Figure #1: Canadian bloggers to follow in 2017
In one of my recent posts, I provided a guide on how to improve your financial health and recommended a few personal finance bloggers that I personally followed and learned quite a bit of personal finance concepts from their unique perspectives. Each personal finance blogger shared their unique stories and approaches on how to build personal wealth and financial freedom. They come from different walks of life, professions, and financial backgrounds, but they all have one common goal – to achieve financial freedom as soon as possible and in their own terms. Since I am a Canadian and I want to show the average Canadians how to build a sound and secured financial future, I am going to introduce a list of Canadian Personal Finance bloggers/enthusiasts that you can follow to improve your personal finance in 2017 and beyond. From reading their blog posts, I can categorize them into the following areas: frugal and high savings, goals and budgets oriented, Debt-free living, investing and all around balanced approach. So without further adieu, let’s see who’s on the list.
Figure #2: Frugal And High Savings
Frugal And High Savings
This philosophy emphasizes on living within one’s mean and saving as much of one’s income as possible. Finding great deals and paying less for everything without sacrificing much in terms of quality is the lifestyle. This is a great way to keep more of your money, spending wisely and saving diligently. I know a few bloggers that are able to save about 50% to 70% of their pay cheques. This is what I call discipline and keep more of your money in your pocket. Here are the bloggers that I would recommend in this category:
How To Save Money – Stephen Weyman is a 34-year-old family man with two kids, who loves to provide Canadians with different ways to save money. He often emphasizes that Canadians need to be selective and smart with their spending. He believes that everyone can achieve their financial goals while living better and experiencing more of the good things life has to offer by saving money without curing back. Discipline and superior knowledge are all it takes to get it done. Here are five of Stephen’s best reads:
- Your Free Money – 14 Ways To Claim It Now
- Eating Out At Restaurants: The Ultimate Guide To Spending Less
- A Complete Guide To Price Matching In Canada
- 11 Signs Your Financial Advisor Is Robbing You Blind (And How To Stop It!)
- The Best Cash Back Websites For Canadians
Million Dollar Journey – FugalTrader, a married Canadian (with 2 young children) who was born, raised and currently resides in Eastern Canada. He began investing in mutual funds when he was 16 years old and the passion for finance grew from there. When he graduated from University (he was 23), he started getting more serious about the stock market and real estate investing. Starting with a net worth of $200,000 in 2006, he grew his net worth to a million dollar by the time he was 35 (end of 2014). If you want to learn to save a million bucks, he’s definitely worth following. Here are his five best posts that I recommend:
- The Best of Million Dollar Journey: 2016 Edition!
- How to Improve Your Credit Score
- How to Save Money – 28 Ways to Save Money (2016)
- How Much Do You Need to Save for Early Retirement?
- One Year After – A Financial Freedom Update – August 2015
Figure #3: Goals And Budget Oriented
Goals And Budgets
If you are organized and like to follow a systematic way to manage your money, you’ll love the goals and budgets bloggers. They are the masters of setting saving and spending goals on a monthly, quarterly or annually basis and adhering to it. Every item on their personal finance budget is tracked, scrutinized and evaluated for the purpose of maximizing their net worth. It’s a great way to track your progress over time as you’ll have historical data to compare to and to set future goals – S.M.A.R.T goals. Here are the bloggers that I would recommend in this category:
Give Me Back My Five Bucks – Krystal Yee, a personal finance blogger and marketing professional based in Vancouver, British Columbia. One of the most expensive cities to live in Canada. She’s a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of “The Beginner’s Guide To Saving And Investing”, and the co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. She’s a master budgeter, who’s very open, transparent and honest about her budgets. Every month, she’ll post her budgets and discusses the progress that she made toward achieving her financial goals and reflect on the goals that she did not achieve. If budgeting is your thing, you’ll want to check out some of her best reads below:
- Frugal vs. Cheap
- Creating a bare-bones budget
- Can you feed yourself for $100/month?
- When is it okay to use your emergency fund?
- How I saved 50% of my income in 2016
Canadian Budget Binder – A blogger goes by the alias CBB, who’s from the UK and now he’s a permanent resident in Canada and he loves life in Ontario. He bought his first house at the age of 21 and his second house at the age of 24. He’s always been fascinated with personal finance, learning how to make money and watch it grow while combating debts along the way. He’s now mortgage and debt free under the age of 40, just five years after purchasing his home. This is all done with a masterful and disciplined budget. I guess there’s a reason why he goes by the Canadian Budget Binder alias. Here are his top five posts:
- 6 Eye-Opening Strategies To Help Transition You Into A Budget Master : Our December 2016 Budget Update
- Finances In The New Year + New Budget = Success Formula
- My Best Financial Tip
- This Simple Living Concept Allows Us To Save Thousands
- Saving for retirement on a lower-income
Figure #4: Debt-Free Living
To be financially independent is to be debt-free. This philosophy is to accelerate the repayment of one’s debt by aggressively eliminating one’s high-interest consumer debt and aggressively pay off one’s long-term mortgage debt. By paying off debt faster, one pays less interest to financial institutions and keep more of one’s hard-earned money. In addition, the interest rate on the long-term mortgage is the guaranteed rate of return. There’s not a lot of things in life that are guaranteed – except for death and taxes. Here are the bloggers that I would recommend in this category:
Sean Cooper is a personal finance journalist, consultant and speaker. He’s currently living a debt-free live in Toronto, Ontario as he had paid off his mortgage in about three years. He achieved this debt-free goal by renting out part of his house to make extra income, working on side hustles, free lance writing, living within his means and riding his bike to work. If mortgage free living or burning down your mortgage is your cup of tea, then Sean’s blog will be worth while for you to check it out. Here’s five of his posts that I find quite interesting:
- The New Mortgage Rules: Why First-Time Home buyers Shouldn’t Throw in the Towel
- Why the Home ownership Dream is Still Alive and Well
- It’s Taking Twice As Long to Save For a Home Because We’re Buying Bigger Houses
- How to Save for Retirement and Pay Down Your Mortgage
- Why Millennials Should Save Their Down Payment and Not Rely on the Bank of Mom and Dad
Millennial Revolution – A young millionaire couple (FIRECracker and Wanderer) with no kids, who go against the home ownership crowd by renting their home and investing the rest of their income into the stock market. During the summer of 2016, they were featured in a CBC News article, which depicted them as a smart couple that became millionaires and retired in their early 30’s to travel the world on their $40,000 budget per year. If home ownership is not your cup of tea, you prefer to live debt free and travel, these two bloggers may stir your interest. Here are five of their posts that may interest you:
- How to Become Financially Independent by Traveling
- Million Dollar House? Or Million Dollar Prison?
- Let the Government Fund Your Retirement
- Disowned For Being A Millionaire: Why I Still Won’t Buy A House
- How to Pay No Tax on Your Investments
Figure #5: Investing
To grow one’s savings is to invest one’s money into income producing assets and compound those earnings. The three most popular ways to invest are buying fix income vehicles such as bonds or preferred shares, common stocks or real estates. This method requires the individual to first invest in oneself by acquiring the knowledge in the area that one wants to invest in. Secondly, formulating an investing strategy to manage one’s asset and money. In order to succeed with this philosophy, it’s best to know one’s risk tolerance and to only invest in assets that one truly knows. Here are the bloggers that I would recommend in this category:
My Own Advisor – Mark Seed is a personal finance and investing blog dedicated to chronicling his journey to financial independence. Personal finance and investing is a growing passion of his and he will be using his blog to post his thoughts, opinions and journey to financial freedom by being his own amateur financial advisor. His plan is to grow his investment portfolio to over $1 million to fund an early retirement. If you are interested to learn about savings, investing, travel, tax and insurance tips, he’ll be your go to person. Check out some of his posts below:
- Life insurance that rewards you for healthy living
- Year end tax tips and financial housekeeping
- Six years ago – switching from mutual funds to ETFs
- Top Canadian Dividend ETFs for your portfolio – 2016
- How to start investing in dividend paying stocks
Ed Rempel – A financial blogger and a CFP Professional with a ton of real life financial planning experience. He is passionate about writing and driven to share his insights. He sees things differently. He sees from experience what does and what doesn’t make people successful with their money. Ed is also a fee-only financial planner that has seen the complete finances of thousands of Canadians. If you want to learn how to invest from a professional who had helped more than 600 clients to date, give him a try. Here are his best five posts:
- “Your Home is the Best Investment” – True or False?
- Self-Made Dividends – Dividend Investing Perfected
- Why Don’t Most Financial Planners Plan Finances?
- 2 Things You Must Focus on to Be Financially Secure
- Are you “Smart Money” or “Dumb Money”?
Figure #6: All Around Balanced Approach
All Around Balanced Approach
This philosophy is to incorporate the best of other strategies to fit one’s skill set, needs, and knowledge. One of the more time consuming and challenging philosophies to implement. It’s also the most rewarding. It requires continuous learning, exploration of new ideas and customizing it to maximize one’s net worth. With more time and effort being spent, the potential for increasing one’s wealth is only limited by what one is willing to try. (Just a caveat: this strategy is not for everyone.) Here are the bloggers that I would recommend in this category:
Canadian Finance Blog – Tom Drake, a Financial Analyst for a major grocery retailer in Alberta, Canada. he started his personal finance blog back in 2009 to share his money experiments. His background in budgeting and knowing the ins and outs of the grocery industry have helped him learn about how money works, and the financial changes he has been through since 2008 have provided plenty for him to write about. He made use of a re-advanceable mortgage and used the Smith Maneuver to reduce his non-deductible mortgage and increase his investments. These are some of the interesting — and Canada specific — financial experiments he write about on his blog in an effort to share money hacks that can help Canadians better their financial situation. Here are his best five posts:
- Increase Your Income by Starting a Home Business
- Where to Find Sources of Extra Income
- Want Your Kids to Manage Money Well? Teach Them
- Really Want to Save Money? Pay Yourself First
- What is Your Effective Tax Rate?
I Saved $5K – Leo T. Ly, a Canadian personal finance enthusiast and a Realtor living in Markham, Ontario. I built a net worth of a million dollar over a ten year period. I did it by being a disciplined saver, taking advantage of income tax rules, borrowing money to invest rather than for consumption, taking free money from employers and governments, and building extra passive income sources. After achieving the million dollar mark, I am now embarking on a second journey (Freedom 48) to make my second million dollar so I can achieve Financial Freedom at the age of 48. Here are five of my favorite posts:
- How I get pay when borrowing money from the bank
- How to build access to a $100,000 emergency fund with $0 locked up
- How I earned a 72% return on my saving the easy way
- How to buy an investment property: step-by-step
- Part 1: How To Improve Your Financial Health
My two cents
Regardless of which blogger that you choose to follow, you may choose one or two or all. You will definitely gain a wealthy amount of financial knowledge. You can, in turn, use that knowledge to help increase your wealth. The key takeaway is that there are no right or wrong methods. You don’t have to settle on one or two, just do what fits your needs and capability. As Warren Buffett said, “The more you learn, the more you’ll earn.” Okay, now it’s time for you to click one of my five posts and start learning and earning.