Helen Taylor

“I encourage everyone in arts and entertainment to give the Financial Wellness Program a go. ”

– Helen Taylor

I thoroughly enjoyed the Financial Coaching Series by Credit Canada offered to me through The AFC’s Financial Wellness Program.

As we get older, my husband and I have been talking a lot about our future. Questions like “Will we be able to retire?”, “What if we have to take care of our parents or each other?” crop up more and more often.

We’ve both struggled with understanding how important financial planning is. We’re somewhat casual about money; we have a dog but no children and we just kind of live from paycheque to paycheque. This lifestyle is fairly common for those who work in arts and entertainment, I would say.

No one likes thinking about money – we’d rather just ignore it. For me, participating in the financial coaching course was the perfect way to really start looking at money and the decisions I make about it. The course looks at various areas of financial planning using practical exercises that are offered in a stress-free, non-judgemental setting. I really wish this kind of course was taught in schools – I think it would help a lot of Canadians understand that basic money stuff is not as scary as they think.

One of the exercises that I found particularly useful was tracking all of my expenses for a month. It opened my eyes to my spending habits and my relationship with money. It showed me where I could potentially save and implement small changes to make smarter money choices. Of course, I haven’t changed completely, but I am much more aware of how I spend money now.

In our industry people often think, “I’m self-employed, I live on a variable income, how on earth will I be able to save?” We think that we need to make radical changes to our lives, but educational initiatives like the Financial Coaching Series show that even the smallest changes and little steps can add up in the end.

The financial coaching course helped me understand what money means to me, to us, and what money decisions we make now mean for our future.

This course is for everyone. If you are in debt, it will help. If you feel defeated, it will help. If financial planning scares you, it will help. I still have to work at it, and there are many things I want to improve, but learning about money is not as scary as you think and is actually quite interesting.

I encourage everyone in arts and entertainment to give this program a go. We are lucky that we can access this and other financial educational opportunities for free through The AFC – it’s a great way to jump-start your journey to financial wellness.