By Alleah Boisvert
Ellyce Fulmore, a financial coach from Kelowna is helping millennials change their attitudes and habits towards money.
Fulmore did not have someone relatable to give her tips on finance and is now the person she wishes she had around when she was a student.
Along with one-on-one coaching, Fulmore uses social media to advocate for young people who want to become more financially literate. Her Tik Toks, which have received almost 2 million likes, have become popular over the past year.
“Everyone on the Internet was also resonating with what I do. Like, yeah we don’t want an old white man in a suit telling us what to do with our money. We want someone who’s young and relatable,” said Fulmore.
Fulmore’s biggest tip for frugal student living is simply being aware of how much money is being spent and having a personal allowance.
“I personally recommend having an allowance on a separate card so that that’s how much money you have and once you run out, you run out. So, you can’t just dip into something else. Also, separating your money so you don’t have a large lump sum, especially if you’re using student loans or a line of credit,” said Fulmore.
When preparing for the upcoming semester during the summer, she says it’s important to know how much money is needed for the school year and plan accordingly. Opening a high-yield savings account can help students manage their money and accumulate interest. She recommends online banking like EQ Bank or Tangerine.
“That way, the money is separate from your bank account, so you’re not tempted to spend it and you have a clear picture of how much money you need to be saving up and where you are in relation to that goal throughout the summer,” said Fulmore.
When school starts, she says that it’s helpful to pay off high-interest debt like credit card debt first, and then make small student loan payments.
“Making payments while in school, if you are working a part-time job, even putting $20 a month towards your student loans will lower your principal balance, actually quite significantly, over four years. And so, as soon as you start accumulating interest, you’ll be owing a lot lower than if you hadn’t put that [money down],” said Fulmore.
Fulmore recognizes that all her clients are unique and says that the center of her business is inclusivity and understanding how aspects such as race, mental health, and upbringing can affect people’s financial decisions.
“Understanding who you are as a person and your identity and how that plays into the way you see money and the way you spend money, I think this is helpful as a university student, especially because you’re kind of figuring yourself out,” she said.