Save Like A Pro: Q&A with Stacey Agecoutay
Stacey Agecoutay is a Wealth Planning Specialist with Valley First. You might find him at our Penticton Main, Cherry Lane, Kamloops, Oliver, Keremeos or Princeton branches. We caught up with Stacey to find out how he personally saves.
What are some of the processes you’ve automated?
I always tell people to visualize your goals or bucket list, commit it to paper, make it real. Prioritize that list and figure out what the cost will be for that goal or bucket list item and identify the timeline. Break it down to a monthly or bi-weekly savings commitment.
For example, we will be going on a dream vacation in fall of 2020 – we have 15 months to plan. We know the cost will be approximately $4,500, so we will start putting money away in increments of $300 monthly now.
For longer term goals like retirement, you follow much of the same process, only with the help of our wealth team and the planning tools available.
How did you start saving?
I started saving very early in my adult life, realizing the only way to accomplish short, medium and long term goals was through some form of savings. As a part-time employee early in my career, I saved what I could afford and didn’t stretch myself too thin. As my earnings grew, so did my savings. I tried to maintain a budget based on a lower income and I have stuck to that formula to this day.
How much do you save?
I have always saved a percentage of my earnings and have increased the level of savings slightly in recent years. The percentage of my income saved at age 25 was 15%. Now at age 49, I save approximately 25% of my earnings.
Is there a habit that you changed that transformed the way you started saving?
When interest rates for credit facilities such as mortgages, loans and lines of credit began to decrease, my focus shifted to savings. I am sure this commitment will shift when borrowing rates increase.
My attitude towards savings is focused on net worth growth. As a result, reducing debt is an effective way of “saving” in that interest costs become lower over time and less disposable income is directed to debt repayment.
What are some of the goals you're saving for now and how are you saving towards those?
My savings goals started in my 20’s where I wanted to save for a home purchase, future family planning, as well as some travel (and obviously retirement).
In my 30’s, the order of those goals shifted and adjusted such as home purchase changed to a larger home, education planning for my son and more extravagant travel.
Now, close to entering my 50’s, my goals have changed again to put retirement at the forefront, travel has moved higher in priority as well as being able to help my adult son progress with his future financial plans.
Further reading: How To Save For Your Down payment
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