Who are your financial heroes?
My financial heroes are those fighting for investors’ rights across Canada. The recent nationwide ban on unfair mutual fund fees, such as deferred sales charges, represents a decade-long effort by groups including FAIR Canada and is a huge win for Canadians.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I spend my free time walking. Walking isn’t just about exercise, it’s a fantastic way to find solitude and disconnect from technology. I also do my best writing in my head while walking.
If money were no object, what would you be doing?
I would be doing the exact same thing I’m doing right now. I live off the grid in the middle of a forest and write about money, do radio and TV interviews in my studio, and publish The Cash and Kerry Podcast. You might also find me driving an orange tractor.
What’s your earliest memory about money?
I was around five years old when my father gave me his pennies because they were heavy and made a mess of his wallet. After collecting about 100 of them, I also discovered they were heavy and made a mess of my wallet. I learned bills are easier to spend than coins, and the form of currency can impact our spending habits.
Today, it’s even easier to spend with digital wallets, especially online. As a financial journalist, I lean towards behavioural science to help people build checks and balances to overcome impulsive FOMO spending. Thankfully, pennies are now extinct.
What’s the first thing you remember buying with your own money?
The first thing I bought with my own money was a pink yo-yo. I regretted it right away because my hands were too small to make it fly. This was my first foray into buyer’s remorse, and that terrible feeling has guided my spending behaviour ever since.
What was your first job?
My first job was babysitting the neighbour’s kids every Tuesday and Thursday after school. My first paycheque was an actual cheque for $25, and I was disappointed instantly—my name was misspelled, and asking for a new cheque was a pain.
I also delivered the Pennysaver to 190 houses every week. My newspaper bag was big, and the pay was tiny. I stuck with it because I was determined to save enough to buy a Walkman.