Saturday 5 January 2013

My Year of Living Cent$ibly

Where To Begin?

I am a self-employed facilitator. I have two children, an 11-year old boy and an 8-year old girl. I co-founded Cent$ible Students with Caroline Munshaw to help students learn to save, spend and share. I teach fitness. I manage the money at our house. I have lived in Toronto all of my life. I love a good bargain. I am new to blogging and Twitter.

Personal Challenge - Walk the Talk!

My year of living Cent$ibly is a personal challenge. I talk about financial literacy all the time. I have worked with at-risk youth, newcomers to Canada, students from kindergarten to Grade 8 and even delivered sessions at homeless shelters in Toronto. I have trained others how to deliver the curriculum in my role as a trainer for a wonderful organization called SEDI and the Canadian Centre for Financial Literacy I want to make sure I walk the talk!

The Inspiration

I talk and read a lot about money. I am passionate about what I do. Yet there are areas in my life that I would like to improve financially. Why don't I do it? Sometimes it is fear. I want to find a no fee bank account but have so much connected to my current account that I worry I might forget to transfer something over and miss paying a bill. Mostly it is lack of time. I am busy trying to build a business and manage a household. But I wonder things such as, do I have the best rate for my insurance? Do I have the best cell phone plan for my needs? Finding out would take a lot of phone calls and seems like an onerous task.

The Plan

Each week I plan to set a goal and write about it. One week I might examine my cable and Internet contract. Is there a cheaper alternative to my current situation?  Another week I may find a way to save more or share a tip I have discovered. I may also share some of the resources I use in my work, or comment on interesting articles and ideas.

The Potential Outcome - For My Family and Yours

Financial literacy is defined by the National Task Force on Financial Literacy as "having the knowledge, skills and confidence to make responsible financial decisions."

I have a lot of knowledge about financial literacy and am always learning more. I hope to apply this knowledge and use my skills to improve my family finances and hopefully gain more confidence about my decisions. 

I hope you will share this journey with me as I apply the lessons and advice I give and receive on a daily basis. I respect that we all have different values and attitudes around money, so your experiences and choices may be different. For me, that is what financial literacy is all about. Making the best choice for your own circumstance, but having the ability and the necessary resources to make decisions that you are comfortable with and confident about.

I hope that with me you can take some time to reflect on your own financial situation and perhaps we can learn together from my personal challenge.  I look forward to hearing your ideas and comments on what you do at your house to manage financially. 

One Final Thing

My mantra is balance. I may not always choose the cheapest alternative. I may eat out more than I want to as my family rushes from activity to activity. (I am a hockey mom!) Sometimes my choices may not be the best for my bottom line, but it is the best for my family - and my sanity! It will be this journey, this introspection, that will help me to find ways to save money and to understand more about the choices I am making. Are they truly the right choices... for me? Are you making the right choices for you? Let's explore this together!

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