In January of 2015, I was working as an independent contractor in the music industry in Toronto and living a comfortable, but far from extravagant life. I was burnt out from the long workhours and started to feel the pressure of the “rat race”. It was all about the next job, more money, and how to work your way up the ladder. I hated it.
So, I decided to make a change. I sat down and started to do some research about some of the places that I had not yet travelled to. I made a list of places that I wanted to visit in South America and Southeast Asia, and started to figure out how much it would cost me to take off for 6 months to backpack in these countries. I started to aggressively save and came up with different tricks that allowed me to put more money aside. At the end of December 2015, I had managed to save $20,000 of my $50,000 income. So, I stopped looking for that next job, got rid of my apartment and left Toronto to go on the adventure of a lifetime.
Most people who I had met on my travels asked me how I managed to save so much money in such a short period of time. For me, this wasn’t rocket-science, but I am also aware that I have parents who taught me financial literacy at a young age. Most of it is just simple math. Have a dollar figure in mind, and then get aggressive about reaching your financial goal. It all comes down to having a plan, creating a solid budget (and sticking to it), cutting back on non-essential things, and prioritizing your needs vs wants. The Huffington Post wrote an article about me if you want to read more.
For many travellers, this kind of adventure leaves them broke or indebted upon their return. However, I kept enough money aside to move back to Toronto and continue to live a comfortable life in a very expensive city. It’s been over 7 years now and I’m saving and investing 40% of my income. I’m on track to be financially free at age 40 (only 4 years away!). I won’t fully retire (because I love my job), but it’s nice to know that I won’t HAVE to work anymore at that age if I didn’t want to.
When I got back from my trip, and after talking to peers and co-workers, I realized that there was a lack of financial literacy the Canadian system. And it’s funny because it’s something that we use every day. Why don’t they teach this in school you ask? Because we were all too busy learning about Shakespeare, geometric shapes, dissecting baby pigs, and memorizing the periodic table. Who had time for finance and any other practice skill that we use every day? I still have no idea how to change a tire. Thank goodness for YouTube.
So after my trip, I started a personal finance blog to teach Canadians about financial literacy. I wanted to share my personal financial knowledge with other Canadians so that they could also start to live their dream life. I was writing on the blog for about a year and working at a restaurant, trying to figure out my next career move. I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do, but my passion was very much in the world of financial literacy.
And that’s when everything fell right into place.
In 2017, I was approached by Enriched Academy to develop and run their financial coaching program. Enriched Academy is on a relentless mission to teach every Canadian about financial literacy. We’re partnered with employers across Canada who are providing our financial education to their employees. We’re teaching students in grade 10 and through college level about financial literacy so that they’re prepared with the necessary skills for when they graduate. And we’re working with everyday Canadians to put them in a better financial position so they can take control of their finances through the power of education and action. We offer in person financial Bootcamps, free webinars, and an incredible online curriculum that is full of education video modules, tools, and worksheets to take control over your own finances.
Our financial coaching program is an effective, results-driven program that is trusted by 1000’s of Canadians who are now one step closer to achieving financial freedom. With the help of one of our financial coaches, our program aims to provide a practical understanding of basic financial principles including understanding your net worth, managing cash flow, debt reduction, investment analysis, learning how to invest, leveraging equity, private lending, retirement planning and everything in between. It’s everything that you should have been taught in school, but now you have your own teacher who applies what we teach in our online curriculum to your own personal financial situation.
It’s an amazing feeling when you can take your passion in life and turn it into a career. With the help of my colleagues at Enriched Academy, I’ve built a coaching program that is making a difference in the lives of Canadians who are ready to make a financial change. I’m excited to work, and every day is something new. We are still growing, and it’s been so incredible to see this company transform since I started as their 5^th^ hire back in 2017. I’m right where I’m supposed to be, and I can’t wait to help more Canadians achieve their financial dreams. That’s true bliss.