My Favourite Personal Finance Resources

It’s Monday! Last week I talked a bit about our love of YNAB and how we use this really simple software to track our spending. This week, I thought I might share how I started to learn about personal finance. Even if you’re not Canadian, there might be some helpful advice!

Luckily, I got a good start- my mom spent her whole career in banking, so my parents talked a bit more about money and saving than I think many others. From the get-go, they would say things like “seems like you enjoy this shopping trip/vacation/house, so you’d better work hard”. I knew I’d have to work for and save money, but the how was a little fuzzy.

As I got a little older, moved away, and eventually started practicing medicine, it became clear that my (financial) life would look a little different from my parents’. No health benefits, no vacation pay, and a significant cost of living (of course, my choice- they need doctors in less expensive places than Vancouver, too :-). Did you know that your doctor is self employed? In residency I started poking around for personal finance advice, and here are the resources I have learned the most from.

  1. Our accountant and financial advisor– I cannot emphasize this enough: get personalized financial advice! Every situation is different and advice tailored to your situation is a game changer. If you’re in Canada and want contacts for these people, feel free to drop me a note.
  2. Worry Free Money– I loved this book for it’s approach to managing money day to day so much I bought it after reading the library copy. It felt real and somehow also very readable, and I highlighted a ton along the way! Shannon’s new book, Living Debt Free, seems great for helping to tackle consumer debt, but full confession I have not read it cover-to-cover. Check out the New School of Finance Blog, too
  3. Half Banked– Desirae has a great approach and tons of downloadable spreadsheets and really got me into investing my money (say it with me: compound interest!)
  4. Young and Thrifty– I often check this site if I want a comprehensive review to help me make a choice. Best mortgage provider? Best credit card? They’ve got a list.
  5. r/personalfinancecanada– no need to get fancy here. I check this reddit thread every couple of weeks to see what everyone else is up to! Plus it’s an amazing look into real-life financial situations.
  6. Redflagdeals– just like reddit, I like to hang out in the personal finance forum on redflagdeals for tips and tricks, and also because people tend to post offers from banks or share helpful details, like credit score and interest rates offered.
  7. The Financial Diet– not at all Canadian, but generally applicable and sound financial advice that anyone can follow.
  8. CNBC’s Millennial Money and Glamour’s Honest Accounts– both American but helpful to see where people are spending their money, which makes me think about how I spend mine (and how I would feel if suddenly I had to share that info on youtube!)
  9. My friends and colleagues– I find it’s becoming less taboo to talk about, so I often ask my friends what they’re up to, financially speaking. My girlfriends from residency and I pass around our business expense spreadsheets before tax time to make sure we’ve all remembered to include potential expenses/tax deductions/costs. PS- happy to share if it applies to you, too.
  10. My Mom! (and Dad). Now that my mom is retired from her job as a vice president, she is way more available to give me advice. Want to ask her anything? Submit an anonymous question by leaving a comment here, writing an email or sending me a note on instagram and I’ll have her answer your questions in a future post!

Next week, I’m going to talk a bit about how we actually save money, including tips and pitfalls. Are there any resources you’ve found that aren’t on the list? I’d love to hear.

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