We are soon to enter the third decade of the 21st Century, the year 2020. 20/20 is also known as hindsight – the ability to understand an event or situation only after it has happened.
As we have all experienced at one time or another, the benefit of hindsight is that it provides us with wisdom, learning, perspective, and knowledge of what we could have done differently or better.
Over the past twenty years, society and our daily lives have experienced exponential change as a result of technology. Most significantly this involves the expansion of the World Wide Web, WiFi connected smartphones, and our 24/7 global online economy.
If we use hindsight into how these changes have impacted the state of Personal Finance today, we can highlight three key things:
- Rise of Consumer Credit – in earlier generations cash was king. Today, credit cards are available to most everyone and are now a necessity to purchase many goods and services. Consumer credit, especially Home Equity Lines of Credit, have given households a very false sense of financial security.
- Explosion of Consumer Debt – due to rising prices, stagnant wages, pervasive and enticing advertising, and our consumer culture, people have taken on debt to not only maintain their standard of living but to fuel a desired lifestyle. Canadian households are now carrying a record amount of expensive, consumer debt.
- Decline in Household Savings Rate – since 1984, the year Madonna released her iconic song “Like a Virgin” and Apple launched its Macintosh computer, household savings rates have gone from a high of 20% — $2 for every $10 earned, to less than 2% today — below 20 cents for every $10 earned. It’s no wonder so many individuals have been compelled to take a second job, create a side hustle, or participate in the sharing economy, like AirBnB.
All together, the state of Personal Finance in Canada is very precarious and I believe we have reached a tipping point. The current generation of people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, aptly known as Generation Squeeze, need to do things differently and not in hindsight.
Fin$mart is the money mindset we need in the 21st Century
The first thing we must do is change our mindset when it comes to money. A mindset is quite literally a setting of the mind. It is a lens, or frame of mind, through which we view the world. Mindsets play a dramatic role in determining our health and well-being. What we think, what we believe, and what we expect determines our response. If we can shift our mindset, we can dramatically alter our personal and professional lives.
As a Personal Finance Educator & Money Coach, I believe being Fin$mart is the money mindset we need in the 21st Century. When we are Fin$mart, we are intentional with our money. We spend our money consciously. We take equal pleasure in saving as we do spending. We value anticipation over instant gratification. We align our spending with our goals, our values, and the things that are most important to us. We live within our means and know the difference between our needs and our wants. We prioritize. We research. We evaluate. We reflect before, and not in hindsight.
Will 2020 be the year you get out of debt? Start saving for your future self? Make a career change? Achieve an important life goal? or Help your children launch with the benefit of Personal Finance education?
Let’s make 2020 the year we all get Fin$mart!
Share a comment below about what you hope to achieve in 2020.
But before that, as a bonus to this inaugural Blog post, I am excited to share this interesting and inspiring TEDx Talk about the power of our mindset. Set aside 20 minutes in your day to view this video and Enjoy!