It’s Your Duty to Educate Your Family About Money

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Money is an insanely sensitive topic, especially when it comes to family. Even now, I don’t let my mom in on my finances. There are things I can justify on my Visa bill that she’d lose her mind over, like the $15 PS4 game I’ll spend 60 hours on. To me, I’m spending $0.25 for each hour of entertainment but to her, I’m throwing money into a pit. I guess we’re both right, depending on what values you grew up with. That’s why most families don’t talk about money. It’s polarizing.

To be fair, my mom raised me to be frugal, but since I was a rebellious teenager, I grew up to be the opposite, eventually plunking my sorry ass into deep debt not once, but twice. These days though, I worry –I– may need to step up to the plate and offer some guidance with the family finances. It hasn’t been a pleasant conversation.

My brother has money. When our dad passed away, life insurance kicked in and made sure he was okay. Mom took control of his finances because he’d never read a personal finance book in his life, and he assumed she knew what she was doing. He was wrong. She locked down a chunk of his money into 1.x% bonds. That doesn’t even keep up with Canadian inflation and is about as dumb as stashing cash in a mattress. Since then, I’ve explained index funds to my brother and why investing in equity is preferable at his age due to the compound gains. This conversation would be impossible with my mother, but I’m trying. She doesn’t take ANY financial risks at all, and suffers for it. Due to stubbornness alone, she’ll most likely stay poor. She also doesn’t believe he needs a credit card, even though he’s 23. Don’t get me started. It’s been infuriating.

Now, this is a HUGE problem for our family. One day, we’ll need to take care of Mom, and our only asset will be the family home, which will hit the market around $550,000 if we ever get around to renovating it. If, in her old age, shit gets squirrelly, that money won’t last long. We may need to sell the house. Potential solutions involve investing NOW with what money we have. Without divulging too many numbers, if my brother invests properly now, he’s looking at $500,000+ by the time he’s 65. Even without the house, he’ll be okay. I will be too, thanks to my 99-year leasehold, BUT HE NEEDS TO INVEST PROPERLY. None of this 1.x% bond crap our mother recommends. We’re also trying to convince her to take in a student because at the moment, she lives in a 4-bedroom townhome alone, which is just about the most wasteful thing I’m currently aware of. Let’s say she has a renter for just one room in the house at $600/month. That’s $7,200/year, and if she invests it all properly, she’ll have $100,000 more in the bank by the time she’s 65. WHY ISN’T SHE DOING THIS? Well, her values don’t allow it. Unless I can change her mind, her belief that family homes are for family only WILL KEEP HER POOR FOREVER. This is terrible because if she’s poor, my brother and I will have to pick up the slack. We’ll have to work harder and longer to take care of the family. Don’t get me wrong; taking care of my mom is a burden I’m happy to bear. I JUST WANT TO TAKE CARE OF HER NOW THROUGH FINANCIAL EDUCATION INSTEAD OF WAITING FOR THE DEBT SHITSTORM TO HIT US WHEN SHE’S 80.

It’s one thing to be financially secure on your own. It’s equally important to make sure your loved ones are financially secure. If your finances are directly affected by someone, GET THEM ON BOARD WITH PERSONAL FINANCE. This blog is a good start. Make sure they understand saving, investment, credit, interest, and retirement. Trust me on this. And if you don’t? Well, you’re gonna be stuck paying for it. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

Save The Earth, Don’t Give Birth

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As I write this, there are 7.4 billion people on the planet. That’s 7,400,000,000+ weird, fleshy things tearing up nature to make more asphalt roads, concrete buildings, and McDonald’s restaurants while simultaneously increasing their number to 10 billion by 2060. Do I think the world is going to end soon though? Not really. Stephen Hawking reckons we’ve got about 1,000 years left, so I’m not gonna preach climate change at you. I will, however, try to convince you creating a new human being is just about the worst thing you can do environmentally and financially. Financially speaking, I’m sure you knew this already, but what fun would this be if I didn’t give you hard numbers? Here’s some hard evidence why being a parent is objectively terrible.

Let’s start with the financial burden. I’m going to assume you have a kid at 30 because Statistics Canada says “the modern time frame for childbearing has become increasingly concentrated around age 30”. Raising a child to age 18 in Canada costs $253,946.97, so let’s just assume you did the smart thing, DIDN’T have a kid, and decided to bank the full amount at age 48. Using the ol’ Compound Interest Calculator I love so much, let’s see what happens in the 17 years between 48-65 at 7% interest with one kid vs. none… A DIFFERENCE OF $769,676.91!!! That’s PER KID by the way, so if you were planning on having two, do the math accordingly. Children really fuck up retirement plans, eh? So much for your plans of travelling the world. That’s diaper money now! But wait, there’s more.

Planning for children tends to interfere with other life goals. Where a parent might decide to spend their entire working life financing a family home they can pass down to their children, other options like 99-year leaseholds might pass them by, leaving their lifetime workload high and life satisfaction low. Also, there’s “very little difference” between parents and non-parents when it comes to life satisfaction, so don’t act like having kids is a type of joy only parents can understand. I, for instance, love that I can fuck off to Mexico whenever I want, and maybe that’s a joy only the childless can understand. It’s apples and oranges. I choose Mexico.

But what about the planet? Just how damaging is creating a brand new human by mashing together our naughty bits? The average Canadian creates 15.7 tonnes of carbon emissions in just a year, and over the average Canadian lifespan of 81.24 years, that’s 1,275 tonnes of carbon emissions we’ve got to worry about PER PERSON. That’s like 3,000,000+ miles driven by an average passenger vehicle, ENOUGH TO DRIVE THE MOTHERFUCKING EQUATOR 120 TIMES. It’s also kinda like converting 8.7 beef-loving omnivores to full-blown vegans. On a tree planting level, if you still think you can somehow make your kid carbon-neutral, she’d have to plant 33,000+ trees just to break even, AND THEY’D HAVE TO STAND FOR AT LEAST 10 YEARS. I don’t know about you, but I’ve planted literally one goddamn tree. It’s dead now, just like any notion I might’ve had about having a kid. Making a child is fucking insane.

Now, if you took the stance of saving the world instead of destroying it, it can be as cheap as $0.10 to plant a tree. With the $253,946.97 you saved from NOT having a kid, you’re looking at planting about 2.5 million trees if you put it all into environmental forestry, enough to offset about 75 Canadian children. THAT’S NOT EVEN A LOT. Remember how I said world population is gonna grow by 2.6 BILLION BY 2060? If they were all as wasteful as Canadians, we’d need 85,800,000,000,000 trees to offset that – 85.8 TRILLION, OVER 25 TIMES THE NUMBER WE ALREADY HAVE ON EARTH.

WE. ARE. FUCKED.

Ask yourself just one thing before you decide to have a kid: “Why the fuck am I doing this?”

Seriously! Do it! You’ll often find the answer is something objectively silly like “all my friends are having kids”, “it was my mother’s dying wish” or “I think a child will finally make me happy”. (News flash: It won’t.)

With the knowledge I’ve just given you, you can’t afford to play biological poker with your junk anymore. Your happiness, your financial security, and the fate of the entire human race rests solely in your pants.

Give a fuck. Wrap it up.

Wanna poke holes in my math? Do it on our Facebook.