From counting your savings to counting sheep.
It's a feeling I know too well. I climb into bed, close my eyes and prepare to drift off to sleep when a familiar unwelcome thought creeps into my mind: what are you doing about your money?
As someone who's fresh out of university and has no clue what she's doing or where to start when it comes to saving, money questions frequently plague my mind — as they do the minds of about 75% of Canadians.
According to a new poll by Scotiabank, this is especially true for Canadians aged 18-34, who worry about their finances for an average of 12 hours a week (absolutely me). For comparison, Canadians over 55 worry about their finances just six hours a week.
After finding that money worries keep 32% of Canadians awake at night, Scotiabank created Sleep Advisor by Scotia Advice+ — a series of investment tools to help you get a better night's sleep.
I never learned about finances in school, and what I did learn (hey, Pythagoras) isn't going to be much help with my spending habits. That's why, when I heard about Sleep Advisor, I felt a wave of relief wash over me.
My First Impressions When Using Scotiabank's Sleep Advisor
You can access Sleep Advisor from Scotiabank’s Advice+ Centre, where you’ll immediately see several ways to get advice on dipping your toe into the world of investing, including the Sleep Advisor Hub, Sleep Hotline and an Online Appointment Booking feature.
On the Sleep Advisor Hub, there are dozens of up-to-date articles and FAQs on anything from mutual funds, RRSPs, TSFAs and so much more.
Canadians can use this tool to search articles and FAQs based on their unique life stage, making it easy to find the most relevant investment advice. In no time, I found answers to questions I didn't even realize I had.
Each article in the Sleep Advisor Hub is simple and easy to understand, which is something I needed. Once I hear a lot of finance jargon, everything turns into the sound of Charlie Brown's teacher, and I'm back to square one.
The Sleep Hotline (1-833-SLE-EEEP) is a service that Canadians can call if they want to talk to an Advisor. Advisors are available during business hours, and you can use the Online Appointment Booking feature to find a time to chat that suits you.
The Advisor I spoke with was so nice, helpful and super patient. At the end of the call, I felt like things were finally making sense.
The Sleep Hotline isn’t just for one-on-one conversations either. No matter what time it is, you can call up and listen to free guided meditations, day and night.
For the record, you don't need to be a Scotiabank customer to make use of Sleep Advisor (though it'll probably help you get more tailored advice).
Having easy and simplified access to financial help like this was such a great feeling. My experience was really positive, and I recommend Scotiabank to anyone like me who's losing sleep over their finances.
What Happened During My Sleep Advisor Call
I had a lot of questions for my Sleep Advisor. What's an RRSP? Do I need to start a TFSA? Should I buy stocks? How do I get a good credit score?
My Sleep Advisor gave me a lot of useful information, like when it comes to opening up an RRSP (a Registered Retirement Savings Plan), start early with small contributions. This can help you avoid playing catch up later in life with bigger deposits that might be harder to get together.
This was the most important piece of information for me, given that I'm now out of university and in the working world.
Did you know that one of the main benefits of an RRSP is the government tax deduction? I didn't. At the end of the year, you’ll receive a receipt from the bank that you can apply to your income tax return, my Sleep Advisor said.
I also asked about TFSAs. Like many Canadians my age, I have one but I don't really have a clue what I'm doing with it.
My Sleep Advisor explained that a TFSA (Tax-Free Savings Account) is a registered product from the government in which the income you earn is tax-free as long as you stay within your contribution limit. You don’t even pay tax when you withdraw funds.
He recommended pairing a TFSA with an RRSP so you can pick and choose how you want to save depending on your goals. He also told me that I can use these banking products to start investing.
Stocks might be your first thought when the topic of investing comes up. As you may already know, the stock market is a virtual marketplace where shares of companies are bought and sold.
Since I’m just getting started, lower-risk investments that come with some professional support are appealing. Knowing this, my Advisor explained that investing in mutual funds might be right for me.
Mutual funds are a group of stocks, shares, bonds and securities piled up into one product. It’s what my Advisor specializes in, and it’s a solid option for those looking for a set it and forget it approach.
Mutual funds still go up and down like stocks, but your portfolio is automatically diversified. This means you won't have to be too worried about the individual performance of any one investment.
It's important to note that everyone's personal finance journey is different, so the advice you receive from your Sleep Advisor might be different from what I received.
Sleep Advisor is a comprehensive tool for Canadians, no matter their level of financial knowledge.
It doesn’t matter if you're experienced at investing and are already saving for retirement or, like me, you're 23 with your head in the clouds — Scotiabank's Sleep Advisor by Scotia Advice+ can help you.
After my call with a Sleep Advisor, I felt so relieved and because of that, I definitely slept better knowing that I'm not as far off track as I thought.
Whether you’ve got one huge money question or several minor ones keeping you up at night (cue my hand being raised), the Scotiabank's Sleep Advisor tools might just be what you need to get a better night's rest.
This content is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute financial, investment, legal, tax or accounting advice.