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After I moved to Canada in 2011, I started looking for financial resources by, and for, communities of visible minorities. I wanted to learn about investing, how to buy a home, retirement planning, and more from someone who had walked in my shoes — an immigrant facing the challenges of settling in a new country while Black and with limited means. I could not find any. That’s why I started Savvy New Canadians in 2016.
So when Wealthsimple asked me help put together a list of personal finance resources created by Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) people in Canada, I knew it wasn’t going to be a quick, easy task. I’m aware of several popular money blogs and books by minorities in the United States (like Clever Girls Finance and Brown Ambition), but they are few and far between in Canada. And, as far as I can tell, they’re almost nonexistent in the Black community here.
I have come across my share of detractors. When these people win, minorities are deprived of resources that address their needs, created by those who best understand the issues they face.
I don’t know for certain why there are so few visible minorities who have prominent voices in the world of money. But I have some educated guesses. As a minority, your opinions and efforts are often ignored. It’s often the majority whose voices are amplified, and who get most or all of the attention. And when your opinion is generally dismissed, and the only way to be heard involves a never-ending uphill battle, it is not unexpected that you’d lose confidence and simply give up. I have also come across my share of detractors who believe it’s not my place to speak up and or to be represented. When these people win, minorities are deprived of access to resources that address their needs, created by those who best understand the issues they face.
That’s why I want to amplify personal finance resources produced by visible minorities that I think are worth checking out. (Let me know if I missed any good ones!) And make a list of resources I wish existed.
Mint Worthy by Vanessa Bowen
Vanessa is a Chartered Professional Accountant. She’s also the resident money coach and founder at Mint Worthy, a personal finance coaching platform that helps women change their money mindset. In addition to her posts about how to manage your money, she also offers a paid 12-week coaching program that helps women develop positive money habits through one-on-one guidance, live Q&A sessions, personalized financial plans, and ongoing mentoring.
Tawcan by Bob Lai
Bob is the founder of Tawcan (short for Taiwanese-Canadian), a personal finance blog that chronicles his quest for a “joyful life and financial independence.” If you love the idea of reaching financial freedom and building a dividend portfolio that makes it possible, you’re going to love the investing section of Tawcan.
Bob also offers financial coaching and you can follow him on Twitter @tawcan.
High Interest Savings by Peter Keung
While there are many online resources dedicated to featuring the best savings and chequing accounts offered by Canadian financial institutions, Peter Keung’s High Interest Savings site is among the most definitive. I find it to be the best resource for finding the highest interest rates on savings and GIC products. He also offers a great online forum where you can learn about credit union offerings, free chequing accounts, bank fees, credit cards, promotional offers, and more.
Eat Sleep Breathe FI by Chrissy Kay
Chrissy Kay offers a personal spin on otherwise boring topics like money, frugality, and parenting. Eat Sleep Breathe FI has a financial independence (FI) school section that links to a variety of resources (blogs, podcasts, videos and books) that are great for newbies to learn the financial basics. Chrissy also co-hosts the Canada-centric Explore FI Canada podcast. You can follow her on Twitter @esb_FI.
Money We Have by Barry Choi
Barry is a well-known personal finance and travel expert in Canada and the U.S. His blog, Money We Have, is a great resource for millennials and Gen Z folks looking to travel hack their way around the globe (when that becomes possible again!), maximize loyalty rewards programs, and improve their finances in general.
Follow him on Twitter @barrychoi for the latest reviews on credit cards and travel destinations
The Humble Penny by Ken Okoroafor
Ken and his wife Mary achieved financial independence at age 34 and their personal finance site is dedicated to helping others do the same thing. It’s based in the U.K., but The Humble Penny offers a ton of resources you can use to improve your finances no matter where you live. Their online school, Financial Joy Academy, is a popular way to get money coaching.
You can follow their YouTube channel at @thehumblepenny.
Casual Money Talk by Flora Pang
If you are trying to adult — and need to get your finances in order — Flora’s down-to-earth approach to personal finance is perfect. Casual Money Talk uses relatable stories and non-judgmental advice to inspire financial confidence.
You can follow her on Facebook @casualmoneytalk.
FinSavvy Panda by Ling Tran
FinSavvy Panda is a great place for millennials to learn creative ways to budget, save, and make money. Drawing from her previous experience working in the investment banking industry, Ling shows how you can earn a comfortable living doing what you love, even if that means ditching your traditional 9-5 job.
Follow her on Pinterest @finsavvypanda.
Wealth Awesome by Christopher Liew Chris is a Chartered Financial Analyst who writes about personal finance, travel, and career opportunities. After leaving his job in the investment industry to become a digital nomad, Chris offers his readers a unique take on investing, location-independent ways to make money, and insider information on how to save money while traveling the world.
Follow him on Twitter @wealthawesome.
Savvy New Canadians by Enoch Omololu
Founded by Enoch Omololu (me! yes, this is a shameless plug) in 2016, Savvy New Canadians has grown into a leading destination for Canadians who are looking for actionable personal finance tips. The blog contains a host of detailed financial guides specifically written to address evergreen questions immigrants have about banking, investing, retirement planning, debt management, side hustles, and frugal living.
You can follow me on Twitter @savvycanadians.
And Two More That Are Brand New
In addition to the resources mentioned above, I have taken a liking to two very new personal finance blogs authored by Black Canadian women with Nigerian roots — Living Smart and Thrifty (by Yetunde Akindele) and AfriCanadian Money. They both talk about immigrant finances and you can follow their journey.
FIVE RESOURCES I WISH EXISTED
Since I started writing about money, I have had the opportunity to interact with many new Canadians. A lot of them have made significant financial mistakes in their first few months and years of living here, and a lot of those mistakes were the result of a lack of basic understanding about credit, high-interest debt, and investing. If I could wave a magic wand and make new resources appear, here’s what I’d create to help make sure that doesn’t happen.
Sites that help people gain access to government-supported programs.
A program that makes financial literacy a part of newcomer settlement and English as a Second Language (ESL) programs. These initiatives should offer options that address language barriers and include one-on-one delivery.
A podcast that covers the gamut of financial information specific to the needs of BIPOC communities.
Lastly, we need more books written by visible minorities in which the authors lay out how they navigated Canada’s economic and social landscape to reach financial success. We can learn a lot from the mistakes, and successes, and experiences of folks who’ve lived through the experiences the rest of us are beginning to go through.
Enoch Omololu is a veterinarian by day and personal finance blogger by night. His blog Savvy New Canadians is dedicated to discussing personal finance topics relevant relevant to new Canadians.