her. She grew into adulthood with similar values, but started to appreciate paying her way. She saved everything, spent little, and agonized over the decision for hours, before and after the purchase. 
I was the opposite. I learned there was a scarcity of money. Credit was amazing because it provided extra money when I didn’t have it, and I always had the best intentions on paying it back. I loved spending what I had because it felt grown up, and independent. I also thought that one day, we would have none, therefore now was the time to enjoy it. I racked up credit cards, defaulted on them, fixed my credit and paid off the cards, bought a couple of houses, went back to school, got student loans, sold a couple of houses, and racked up more credit. Had to do some serious credit work again, and start from scratch. It has taken me 20 years to learn the cost of credit. It took me fifteen years to figure out how to keep an emergency fund in my account. Yes, I was that person. 
I am now in my late 30’s… in fact, my birthday was last Sunday. I have very little set aside for my future; I have a Dave Ramsey beginner’s emergency fund in my account, and I have debt. I see the costs of interest each month, and vow to pay it off. 
(Spoiler alert: 2018 is the year it gets paid off, because I will be accountable to all of you! And I am counting on all of you to hold me accountable!)
I am ready to be an adult. 
I live in wine country. One day, I was driving home through wine country estates, and I thought, why do I have to give up my dreams? I don’t have to give them up. I need to recognize what they are, and work harder and smarter to get there. There’s nothing that says I can’t be a millionaire one day, and there’s nothing that limits my abilities other than me. 
This is when I started my blog. I didn’t know exactly which direction I wanted to take it, and the road was definitely the one less taken. I am okay with that. I realize the uphill battle I have, but I am ready to make money work for me, instead of working for money. (Thanks, Rich Dad, Poor Dad
Today I finished Wealthing Like Rabbits (check out my Financial Toolbox at the top of the page for resources). I was hesitant about reading the book, as I heard it was geared towards millennials, and 20-somethings. It is, and yet not. This book is written in simple English, and contained funny anecdotes and simple to follow examples that made me laugh out loud numerous times. In fact, the hubby stopped asking what I was laughing at because it happened so often.  
The book talks about realistic goals and making more of less. Life shouldn’t be about giving up luxuries today for tomorrow. It’s more of how those luxuries should be afforded, and which ones are worth it. It talks about how to pay off your debts, and how to get ahead without losing your head. 
By trade, my day job is working in real estate. I know what a mortgage is, how a line of credit works, and how to read an amortization schedule. I can manage rentals, give speeches on first time home buying, and anything else about residential real estate, and yet this book taught me a few things that I had never thought of before. 
My focus had never been on how to eliminate debt and make my money work for me. It was about doing what everyone else was doing: a 25-year mortgage, a car loan until you trade in that car for a new one, etc. I did not have the mindset to think beyond these everyday occurrences. 
I also did not know that I could be a millionaire by saving a quarter of that, and letting it compound over forty years while I built up that nest egg. 
I do not regret my youth, however I do wish there were things I had known more about. I long to know more about investing, how to get the best returns, what to do to minimize expense and maximize incomes and how to build multiple streams of income. I want to learn about passive incomes, and I want to share all of this with others who are struggling to find themselves now that we are getting older. 
If you are already investing, saving and driving a car that’s paid off, you likely will not gain new knowledge from this book. You will still chuckle, and hopefully you will be motivated to continue down the path you are on. If you are not saving, or need to save more, or simply wandering around in the dark, grab my hand and read this book. Together we can lead each other to a better financial place. 
If you read the book, what were your thoughts? If you haven’t read the book, will you? 



Canadians, rejoice!

The time has come! We finally have an app that does what the coveted Acorns app does for the people south of us. It’s called Mylo.
Mylo is a Montreal-based FinTech startup that has created the only app for Canadians that mimics the old-fashioned change jar….with a twist.
From their own words: “Mylo is a mobile platform that automatically rounds up every purchase that users make and invests the spare change. Then, once plugged in, Mylo uses its proprietary user transactional data and artificial intelligence to provide personalized insights and recommendations so that users can make better financial decisions. Mylo helps optimize users’ insurance coverage, reduce interest payments, maximize travel points and more.”
Mylo is a program that runs only on your smartphone. The program will monitor your spending on both purchases and payments. It then rounds up the amounts based on how you direct the program to proceed. For example, you pay $42.38 for groceries, and you set up the program to round to the nearest dollar. This saving machine will deduct $0.62 from your account, and deposit it into an investment account. Not only does it invest your funds to increase the value of your savings, the program will also let you know how far along you are on meeting a goal, like saving for a vacation or retirement, and there is never a time that you are not able to access your money.




What does that mean and how does it work?

It’s actually pretty simple. If you head to the app store on your phone, you would need to download the Mylo app. It’s free to download, of course, and available to both iPhone and Android users.
Big picture: How much you have saved. Congratulations!
See ahead of time what is being transferred. You can also choose to deposit extra to build up your account.
Get the breakdown of where you spent your money.

Step One:

Open the Mylo app, and follow the prompts. It takes about three or four minutes to set up your preferences and to answer some questions about your investing background. It’s good to know how much risk can you tolerate, are you a new or seasoned investor, and a few other risk related questions that will help the program and your investment advisor select the right investments to maximize your dollars.
(Don’t forget to add promocode BENDNEVERBREAK to get your first $5.00 free. Click on Account, Settings, Got a Code and enter BENDNEVERBREAK to collect your reward.)
See how far along you have come, and how much more you need.

Step Two:

Choose a goal for your account, like Vacation or Home Purchase, and the goal amount. You also establish the desired achievement date for that goal.


Mylo monitors your account for transactions, and rounds up the transaction amount to the nearest dollar. Similarly, where you would have change in your pocket, the program automatically plans to transfer the change to your new account at Mylo. If you signed up after May, 2017, there is a fee of $1 per month.

What if I have a limit on transactions coming out of my chequing account?

Mylo only transfers once a week, regardless how many transactions you have made. Also, all round-ups will come from one account, even if based on multiple accounts or credit cards.

Wow, now what?

Here’s the best part. Do nothing.
The funds transferred each time are minimal, so you don’t need to budget a set savings amount. The program checks to see if there is enough to withdraw the funds that week, so you do not go into overdraft. Therefore, money flows bit by bit into your savings account, and is invested.


I have been using Mylo for about two months, and I have been more mindful about purchases lately. Just by paying my bills and other transactions like grocery purchases, gas and debt payments, I have already amassed $45.00 in my account.
If you only use Mylo for the most basic purpose of saving spare change, you will be in for a surprise at how easily and quickly you can save money.
You can transfer lump sums into Mylo, and soon the company hopes to open up more options, like offering registered retirement savings plan (RRSP), and tax-free savings accounts (TFSA), to name a few.

Wait. So my nickels and dimes collect into this account, it gets invested to make more money, and I don’t have to do a thing?

Financial advisors still recommend having a portion of your income go directly to savings, of course, but this is a great way to put away money pain-free.

How do I know my funds are safe?

Mylo features complete advanced bank-level security. It’s backed by Canadian ShareOwner (owned by WealthSimple). Your funds are insured up to $1,000,000.00.

Why are you telling us about Mylo?

You all know I am on a journey to save more, spend less, want less, have more… and this is just one tool that I have added to my personal resources. I hope this helps you out too.

Update: Feb. 2018: I am still using this great program! There were a few hiccups when I switched from a major institution’s bank account to a credit union’s bank account as my primary account. As soon as I reached out to the service team, they responded to my inquiries quickly. I was so impressed with how fast and simple it was to work out the wrinkles, especially when using a lesser-known credit union. I still recommend Mylo to everyone!

Time flies when you are having fun

Ok, maybe fun isn’t the right word. But it’s been a busy week or two, and I look forward to updating you on it. 
I made a plan to stop paying bank fees. Part of this plan included the fact I was out of cheques. I know, who uses cheques these days? Me. 
– rent (I always pay by cheque – I have the most control that way, and I have a record of payment) 
– parking fee at work (I give post-dated cheques to extend the time between updating my pass and remembering to pay them) 
– A few practitioners require payment by cheque or cash, and I don’t carry cash very often. 
That’s just the ones I can think of now. Sometimes I pay by cheque when shopping in the States, and sometimes when I buy products from someone who has a direct sales-type arrangement. And now I am out of cheques. I have the option of spending $60 to get a book of 50, but I have decided that I am changing my banking ways, and I do not want to spend that kind of money on my cheques.
I decided to not go with Tangerine or PC Financial – I like having a branch I can go to if there’s trouble, and PCF is in the process of switching to Simplii, so I’ve heard. I have considered both as an option, but right now, neither were my first choice. I have decided to try a credit union that’s pretty big in my area. I have done a lot of work with them through my day job, so I thought I would give them a try. 
I seriously did not expect the response I received. 
I have a student loan claim sitting on my credit, and try as I might to get a statement, these people will not give it to me. So I do nothing, and I really should, but I really don’t know where to start. 
The CU decided that I had to re-earn the right for a chequing account, and show them I can manage my finances. (LOL) Ok. So I asked what my options were, and they handed me a “savings account” with no fees, no limits and no minimums. Umm… ok sounds like what I wanted in the first place! One hurdle – figuring out how to pay for rent and parking without cheques. They said to check back in a few months, and they would likely not have an issue with it. 
So, goodbye to my bank fees. I have until January 1 to figure out the rent situation, and April 1 for parking. I’ll think of something. 
I also started two new books. I started listening to The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck on my commute to work. The points in the first hour or so are clever. What I learned was: There are things not big enough or not important enough to give a F*ck about. Yup, sounds right. The remainder of it so far? I don’t know yet. Part of me thinks it’s just hooey. Part of me gets mad at what he’s saying because we can have it all – if we take it. I feel there are so many people who do not try to be their best self, their most authentic self, and for that, others can take their share. Therefore, each person can be their most authentic self, just perhaps not all at the same time. 
I have no idea if that makes sense to anyone else, but I believe. I believe there’s enough money, enough room, enough everything for those who want it. For that reason, I feel like this book is undermining each and every one of us who are seeking more. Life is full of abundance.
The second book is Rich Dad Poor Dad. It’s at the top of so many financial book lists. I have nearly finished it, so a more comprehensive review is to come. I am reserving my thoughts on that one for now, but it makes so much sense. 
I am ready to start looking at how to make money work for me, and it’s empowering. 
I hope some of these resources will help you on your journey, and I would love to hear more.