I hope all of the Canadian readers out there had an absolutely wonderful Thanksgiving Weekend surrounded by loved ones. (And that you stuffed your faces with too much turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie!)
After being with The Banker for 4½ years, I can say he’s definitely taught me a few things, a lot having to do with finance and banking (what a shock, I know). So, here are three things that The Banker has taught me so far.
- A Tax-Free Savings Account is a Wonderful Thing
Before we really starting having discussions about money, savings, and investments, I assumed a Tax-Free Savings Account was really only for people who had a lot of money to put away, and that there were all sorts of conditions. Boy, was I wrong. There’s no minimum, they gain a higher rate interest than a traditional savings account, and while there is a maximum you can put in, I will likely never get there (not in the near future anyway). You can also choose if you want your money in investments or simply in cash. Right now, mine is in cash. This means it earns less interest than it could in investments, but I’m able to access the money easily if I want it. Also, since I’m really using it to save for the wedding and a down-payment, it will be there for the short-term and therefore, the benefits of investing wouldn’t pay off.
If you haven’t already, I highly suggest you open a Tax-Free Savings Account soon!
- Putting a 10% Down Payment on a House is Not the End of the World
I always believed that if you put any less than 20% down, you’d be paying for it the entire time you held your mortgage. I had heard about CMHC fees, but didn’t really understand it, or even really how buying a house worked at all. The Banker informed me that those fees are spread out over your mortgage term, and rarely add all that much to your monthly mortgage payment. While I still think putting at least 20% down is the best idea, if we can’t get there by the time we’re ready for a house of our own, I won’t be overly upset.
- Credit Isn’t Scary, and Can Actually Be Useful
I always understood credit fairly well. I understood what a credit score meant, how interest worked, and paying your balance is obviously the best thing you can do. However, I still only used credit when I needed to (or, when I worked at Zellers, to rack up points!). The Banker helped me see that credit isn’t scary. As long as you use it only for items you need and that you can pay off when your statement comes due. Credit cards can help you build credit, but only if you use them. This credit can be helpful when applying for mortgages, loans, or other products at the bank. You can also use credit cards to gain bonuses for yourself. Cards with travel rewards, points, or money back can have large benefits, especially if you track your spending and ensure that you pay off your card(s) every month. Take it upon yourself to learn more about credit, and use it to your advantage!
Hope you enjoyed reading about what The Banker has taught me so far! Look forward for more to come. Has your partner taught you anything valuable?