Money Mindset | Am I on the Right Track?

Guest post by Nicole Putz,Certified Financial Planner, Wolfond Financial

Do you sometimes wonder if you’re on the right track financially?

A couple months ago, I had a client ask me just this.

How do I know if I’m on the right track?

For some of us, we’re looking for a number. We want to know what the average millennial woman is making, saving, and paying in debt to know (and justify) our own financial success. 

But let’s be honest, even though numbers help, they don’t tell us what we’re really looking for.  When we ask the question “Am I financially on track?” what we’re really asking is “Am I financially on track in comparison to the people in MY life?  How do I measure up next to MY friends, MY family, and MY colleagues?

My friend just bought this beautiful house, and it’s a lot bigger than mine, does that mean I’m behind? My work buddy travels to Mexico twice, sometimes three times a year and I don’t (nay, can’t), am I doing something wrong? I still have so much student debt to pay off, is that normal?

Today, I want to share this secret with you.

The only real (and healthy) comparison you can make is with yourself. And here’s why.

You will never know to the full extent what your friends have going on in the background, ever. 

I’m going to repeat that.

You will never know to the full extent what your friends have going on in the background, ever. 

As someone who gets to peek behind the scenes for a living, you can trust me on this one.

Unless you are physically sitting down with them, side-by-side, and combing through their tax returns, bank statements, and credit card summaries with them, you will never know the whole story.  

Maybe they’re in loads of debt from that big beautiful house purchase.  Maybe they got a huge inheritance from a grandparent and that’s what’s funding their vacations every year.  Maybe they sold weed all throughout university and that’s how they paid off their student loans so quickly.  

YOU JUST DON’T KNOW.

In other words, do not use your friends as a financial gauge.  That data is highly unreliable and frankly, frustrating. 

Instead, here’s a better way to figure out if you’re on the right track financially or not. 

Reflect on YOUR past actions and ask yourself, did I accomplish all the financial goals I set out to achieve?

Did I pay off that credit card I promised to pay off?

Did I start that monthly TFSA contribution I said I would?

Did I make that appointment with my advisor to get a debt repayment plan in place?

And if you didn’t, why not? What got in the way? What threw you off track?

Creating financial goals based on your own values and interests and then measuring your success against those is the only financial gauge you should be using.  Work towards improving your own financial personal best, not someone else’s.

Everyone is on his or her own path, and you are on yours. You’re not behind. You’re not ahead. You’re right where you should be.

The comments contained herein are a general discussion of certain issues intended as general information only and should not be relied upon as tax or legal advice. Please obtain independent professional advice, in the context of your particular circumstances. This article was written, designed and produced by Nicole Putz for the benefit of Nicole Putz who is a Financial Advisor for Wolfond Financial, a trade name registered with FundEX Investments Inc., and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of FundEX. The information contained in this article comes from sources we believe reliable, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy or reliability. The opinions expressed are based on an analysis and interpretation dating from the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. Furthermore, they do not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities. Mutual Funds Provided through FundEX Investments Inc.