Five questions to ask when you’re not sure how to plan for the future

    1 of 3 2 of 3

      (This article is sponsored by .)

      We can’t be the only ones who look back on our younger years and wonder where the time has gone. Back in the day we had envisaged ourselves married with kids and the white picket fence by now. But it turns out that life can get in the way sometimes. And you’re certainly not going to find a fence on a condo in Vancouver—that would be a waste of valuable square footage.

      But if you could go back, what advice would you give yourself? Perhaps your mom was right about that haircut. And you probably shouldn’t waste any more time with that person who broke your heart. And definitely—Start. Paying. Off. Your. Student. Loan. STAT.

      Yes, hindsight is a wonderful thing! But by asking the right questions now, you can set yourself up for a better future.

      Do you want to get married?

      Or rather—and since we’re looking at this from a financial perspective—do you want a big wedding? According to the Better Business Bureau the average cost of getting hitched in British Columbia is more than $30,000. And when you consider that you can place as little as $500 into a high-interest savings account or other low-risk investment—that’s a lot of lost income potential for one day of your whole lives together.

      Do you want children?

      The rewards that come with having a child might be priceless, but the cost of bringing up kids is far from cheap. In fact, an article published in in 2015 estimated that parents in Canada spend an average of $253,856 raising their offspring from birth to 18 years of age. That works out to $13,366 a year of additional expenditures on things like housing, food, and child care.

      The best things in life are free, but parents-to-be are smart to consider the financial implications of having children.

      Deciding to become a parent is a huge decision but considering the financial implications beforehand will ensure you’re not left holding the baby—and a pile of unexpected bills—when you have a family. And it’s important to bear in mind that these calculations do not include college savings or the lost income from parental leave.

      On the upside, experts have suggested that juggling life with children can also help you become better at budgeting. And the lifestyle change that comes with kids means you won’t be spending cash on the same things that you might have indulged in pre-baby. Goodbye fancy dinners and expensive drinks, and hello family movie nights in front of Netflix.

      Do you want to own a property or rent?

      The old mindset that you shouldn’t spend money on rent because you’re paying someone else’s mortgage actually might not hold up in Vancouver—at least not and an analysis conducted by Louie Dinh of well-respected blog . Dinh’s study looked at three properties around the city and examined how much money either a renter or buyer could make over a projected 25-year period. And it turns out that the return on your investment remains around the same—whether you’re a renter putting your money into stocks and shares, or a buyer with a bricks and mortar asset. Due to the high cost of property in Vancouver, you may not be able to afford to buy in the city. But the key, should you continue to rent, is to make sure that you are investing any savings elsewhere that would have gone toward a down payment and a mortgage.

      To buy or not to buy? That is the question!

      How do you plan on investing?

      If there’s one , it’s not investing. In fact, you could be losing out on more than you would be spending it, should you choose not to be strategic about where you put your cash. There are a whole range of  and solutions that can help you ensure you’re making your money work as hard as possible. Coast Capital Savings offers expert investment advice, but with a friendly approach. And right now, Coast Capital Savings when you join. That’s an extra $200 you could invest in a future you.

      Where do you want to put your money?

      When it comes to banking you have lots of choice and should shop around for a financial institution that best suits your needs and goals. One of the first things you might consider is whether you’d like to put your money into a bank or a credit union. While the products and services on offer are similar, the way in which they operate is very different. When you join a credit union, you become a member, which means that unlike the banks, decisions are not driven by shareholder profits. Coast Capital Savings is the largest credit union by membership in Canada and it prides itself on putting its members and their financial well-being first. Being a member of a credit union also means you can feel part of something bigger, since earnings go back into the communities they serve. In 2017 alone, Coast Capital’s members helped give $5.6 million to youth-focused initiatives. 

      to become a member of Coast Capital Savings and enjoy some of the great benefits outlined above, plus a $200 bonus—and put yourself in good stead for the future! for more tips and advice on how to make banking simple and convenient, while achieving your financial goals.