Chris Sicotte - "Keeping an Open Mind and Continue Learning"
Chris has a clear memory of sitting with his grandfather at the kitchen table, with the profits of the latest fundraising efforts of the local Lions Club raffle spread out in front of them. His grandfather had a reputation for accounting skill, and as it happens in small towns, he was recruited to be the de-facto treasurer for the service clubs he belonged to. He would explain to Chris that each bill and coin had a different value, and would show him how to count each pile. He remembers thinking that his grandfather must have been a really important person to be in charge of all that money! He began to wonder just what exactly a person could do if they had some money of their own.
It was from his family that Chris began to connect money with a feeling of importance, of the possibilities. His grandparents were German immigrants who had grown up in poverty, and for them, careful money management was the key to giving their children and grandchildren a better life in Canada. His mother was particularly savvy, and taught him about budgeting and saving, and took great pride in having a perfectly balanced check book every month. Chris had his grandfather lay the foundation of his understanding of money, and his mother gave him the tools to make the most of what he had.
Chris now works in the financial services industry, and there is an expectation that, by virtue of his profession, he must have it all figured out. With characteristic good humor, he acknowledges that, while he does know a thing or two, he’s still learning and building his skills. Finances can be challenging no matter who you are. He and his wife approach this challenge with a couple of rules to live by: put money aside for emergencies and get a handle on your credit. His wife teases him for being a bit of a Debbie Downer as his philosophy is “Hope for the best, but plan for the worst!”
When asked what financial advice he might give his younger self, he laughs and says, “Don’t party it all away in your first year of University!” He feels that it is critical for young adults to learn more about credit and how to use it wisely before they get themselves into trouble.
“I know that I don’t know everything, and I want to keep an open mind and continue learning.” He continues to take advantage of the Financial Literacy learning opportunities that come his way, and he encourages everyone to do the same.
November is financial literacy month. READ Saskatoon and Affinity Credit Union want to help you grow your savings and money management confidence. Last year, we saw hundreds of people from across the province participate. Ways to get involved this year include:
- Register to get your financial literacy bingo card. This free challenge provides you the opportunity to learn, practice, and grow your money skills.
- Participate in social media using #piggybankrules and tweet your tips for saving, spending and growing your piggybank. Be sure to tag @readsaskatoon
- Attend a FREE financial literacy workshop at READ Saskatoon’s new location: #2-706 Duchess Street. There are workshops on: asset building, banking, budgeting, credit, and consumerism. Register today, they will fill up fast.