Lessons learned concept with light bulbs

Things I Would Tell My 18-Year-Old-Self

The first thing I would tell my 18-year-old self: get a haircut. Oh my, what was I thinking? When my boys turned 13, I reached out to men in our circle of friends and family and asked them what they would have said to their 13-year-old selves. It was fascinating to hear their responses. It had nothing to do with money; it was all about building character, the importance of who your friends are, the importance of faith, and how each of these areas of life shape who we become. For this blog, I will leave the more important life decisions for another day and focus on three financial things that I would tell my post-high-school self. So here we go, my letter to my 18-year-old self.
Play Video about Things I Would Tell My 18-Year-Old Self with Vince Olfert video thumbnail.

Hey Vince,

Enjoy your college days. Heads up…on August 27th, 2022, watch your speed! If you don’t, two speeding tickets in one day…within an hour…seriously!

Anyway, since I have the opportunity to write to my younger self about things I have learned about finances, here are three things to keep in mind to be in good shape financially.

1. Make time to understand the basics of personal finance

Make time to learn the basics about budgeting, banking, investing (RRSPs, TFSAs, FHSA, RESP), real estate (owning our own home one day).

Photo of Vince Olfert at 18

Here are some great links to read with some good financial basics.

Budgeting
Banking, Loans, Mortgages
Taxes
Investing

The guides below will show you how money can work for you instead of you working for your money.

RRSP Basics
TFSA Basics

2. Spend less than you earn

Seems logical but this is sometimes hard to do when you are just starting out. This discipline early in life will reap big benefits later in life.

IMPORTANT: In first-year university, don’t buy your bed on your credit card. You won’t pay that off for another 4 years. Find a way to pay with cash.

If you are just starting out, here are some ideas:

  • Set a minimum of 10% earnings aside into savings
  • If you are living at your parents’ home and working – look to save 70%-80% of your employment income while mom/dad are still paying a lot of the bills
    • This financial slingshot won’t last forever, so maximize its benefit
    • For example: if you earn $4,000 net of tax per month
      • 80% = $3,200/mo which equals $38,400 in a year
      • If you earn 5% on this money for three years you would have $124,010. Not bad for three years
    • Keep in mind, these easy saving days don’t always last once you move out, have kids, etc.

3. Don’t fall prey to get rich schemes

If it seems too good to be true, it is. Yet how often we humans get suckered into the opportunity of “easy” money. Instead, make use of the power of compounding by investing in things that make a reasonable return and get us to the destination with minimal bumps along the way. When we first start out, we will work hard for our money, and it will sometimes seem like we aren’t getting anywhere. Trust me in this, if we invest in good quality investments early, when we get older the reverse will be true, our money will be working hard for us.  I see this now, starting to look at the other side of life.

The power of compounding

Here is the power of compounding at work. Let’s say we started with a penny…yep one cent…and our money doubled in value every day. Here is what it looks like after 30 days.

Chart showing the power of compounding by starting with one penny and doubling it daily for 30 days.

Notice how long it takes to break $100…15 days. That is halfway to the end. But look at it move from there!! This is the power of compounding; time is your friend. What is one thing you have on your side that your parents don’t have…time. Let’s maximize it.

There are other things that I would love to add for my younger self, but I am only allowed three financial things.

Oh, one last thing, VERY IMPORTANT! You will meet a stunning beauty (inside and out) when you are 20. You won’t be able to miss her. Marrying her will be one of the best decisions you will ever make!

Enjoy!

Vince, your older self

Picture of Vince Olfert, Certified Financial Planner

Vince Olfert, Certified Financial Planner

Vince specializes in helping business owners and their employees build and protect their wealth. With his years of experience, he understands the financial and emotional issues that come with managing wealth. He was highlighted in Advisors Edge magazine for his work with pensions and group retirement services. Vince continually strives to find new ways to communicate complex financial concepts so they are easy to understand for our clients.

He spends his spare time with his wife and kids, coaching community sports, and volunteering with local youth programs.

Connect Wealth is an independent financial planning firm that offers holistic advice to clients based on their current goals and future aspirations. We use well-established workflows and cutting-edge technology to maximize planning efficiencies while simplifying the process for clients. Learn how you can maximize your financial opportunities at www.connectwealth.com

Share this article

Recent Posts

Subscribe to Our Monthly Newsletter

* indicates required

Get the latest personal and business financial planning updates with Connect Wealth's monthly newsletter.

We value your privacy and never share or sell your email. You can opt-out at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the email footer.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices.

Michelle Jones

Administrative Assistant

Michelle, an Administrative Assistant focusing on insurance products and services, aims to provide high-level customer support and build strong client relationships. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Simon Fraser University and has been working in the financial services industry since 1993. Outside of work, Michelle enjoys spending time with her family, walking her dog, baking, reading, and enjoying nature.

Melanie Tessarolo

Melanie Tessarolo

Office Manager

Melanie entered the financial services industry in 2007 and joined our team in 2012. With extensive administrative experience, she ensures the client services team operates smoothly and efficiently. Melanie is dedicated to excellence, ensuring all team members have the resources they need to excel. Outside of the office, she enjoys spending time at hockey rinks, riding rings, baseball fields, or camping with her husband, young kids, family, and friends.

Lori Smigel

Lori Smigel

Administrative Assistant

With nearly 20 years of experience in administrative support in the financial services industry, Lori enjoys being part of a team and working with her husband, Mark, to support clients. She is organized and excels in building strong client relationships. Lori is excited to be part of the professional team at Connect Wealth. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, paddle boarding, long walks, and spending quality time with her family and friends.

Kathe Atkinson

Kathe Atkinson

Bookkeeper
Kathe joined our team in September 2015, bringing her extensive experience in bookkeeping and administration from the travel, legal, and accounting industries. She handles company-related bookkeeping and administrative duties, and also provides administrative services for some of our group clients, facilitating enrollment, withdrawals, and addressing member and employer inquiries. Kathe enjoys working with numbers and is dedicated to supporting the Connect Wealth team. In her free time, she loves planning her next travel adventure, seeking sunshine, and spending time at the lake with family and friends. Kathe is passionate about accounting, accuracy, and looks forward to continuing to serve our clients with excellence.
Eddy Choi

Eddy Choi

Administrative Assistant

Eddy coordinates account openings, transactions, and information updates, ensuring client inquiries are promptly addressed. With experience in various financial companies and a financial planning course from BCIT, Eddy values customer care and efficiency. She enjoys traveling, spending time with her mom, and working at Connect Wealth. Eddy finds satisfaction in completing tasks timely and making clients happy.

Brittany Potter

Administrative Assistant

Brittany is part of our administration team, coordinating investment account needs and ensuring timely and accurate communication. With over 13 years of experience in the investment and financial planning industry, Brittany brings a wealth of knowledge to her role. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, baking, and being creative through arts and crafts. Brittany is dedicated to providing helpful and friendly service.

Suzanne Jacob

Suzanne Jacon

Financial Advisor

With a successful management career at New York Life and Canada Life, Suzanne transitioned to financial advising. Her 20 years in management have given her a deep understanding of the challenges and rewards of financial planning. Suzanne is passionate about helping others achieve their financial goals and securing the necessary safety nets. She is actively involved in her community, mentoring young entrepreneurs, and serving on the boards of several non-profit organizations. Suzanne enjoys the support of her spouse, Gaynal, and her four-legged friend, Sunny, who handles public relations. Suzanne believes it is never too late to start a conversation about your financial plan.

Corey Barker

CPA, Financial Advisor

Corey is a CPA with a Bachelor of Commerce in accounting from the University of Calgary. He began his career in 2018 at MNP LLP, where he completed his CPA articling and later became a tax specialist and manager. Corey has extensive experience in tax planning, reorganization engagements, and corporate finance. He joined MNP Corporate Finance Inc., serving as a financial advisor to clients in business sales and acquisitions. Committed to helping clients achieve their financial goals, Corey focuses on areas such as tax minimization, maximizing shareholder value, and implementing succession plans. Outside of work, he enjoys physical activities and spending time with his wife, continually seeking knowledge to benefit his clients.

Mark Smigel

BA, BEd, CFP®, EPC™
Certified Financial Planner®, Elder Planning Counsellor

Mark is dedicated to educating clients and assisting with wealth creation and protection. He serves business owners, professionals, and young clients beginning their financial journey. Known for making complex financial concepts relatable, Mark is a valued resource within the accounting community. When not working, he enjoys volunteering, playing hockey, cooking, and reading. Mark resides with his family, serving on various volunteer boards.

Julia Friesen

BSc, CFP® – Certified Financial Planner®

Julia is a Certified Financial Planner with a background in actuarial science, providing her clients with valuable analytical and technical expertise. She holds a BSc in Physics, an LLQP designation, and a CFP® designation. Julia excels at helping clients develop plans that align with their values and achieve their goals. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, spending time with friends, playing and writing music, and connecting with her husband and three children. Julia looks forward to continuing to add value for her clients and supporting the team at Connect Wealth.

Joey San

Financial Advisor

Having been in the financial planning industry since 1990, Joey specializes in Risk Management and Estate Planning. He holds a Life and Segregated Funds License and has extensive field experience. Joey joined Connect Wealth in 2019 to work with his daughter Cassandra, creating the ultimate father/daughter team. Born in Fiji and relocated to Canada at 12, Joey is married to his high school sweetheart, Rita. They have three children and a grandson, Trysten. In his spare time, Joey enjoys golfing, fishing, and spending time with his grandson. Joey is passionate about providing clients with the best financial advice.

Vince Olfert

MBA, CIM, CFP® – Certified Financial Planner®

Vince specializes in helping business owners and their employees build and protect their wealth. With his years of experience, he understands the financial and emotional issues that come with managing wealth. He was highlighted in Advisors Edge magazine for his work with pensions and group retirement services. Vince continually strives to find new ways to communicate complex financial concepts so they are easy to understand for our clients.

He spends his spare time with his wife and kids, coaching community sports, and volunteering with local youth programs.

Cassandra San

Financial Advisor

Cassandra, a financial advisor at Connect Wealth, focuses on risk management planning. Cassandra started in the financial industry in 2016, when she joined her dad’s practice. Cassandra enjoys working with family and small businesses, appreciating the professional and supportive environment at Connect Wealth. She holds a Business degree from the University of Idaho and is pursuing her CFP designation. Recently, Cassandra became a new mom, and she and her husband Alvin spend most of their time chasing their son, Trysten.

Mike Erickson

Mike Erickson

Qualified Associate Financial Planner™

Mike, who joined Connect Wealth in 2013, has a natural ability to connect with clients on both professional and personal levels. He entered the financial planning industry to give clients the confidence they need for their financial futures. Mike oversees the Group Retirement Plan Division, working with companies of all sizes and assisting clients in both saving for retirement and managing decumulation. A graduate of Trinity Western University’s School of Business, Mike holds multiple designations including LLQP and QAFP®. Outside of work, he enjoys coaching his sons’ baseball teams, spending family days at the beach, and volunteering in his community. Mike resides in Abbotsford, BC, with his wife Amy and their two boys.

Vince Olfert

MBA, CIM, CFP® – Certified Financial Planner®

Vince specializes in helping business owners and their employees build and protect their wealth. With extensive experience, he understands the financial and emotional challenges of managing wealth. Vince has been highlighted in Advisor’s Edge magazine for his work with pensions and group retirement services. He continually strives to make complex financial concepts easy to understand for clients. In his spare time, Vince enjoys spending time with his family, coaching community sports, and volunteering with local youth programs.