Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Money

Ever since I was a little girl my parents would tell me to save my money, "you'll be glad you did someday".

I did pretty well saving my money.  I bought my first car, in the early 80's, with cash.  I didn't have a credit card until my mid 20's.  I had heeded to my folks advice that if I couldn't pay cash, it wasn't time to buy.  When I bought my first home, I had the down payment.  I find myself wondering, is this possible for my kids to accomplish today ?

I am instinctively imparting the same "Save your money" advise on to them. They don't do too bad, however, once they have enough for that big ticket item every dime is gone.  Kids today have little patience.  I am thinking it's a trend of society as a whole.

Every day we hear companies telling us to buy now, pay later.   Credit card companies automatically increase your credit limits every year, retail outlets have their own payment plans and the banks want us to utilize the equity in our home and investments to the fullest.  In 20 years so many of us have become almost totally credit dependant, impatient.

Working in real estate has brought the money issues to the forefront for me.  When I meet a new client for the first time we must discuss their budget and finances and not just the wants and needs they have in a home.  So many home buyers are uncertain where to start, so I become a pseudo credit advisor.  I am no longer surprised at how much debt folks have.  Car loans, leases, equity lines of credit, consolidation loans, RRSP loans and the current mortgage balances. 

We will scan available properties but I always send them to speak with their banks or brokers and then come back to see me.  More often than not, their budget has been amended from my first conversation with them.  The downpayment requirements and TDS & GDS has affected their purchasing power.  So often, home buyers have not even considered the monthly debt they carry could affect purchasing a home, or that those home equity loan payouts may not leave them with enough downpayment to upgrade after the sale of their current home.

Our credit poor society is starting to feel their restrictions. I have spent the better part of two years working on paying down my debt.  I still have a little way to go.  I have to say that no matter what the economy, no matter what great deals may be out there I wish I had continued to listen to my parents advise about saving my money until I could afford things.  I will insist my kids keep improving these saving skills.  *Hear that Morgan ;) *

Given the current state of the Canadian economy, which is so very connected to the faultering US,  I believe is uncertain at best.  The rising unemployment numbers coupled with rising costs of living has me worried for all of our pocket books.  So if you are lucky to have steady income, cherish it and  " Save Your Money "

Thanks Mom & Dad

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