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Do you live in a pineapple under the sea?

Seriously, you have come to the right place. I honestly think there are MANY more people like you out there, but they are in the "don't know what they don't know" camp. At least you are starting to figure out what you don't know!

"Personal finance" is a huge topic. Perhaps the best place to start is to find out FROM YOU what you are most interested in learning. Is it...how markets work and all about investing? Is it...how to set up a budget to learn where your money is going and to see how/if/where you could cut back and save some dough? Is it...how tax affects you and how you can make tax-efficient decisions?

Now, I realise it may be "all of that!" but I suggest you start in one place and move from there. So, what do you want to know most? What kinds of financial decisions have you needed to make and you felt unequipped to do so?
 

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Ok I will just post here, I have two thread going because I didnt realize that it takes a bit before your thread gets posted, and I thought I had just not posted my first thread. So I made another one and have cluttered up the board. Sorry for any future confusion, but see I am learning already :D

Do you live in a pineapple under the sea?
I WISH!

Now, I realise it may be "all of that!" but I suggest you start in one place and move from there.
Well as I have stated I am have not been a big spender, so I have a fair chunk of change saved up, but it is in my savings account, which i was told the interest does not even beat inflation (which I dont know what the current rate is?)

So I guess my first step would be to figure out where I could put a large chunk/s of the money to grow. I keep hearing about these TSFA's but I really dont understand them that much.

I would also like to keep a "just in case account", I read that you should put enough away for to cover at least 6 months worth of bills. I have the money saved for that, but where should I keep it, just in the regular savings account?

I have created a very simple daily expenses tracking spreadsheet to see where all my money goes, and I have worked out a rough budget that seems to be alright for the moment. However I feel that things will change soon and I will have to revamp my budget to fit the current situation.

I know the very basic overview should be, work, save then money, invest the money, and make the money grow. But my working knowledge of banks, investing, and everything else money is very limited.
 

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please don't soap yourself down sponge. I believe you're doing exceptionally well. You're squeaky clean, one could say. You've saved some funds, you're not in debt, you're not an overspending addict, you already have a working budget plus an rrsp and a good basic overview of financial management, you want to learn, and you're still in your 20s. It all sounds mighty fine to me.

money gal & spidey have made important & valuable suggestions, so i can only back these up. Can you break down the vast field of finance into modules that appeal. It seems you might already have a toe in the "all about investing" water. Perhaps learn about tfsas in the same swim.

then spidey's suggestion, to go at selected topics for a few minutes a day, reading books or magazines you'd find at the library and browsing websites like milliondollarjourney or canadiancapitalist, is perfect.

one practical thought. The institution that hosts your rrsp surely deploys sales personnel in the field. Can you meet with your representative, actually sit down with him or her, and ask him to explain puzzling aspects of your rrsp to you. The firm should also have some basic introductory literature & probably has a good handbook on tax free savings accounts.
 

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Now I understand better. LMAO at the pineapple banter. :D But anyway, I am a huge fan of the TFSA. Humble gave you great advice. Rainy day/emergency savings needs to be a PRIORITY.

I am setup similarily to sponge. I have an excel spreadsheet that I update 2-3 times a month and monitor by current and future spending. I usually like to have the budget extended into the future 6-8 months. I figure out the recurring expenses and at what time of month they are due, then add in the income based on a regular interval, then the simple formulas calculate what's left, the next month appears underneath and so on. Just copy paste when I run out of months. This is a great way to look into the next few months and see how much I will have saved and when, which gives me time to think about how I am going to spend that money. It allows me to plan about when I can safely spend big chunks of money. You can set goals for yourself based on these figures. For instance, my goals for 2010 are to save $20K, of which $5K will go into the 2011 TFSA (giving me $15K in cash saved there by Jan 2011) and the other $15K will be placed in bucket #2 as monty once described. To recap what monty said, bucket or tier 2 of savings is less fluid than bucket 1 and will be used to replace my car when it goes, fix the roof or respond to some other big life expense. Bucket 3 is RRSP which I intent to get a little more serious about in 2011 once I am happy with the amounts saved in buckets 1 and 2.

How exactly to store the $ in bucket 2 is open for discussion and I anticipate starting a thread to gather opinions about doing that in the future. In the meantime I'll probably start to think about $5K cashable or short term GICs for that money. Not sure yet. This bucket is not one to take investment risks with.

Does this type of concept inspire you, sponge?
 

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please don't soap yourself down sponge. I believe you're doing exceptionally well. You're squeaky clean, one could say.
LOL I love the sense of humor you guys have here. Thank you.

Can you break down the vast field of finance into modules that appeal. It seems you might already have a toe in the "all about investing" water. Perhaps learn about tfsas in the same swim.
This is a great idea that has seemed to elude me for some reason. I guess my problem is I get carried away with just how many areas that I need to work on and understand, that I become stuck due to simply not know where to go.

Breaking it down will help alot and picking areas to start with was my hardest problem.

Does this type of concept inspire you, sponge?
I really like the way you jsut explained that to me, YES it does inspire me!!! I will be working on a plan of action, I will have some more specific questions in the near future.

I think I might go for a swim.

Once again I very much appreciate the time and advice you guys have offered me. I am very happy that I found this site.
 

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Oh dear. The Chum Bucket is a fictional restaurant owned by Sheldon Plankton, and located across the street from the much more successful Krusty Krab, owned by Eugene Krab. All on the Spongebob Squarepants show (I have two little kids, have I mentioned that? :rolleyes:) And...Spongebob lives in a pineapple under the sea!
LOL! And here I thought maybe that was the name of the 3-TIER savings structure. Though if sponge tells me he lives next to an octopusse's garden then I know we're in trouble. I am sure he can absorb it all though.
 
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