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Save Like A Pro: Q&A with Kirsten Waller

Kirsten Waller is the manager of our Chemainus branch. We caught up with her to find out how she personally saves to reach her financial goals.

What is your number one savings tip?

Have your money automatically transferred to your savings account on payday.

What are some of the goals you're saving for now and how are you saving towards those?

My goals are retirement, kids' education, and travel. I save for each of these by transferring funds to a specific account bi-weekly. I only leave in my chequing account my “allowance” for the two weeks.

For travel, I make a transfer to term deposits as it's shorter term, where for my children's education, I have RESPs set up to maximize my savings through the government grants, and for my long-term retirement savings I have investments with my Financial Advisor.

Further reading: Benefits of your RRSP | Guide to RESPs

What are some of the processes you’ve automated?

All my processes are automated. I personally find that more helpful. That said, some do find using cash more visual and keeps them on track better.

I also have some term deposits. They are only for cash that I don’t want to make a long term commitment to, so I am usually just looking to keep it out of my chequing account but not put into a long term investment like mutual funds. They are almost always short term or redeemable.

Not entirely sure what a term deposit is, but too embarrassed to say anything? Don't worry, we have you covered: The Complete Guide to Term Deposits

What have you done or what would you do if you had a large chunk of cash?

If I get a bonus, that goes to my RRSP for my retirement savings. Plus, it helps a lot at tax time! The last time I got a large chunk of cash was an inheritance and I bought a boat, but the money came from my dad and he would have totally approved. I also have a pretty large mortgage and one of my goals is to pay that down. Plus my kids have big dreams for their education. Any big chunks of money would go towards one of those things.

How did you first start saving?

My mom was in banking so she helped me a lot! Starting early with small bits that you don’t really see is the key. And you need someone to teach you. That is why we are so important to our younger members as they might not be getting that great advice from their own families.

Is there a habit that you changed that transformed the way you started saving?

When I first started getting paid, I started saving just $25 a paycheque. It was amazing to see how quickly that can add up without even really noticing.

Is there advice someone gave you about saving that has stayed with you all your life?

Thank goodness my mom taught me how to manage money and I am doing that for my own kids. My teenagers both have jobs and they both manage their money and their savings and they've saved up for some great things. My oldest daughter has a car and all she has is her learner’s license, but she set a goal and felt pretty great when she accomplished it. Proud mommy moment!

You don't have to build your financial plan alone. Our financial advisors have the experience and the expertise to help you create a plan so you can reach your financial goals. Book a financial snapshot and start your tomorrow today.

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