I know it has been a good few weeks but thank you to those who replied to my question: Is financial planning easier or more difficult than 20 years ago?
No one said it was easier although we certainly have more tools to make it so.
Here in order of importance are the reasons why you said it was more difficult:
1. Advertising and media are relentless in their efforts to get us to open our wallets to buy the newest and latest. Somehow wants become needs.
2. The opportunities to spend money are endless and ever increasing. It requires almost no effort to spend thousands of dollars, all we need is a credit card and access to the internet. We don’t even have to leave home.
3. The attitude towards debt is too casual. There is less commitment than in the past to manage debt wisely. In many of the conference calls I participate in, Canadians’ indebtedness is cited as a risk to the economy. Canadian are more indebted than Americans were at the height of the financial crisis of 2008. There are many forms of credit which tempts people to apply. The most I have ever seen so far is 9 sources of credit for a couple.
4. There is too much information on financial topics in the media. Studies have proven that an excess of information can lead to decision paralysis and conversely overconfidence!
5. People today are far busier than in the past and as a result paying attention to their finances is a low priority.
Please remember that these 5 reasons are interrelated and affect each other. Other important factors you mentioned are the cost of living, job instability, and the high cost of post secondary education.
How can you overcome those challenges? Being aware, and giving your finances some of your time, and working with me will help you feel more confident. Also I recommend you keep track of your spending for a month or 2. Remember a part of all you earn is yours to keep.