What you’ll learn:  Some of the best tips and tricks I’ve pulled from the latest financial books including the Millionaire Mind and I Will Teach You to be Rich.  (The ones that are super relevant for us on maternity leave.)

Reading time:  5 minutes


You probably all know by now one of the secrets to being able to read on mat leave is  the Blinkist App. I am a huge fan of it!  When the little guy is going down for the night with his bottle, I can crush a book in 15 minutes with this brilliant little piece of technology.

I am not Financially Intelligent

Lately I have been working on increasing my financial intelligence.  IT IS NOT EASY.  If there is one thing that drives me bonkers, it is how inaccessible financial advice seems sometimes.  In person, I am referring to wealth managers not blinking unless you have lots of money to play with in investments, and online / in books I am referring to the OTHER language.  The language of the finance world.  It’s like Japanese.

Most of my attempts to increase financial literacy have resulted in so much googling.

It took me about 4 different websites to figure out the concept of index funds, and find a site that explained them in plain language.

I want to bring to you some resources today that will help you, and will set you up on the path to greater financial literacy.  Maternity leave is SUCH a good time to learn more about finances, because it is a time where you are going to have to flex that muscle and run different budgets.  Why not learn more in the process?

My goal was to read one book or go to one website & enact one piece of advice that stuck with me from that book.

The Basics I Started With:

Canadian Personal Finance for Dummies

101 Tax Secrets for Canadians

–>  Both of these were SUPER simple rundowns of taxes & general personal finance concepts.  A great starting point.

The Two Books I Learnt a TON from:

“I will Teach You To Be Rich” By Ramit Sethi

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker

You know what, I totally roll my eyes as soon as books / authors / websites get into the millionaire / wealth / rarara stuff, but Eker’s book has some absolutely brilliant nuggets and had a nice life coaching feel to it.

The 2 best things I learnt from Harv Eker were:

1.)  How We Think + Speak of Ourselves Affects our Income / Wealth Creation

That we need to get rid of the idea that it is “rude to toot your own horn” and speak of yourself highly.  Most of us grew up with the idea that this is egotistical, unattractive, etc. There is being confident and there is being a narcissist.  You can do the former without being the latter.  Eker believes this has a direct impact on our wealth generation and professional paths.  He asks, if you were bought up to believe you are not special, and you are not worth speaking highly of, why would you make decisions and act like you deserve wealth? You wouldnt because you do not consider yourself worthy of being rich.

2.)  The Role of our Childhoods

Eker also discusses the profound influence that our parents’ behaviour and attitudes around money had on us.  Think of all those little sayings “money doesn’t grow on trees” etc.  We often initiate the same patterns without realizing it, because these attitudes are so deeply saved in our subconscious.  What kind of behaviour is going to result from growing up with a disempowered view of money, where money is totally in control of you?

The 2 Best Things I Learnt from Ramit Sethi Were: 

1.) Automate daily activities in your bank account.  Free up the mental energy and time for wealth generation activities.  Almost everything is automated in our chequing account right now, but Ramit offered a twist on this advice, which leads to point #2:

2.)  Run TWO Chequing accounts. (Further motivation to get our asses to a no-fee institution.)  In one chequing account, the paycheques and all bills come in and go out in an automatic flow you do not have to think about.  You do not have a debit card for this account.  This is the online account where flows happen on a screen.

Your other chequing account has a debit card.  It is to this account that each paycheque, you transfer your “budget” for lifestyle funding.  When the money runs out, you are done.

Sethi emphasizes that anyone who struggles with spending discipline or looking to knock down their debt can really benefit from strategy number two.  But the automation of activity number one is brilliant also.  If you can generate an automatic system, where the income and debits take care of themselves, with a bit left over to build a nest egg, then you only have to check in once in a while to that account.

I love this idea, because right now I run a weekly budget check on my paper calendar, and manually add / subtract upcoming bills to make sure we are ok and on track.  That is time I could put specifically towards wealth generation. I could spent 45 minutes running my budget or 45 minutes making 5 new pieces of jewellery for my Etsy store, which could bring in about $150 USD.  Huh.  Good point. Sethi’s book really gets you to start thinking like this.

What is next on my financial literacy list?

Gail Vaz-Oxlade is a celebrity up here in Canada with a show “Called Debt Do Us Part” – She has a pretty comprehensive website  including articles and TONS of downloadable checklists, resources, etc.  I love this resources page she has.