Welcome to another installment of IonTuition’s Q&A series with personal finance bloggers. Today we have Jessica Moorhouse sharing her personal finance advice with us.
Jessica is originally from Vancouver, BC, but is now living it up in “The 6” and has been in Toronto for the past 3 years. Growing up she dreamed of being a filmmaker, but after university she realized she didn’t want to live the starving artist life. Instead, Jessica transformed her passion for filmmaking into a passion for personal finance. She has been blogging about money for almost 5 years and has just celebrated her one year anniversary hosting the Mo’ Money Podcast, in which she interviews personal finance bloggers, money experts, authors, and TV personalities about their personal finance journeys.
What’s the best piece of financial advice you ever received?
Don’t spend more than you have. So simple, but so powerful. I actually learned this back in middle school. My teacher at the time gave my class a little personal finance session on debt and how we should avoid it at all costs. At the time I was a bit too young to understand what he was talking about, but it’s always stuck with me and I always put a priority on living within my means.
What’s your advice for those who already have student loans?
Make a plan, set a deadline, and get to work. It’s tough having student debt, especially when you’re fresh out of school and starting out in your career, but aside from finding a job, paying off your debt should be your main priority. Too many post-grads delay and make excuses, and they’re the ones who are still paying off their Bachelor’s degree at 30 and have paid thousands of dollars in interest they could have avoided. It can seem daunting, especially if you owe in the 5 or 6 figures, but take a look at what you owe, how much you make, and make a plan for the maximum you can afford to pay back each month. Give yourself a deadline to have your debt completely paid off. That deadline will not only give you some much needed clarity, it will also be a helpful motivator the closer you get to it.
If you could go back in time and give your 18-year-old self a piece of financial advice, what would it be?
If I could go back in time and give a few crucial pieces of advice to my 18-year old self, those tidbits would be to track my spending and start putting away what I could for retirement. Although I was very frugal when I was young, I didn’t track my spending, not even a little bit, so I had no idea what I spent my money on or even how much money I had. I just tried my best to spend as little as I could. That didn’t help prepare me for living on my own with a salary when I was in my early 20s. And although saving for retirement at 18 may sound incredibly young, the younger the better when it comes to compound interest! If only I had set up automatic savings deductions for even $50/month, I wonder how much I’d have saved up now that I’m 30? I guess I’ll never know.