This Halloween season we are diving into the minds of well-known television characters to tackle common financial topics.
Let’s start with Mr. Krabs, Spongebob’s boss. Krabs is a busy guy. He spends most of his time running his successful business, the Krusty Krab. Anyone who knows him is aware of his love of money. Let’s see what he has to say.
“I can think of 10 good reasons to never let go of a dime.”
Well, Mr. Krabs, Holding on to your money may be doing more harm than good. By investing your dimes, you can grow your wealth. In addition, spending your money contributes to a healthy, growing economy.
He also told me that, “Money is the ultimate source of joy”
It is true that money can help you achieve the lifestyle you want to live. However, it is important to place just as much value on other aspects of your life so that you don’t depend on money as your only source of happiness.
Some interesting insight from Mr. Krabs! Our next characters are a beloved couple from The Simpsons, Homer and Marge Simpson! What wisdom to they have to share?
Homer: “This year I invested in pumpkins. They’ve been going up the whole month of October and I got a feeling they’re going to peak right around January. Then bang! That’s when I’ll cash in.
Market timing can be a risky game. These risks are amplified when all of your focus is on a single stock. Placing your money in a diversified product such as mutual funds and ETFs helps minimize this risk by spreading your investment across many companies and industries.
Marge: “How could you spend $4.6 million in a month?”
Homer: “They let me sign cheques with a stamp, Marge.
Spending money is easy, and is only getting easier. Creating saving habits is no simple task but the results will create outcomes that you will benefit from for the rest of your life.
Marge: “Homer, I’ve gone through seven years of receipts and you’ve spent less on gifts for me than you have on temporary tattoos.”
Creating a budget is a great way to keep track of what you are overspending on, and even what you could stand to spend a little more on.
Those are some great lessons to be learned from Homer and Marge. Now this should be interesting. Michael Scott, Regional Manager at Dunder Mifflin is here to share his experiences with money.
“Money has been a little tight lately. But, at the end of my life, when I’m sitting on my yacht, am I going to be thinking about how much money I have? No. I’m going to be thinking about how many friends I have, and my children, and my comedy albums. I mean, I have a yacht, so I obviously did pretty well money wise.”
It’s not enough to simply assume you will have a yacht in the future. It is important to think ahead to what sort of lifestyle you want to live in the future. Planning now will help you be financially secure later.
“I was thinking about doing some gambling myself. You know, just a little bit of money. Maybe doubling it, and then doubling it seven more times. I don’t know, kind of just for fun.”
Gambling can be an exciting activity to participate in once in a while and is an entertainment expense that can be budgeted for. However, when it comes to doubling your money, there are smarter and more effective ways to achieve this growth. Think long-term investing with an RRSP or TFSA.
Oscar: “You can’t just say the word bankruptcy and expect anything to happen”
Michael: “I didn’t say it, I declared it”
Your co-worker Oscar is right. Declaring bankruptcy is not as simple as yelling it very loudly. There are a series of time-consuming steps that come with filing for bankruptcy. Your active participation in the process is required from start to finish. It is also important to note that there are future effects of filing for bankruptcy. For example, your credit report will include a note about your bankruptcy for a minimum of six years after your debts are discharged.
And no fictional tv character post is complete without hearing from Rachel and Ross of Friends.
Rachel, looking at her paycheque: “Who’s FICA? Why’s he getting all my money?”
Your salary is subject to income tax, among other deductions like company health insurance and Canada Pension Plan contributions. Your company withholds their estimate of the tax on your income so that you don’t have to scramble and come up with the money when filing your tax return.
The amount withheld is just an estimate though. You may owe more or be due a refund depending on other factors such as making RRSP contributions and earning investment income from a taxable account. And please don’t turn down a raise thinking it will increase your overall taxes. It’s true that the higher your income the higher your marginal tax rate on the next dollar earned, but you still end up with more money in your pocket.
Ross: “I just never think of money as an issue.”
Rachel: “That’s because you have it.”
Ross: “That’s a good point.”
Just because you feel you are in a good financial position it doesn’t hurt to plan for future expenses, emergencies, and other unexpected costs. Your situation can change at any point which is why it is important to assess not only your current situation, but also future possibilities.
Last but not least is Sheldon Cooper, a theoretical physicist at The California Institute of Technology. Sheldon is a very bright individual, let’s see what he has to share.
“You know, it occurs to me you could solve all your problems by obtaining more money.”
Easier said than done, Sheldon! Depending on you stage of life, income can come from multiple different sources. As you get older, you want to rely less on income from your work, and more on wealth generated from your savings. Unfortunately, money does not grow on trees. It is important to think through and have a plan for where you will be drawing income from as your life changes.
“I see no large upcoming expenditures, unless they develop an affordable technology to fuse my skeleton with Adamantium like Wolverine.”
There may be future expenses that you are not thinking about at the moment since you are young. But if you have future goals like owning a home, raising a family or starting a business, It can be beneficial to prepare for these situations now before you are suddenly faced with them down the road.
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This information is of a general nature and should not be considered professional advice. Its accuracy or completeness is not guaranteed and Queensbury Strategies Inc. assumes no responsibility or liability.