Scotiabank | Financial Literacy Month Wrap-Up

Last updated on March 26th, 2021 at 02:46 pm

This Financial Literacy Month, we need to evolve our money mindset.

Firming Up Your Financial Future—A Financial Literacy Month Wrap-Up by Casey Palmer and Scotiabank!—Money Mindset—Shackled to Money

November’s Financial Literacy Month, and it gives us a real opportunity to take a look at our books and what we’re trying to do with our resources at hand. School. Kids. A new home or retirement—goals quickly become pipe dreams if we don’t know how to plan for our success.

Take a moment and ask yourself just how much you know about your finances. Are you choosing the right investments? Making the right moves today for a better tomorrow? The sad truth is far too few Canadians are well-versed in financial matters, and in an age where Canadians are continuously borrowing significantly more than they’re earning, that makes for one huge problem! It makes us desperate. It has us believe in self-proclaimed financial gurus who lead us astray. We have to do better if we ever want to get out of the hole we’re in.

Silence Says EVERYTHING

Last updated on May 18th, 2021 at 11:00 am

The Scintilla Project Logo

1. Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. Write about a time you taught someone a lesson you didn’t want to teach.

2. Talk about a time when you were driving and you sang in the car, all alone. Why do you remember this song and that stretch of road?

— The Scintilla Project Day 3 prompt

It takes a lot to bring out my bad side. I have a ton of patience and let many things slide off my back that’d probably drive other people insane.

But even though it’s rare—even though I can count the times I’ve yelled at someone outside of my immediate family on one hand—once you do bring my anger out, there’s one thing and only one that you should do:

LOOK OUT.

My TD Canadas Trust business card, back when.
You came asking’, I got to bankin’!!!

After my restaurant days, unlikely circumstances led to a banking job where I’d spend 6 years climbing ladders (or more accurately, being hoisted up them) and helping our clientele. I was one of the best we had at what we did, and prided myself in giving the best customer service possible, every. Single. Time.

Which is why I was livid when I got accused of making a mistake that I know I didn’t make.

Duelling with Debt

Last updated on November 11th, 2020 at 01:02 am

Last Updated: November 11, 2020


Good evening, one and all—my name is Casey Palmer, and I have debt.

Granted, it could be a lot worse—as I used to work for a bank, I’ve seen tons of people who’re way in over their heads when it comes to the credit beast, but it should’ve never come to this.

I suppose you could say that I grew up as a very naïve young man.

Duelling with Debt | A Story

I was given my first credit card at the age of 18 when I was still finishing my last year of high school. What it meant to me then was that I had a no-strings-attached method of being able to buy all the food, clothes, video games and such that I wanted. I was having a great time as I went on trips to other provinces and out with friends after school. I had no problem paying off more than the minimum payments and generally staying out of financial woe.

But then university came about and changed things up.

Having spent so much time in high school focusing on everything but school work, I got accepted to York University with no offer of a scholarship, something I could have likely attained if I’d just focused. So here I was with my dismal savings habits and tuition to pay for the next whoever knew how long.

So in came limit increases, overdraft protection on my chequing account and the introduction to the magic of the student line of credit. Really, this would all have been fine…

…if I’d been more conscientious of my spending habits.

If I remember correctly, I bought my laptop on a Future Shop card.

I know I had a Best Buy card.

There was a Sears card somewhere in the mix.

I have a Macy’s card and I barely ever go over the border into the United States.

And so on and so forth…

The years of school would progress, and though I would always be in the midst of a good job—nay, a BANK job which gave me access to low-interest rates, for some reason, I always believed myself invincible and never having to worry about tomorrow. The next bill. Or anything that was coming.

Upon recently graduating, I was left with:

  • A student loan, locked because I was no longer a full-time student (and hadn’t been for some time—I was taking part-time courses)
  • A TD Gold Select Visa with a very shameful amount racked up on it for no decent reason
  • Overdraft on my chequing account
  • A Henry’s card for several pieces of camera equipment I’d bought over time

A month or so after this, I sat down and really started to look at my finances. With the job I had at the time as an intern for the Government of Ontario, the monthly minimum payment for the Visa alone was eating up somewhere around 15-20% of my take-home pay per month! And even my monthly expenses were getting ridiculous:

  • $100 for a monthly pass for the subway
  • $90 for passes for the train in from the suburbs
  • $220 to my parents for storage fees (since I’m rarely at home)
  • $270 tithe to my church (though I only started in November)

Plus food and entertainment.

Something had to give and give quick.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was the fact that I’d reconsidered a trip to Africa in 2009 because I had all of this debt and it seriously needed paying off. After severely disappointing my girlfriend with this news, I decided that serious action needed to happen. I’d been working on a new plan for about a month before said discussion, but now it was time to commit to an approach to get rid of this issue. The three things I’ve committed to doing are as follows:

  • Taking a more aggressive stance to monthly payments—I plan to use a larger percentage of my paycheque to pay down my debt—especially the Visa so that there’s less interest to set me back.
  • Thinking up new ways to generate secondary income to go towards paying off the debts—whether I have to sell my stuff on eBay, draw commissions like a fiend or find another avenue.
  • Change my spending habits so that there’s less to worry about at month-end when the charges come, and it’s time to pay the piper.

I hope you choose to follow my journey, and I also hope that I present you all with a better situation as time passes.

Thanks, y’all.

–case p.