Erin Bury on Leaving a Steady Job for a Risky Paycheck, Investing in Her 20s and Up

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What is the best financial advice you have ever received?

Pay yourself first. One of the first money books I ever read was The automatic millionaire, and it really underscored the importance of setting up automated bill payments and savings so that you always put your long-term financial health first. It really helped me in my 20s; I wasn’t making a lot of money, but even putting aside $25 from every paycheck in an RRSP allowed me to accumulate savings, which helped me buy my first property at age 29.

What’s the worst financial advice you’ve ever received?

To stay at a stable job because of the salary. When I was 23, I worked at a PR agency, my first job after college. I was approached about working for a startup, and several people in my life told me to keep the job steady, especially since it was during the height of the 2008 recession. Fortunately, my mom m gave the best advice: “You’re young, take the risk. What could be worse? That decision set me on the path to entrepreneurship, and 15 years later, my life is fundamentally different—and better!—because I haven’t [focus solely on] that steady paycheck.

What is the most underrated financial strategy?

Prioritize contingency planning. Now that I run an online Wills platform, I am very passionate about having strong contingency plans in place. I have life insurance, a will, power of attorney documents, a password manager app, and written instructions that my family or executor could implement if something happened. Most Canadians don’t think about it, but they should.

What’s the biggest misconception people have about growing money?

That the stock market is the only way to increase your net worth. I’m not a stock market specialist, it’s just not my area of ​​expertise. Instead, I focused on growing my net worth through real estate and entrepreneurship. There isn’t just one path to success.

Can you share a money regret?

I didn’t start saving until my early twenties, even though I’ve had a job since I was 14. If I could go back in time, I’d even save 10% of every paycheck and buy a condo in Toronto. in 2007 when I graduated from college and moved downtown. I rented a condo from 2007 to 2015, and when I think about how all that rent could have been used to pay off a mortgage, my stomach aches!

What is the first major purchase you made as an adult?

It was a pre-construction condo in Toronto in 2014. I was running a marketing agency that worked with condo builders, and while I was working at a launch event, I decided to buy one of the units with my savings. Luckily they were flexible on payment terms. This unit wasn’t ready until 2020, and we lived in it briefly before deciding to sell it this spring. The condo has appreciated considerably over this period, and I’m still proud that I was able to purchase it on my own and really jump-start my real estate portfolio.

What is your position on debt?

Debt can be used as a strategic instrument, both personally and professionally. For example, we raised convertible debt at Willful, and it’s a strategic way to raise external funding without having to put a fixed value on the company.

Personally, I think there are good types of debt – like home equity lines of credit that help you improve the resale value of your home or invest in new properties – and bad debts like credit cards. high interest credit. As an entrepreneur who went through periods where I paid myself nothing, there were times when I lived with credit cards. Bad debts are often unavoidable, but they should always be a means to an end.

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