Finding Your Financial Freedom
Many Canadians will spend their entire lives without proper financial education. With the help of Enriched Academy, an online financial education platform, Our House Magazine has collected some insight and tips from experts on financial literacy to help Canadians achieve their dreams, from homeownership to a comfy retirement.
Money. It’s virtually impossible to get by in life without it, and everyone wants more of it. But many people struggle to manage their money and make it work for them. And all the stats are going in the wrong direction. More and more Canadians are struggling with debt and get by living paycheque-to-paycheque with no idea or strategy on how to turn it around.
Luckily there are many resources out there to help guide you in the right direction. How you use the information to form a strategy will determine your financial future. Jay Seabrook is the co-founder of Enriched Academy, an educational program dedicated to providing financial literacy and awareness to teens and adults.
He explained that most people don’t even get started on a healthy financial journey because of some basic money myths like, you need money to make money or it’s too complicated to understand.
Seabrook suggested there are two key metrics people need to be aware of: their net worth and how much is needed to save every month to reach financial freedom.
Net worth is a valuation of your assets minus your liabilities or what you own and subtracting what you owe. While a general rule of thumb is putting away 10 per cent of your pre-tax income a month, Seabrook suggested the number may not be enough to meet your financial goal. You’ll need to create a proper budget to determine that number you really need to put away to reach your goals.
He added by getting a handle on those two aspects and tracking them on a regular basis, chances of getting to financial freedom are dramatically higher.
Financial literacy is something deeply personal to the 42-year-old entrepreneur.
Like most people, Seabrook grew up with very little financial education. That reality hit home after college when he moved to Whistler, B.C. for work. While he was surrounded by some of the wealthiest people in the world, he couldn’t scrounge enough money for a ski pass – the purpose of moving to the resort community in the first place.
Seabrook didn’t turn his fortunes around until he met a mentor who showed him a path forward.
“Life is a buffet table of the things you can do, but I was on the bread and water part of the buffet table, and I have no idea how to get access to rest of it. It drove me crazy,” he told Our House Magazine. “I wanted this better life, but I didn’t know how to get it.”
By the mid-2000s, Seabrook got into the ground floor of an upstart mortgage company in Dominion Lending Centres. He eventually invested in the company and worked his way up to VP of operations. Along the way, he met his business partner and Enriched Co-founder Kevin Cochran, who was also finding success at DLC. The two entrepreneurs used their own personal experience and what they had learned over the years to create the educational platform. Enriched launched in 2011, and short time later Seabrook and Cochran got a break with a winning pitch to the Dragons’ Den that eventually grew to its current online education platform.
Now the two entrepreneurs are busy teaching the techniques and tools they’ve learned to a mass audience. Seabrook was quick to point out financial freedom won’t happen overnight, but it doesn’t take a lifetime to get there either.
“It’s actually a lot easier than people think,” he said, adding the “biggest hurdle for most people is suppressing the instant gratification of spending in the moment”.
“People spend their entire lives trying to make money, why? They want a nice lifestyle and get to a point where they can enjoy the best things in life, but if you don’t have a plan, you probably won’t get there. If you’re really serious about getting to a place where you make more money from passive income than all the hours you put in, you have to start learning it. If you get clear on some of your goals, you’ll get there.”