Is it better to buy today by taking on debt or to save up and pay cash tomorrow? Or should you do without, so you can spend your money on something else?

There is no clear answer. When you review what you spend your money on, or save your money for, you’re actually assessing what you value, your personal wants and needs. However, what you want and what you need aren’t necessarily the same thing. By attempting to understand the emotional relationship you have with money and your feelings about spending or saving it, you’ll be better able use money in a positive way to improve your quality of life.

With respect to the impact that money has on our lives, it must be understood that money is a limited resource—unless of course, you are currently a billionaire or your name is Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerburg or Oprah Winfrey. Since the vast majority of us have limited funds, we must make choices—choices on how we use our money in the pursuit of our life goals and in crafting the kind of lifestyle that delivers purpose and satisfaction. However, we must understand that choices have consequences.

The explicit aim of this section on savings and debt is to:

  • Raise your awareness and understanding of the differences between saving and borrowing.
  • Examine the many varieties of debt and credit.
  • Compare and contrast savings vehicles.
  • Equip you with debt reduction and elimination strategies.
  • Demonstrate when to be a saver or a borrower.

If you are informed about the choices available to you, you will be better equipped to make better decisions, decisions that will play a significant role in your ability to live a life of purpose and satisfaction.

Saver or Borrower?

Are you a saver or a borrower? Will your answer be different ten years from now? Good questions and important ones. Your future prosperity is at stake.


Where to Save

Living costs money. We want to buy things, go places, educate our children and be financially independent one day (not having to work to fund our lifestyles).



A mortgage is a long-term loan that is used for the purpose of buying a home. For most Canadians, the mortgage on their home is their single largest monthly expense and largest lifetime debt.


Other Debt

The biggest cash management obstacles faced by Canadians are generally caused by the misuse or abuse of credit cards and debt.


Down with Debt

The best way to get out of debt is to not get into debt in the first place. People always talk about “good debt” and “bad debt”. There is no such thing as good debt.


Which Is Better?

Save or pay off debt: which is better? There’s no single right or wrong answer. Ask a financial planner and you’ll hear, “It depends on your circumstances, goals and life changes.”