On Thursday the Guelph Humber Business Council (GHBC) held their 2nd annual Personal Finance Crash Course to help educate students on managing their finances on Thursday. 

This seminar was led by secondary school business teacher Lucio Marcantonio, who had worked as a loan officer for fourteen years. Marcantonio admits through his experience he has seen how students often struggle when attempting to balance their finances.

The common mistake students make when it comes to saving money, is that they often pay for immediate bills first or spend their money on leisure activities before setting aside money for themselves.

“They don’t pay themselves first. Pay yourself first by putting aside some money every month for yourself and stash it for years,” said Marcantonio.

“You’ll see it grow and be pleasantly surprised after 10 years how much money you’re able to save.”

When asked what is the secret to making the most of your money, Marcantonio suggested three rules.

“Pay yourself first, maximize your RSPs and pay off your debt. In Canada you might not be working with an employer that has a pension plan, so you have to create your own pension plan and that’s through an RSP,” Marcantonio said.

“Paying off your debt makes sense because you then have the flexibility to do whatever you want later in life.”

Not only are students suggested to follow these rules but they should also remind themselves of two important values. Patience and persistence. When it comes to saving money, Marcantonio says students must be patient and persistent in understanding it will take a few years to see growth.

Marcantonio wants to encourage students to discuss their finance issues openly to avoid conflict, saying “parents won’t talk about it with their kids, because they don’t want the kids to get worried and stressed out.”

“There is a stigma towards it and that’s a shame because you want to deal with it so that you don’t have to stress yourself out or stress anyone else about it. But get advice, get help, go to your banker.”

Vice President of Activity, Shubhika Bawa, says the GHBC has many more events to come for Guelph Humber students. Including a networking seminar to prepare students for potential internships and an instructional course on how to prepare for tax season.

Those interested in more information about upcoming events by the GHBC or how to join the society, contact via ghbc@guelphhumber.ca or by following their Instagram or Facebook page.

Image of stock photo from Alys Tomlinson/Getty Images.

Written by Melissa Lopez-Martinez

Melissa Lopez-Martinez is a third year media student at the University of Guelph-Humber.

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