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Thank you to everyone who participated! Here are all the featured #MyMakeItHappen stories.

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Ongoing Direct Investing Journey

I wanted to learn about investing. Eight years ago, I started a lunch group about finance with a bunch of ladies at work. It started off as a joke, but after realizing we all had the same goal – to acquire wealth, it became serious. We read finance books, met to discuss various topics, and most importantly asked each other the finance and investing questions that we would have never admitted to anyone else that we didn't know the answers. Our first milestone was to set up discount brokerage accounts. We then, sitting in the lunchroom at work, completed our first trades. Without each other's support none of us would have actually followed through with the first trade. That started my ongoing journey to learning and understanding more about finance. It gives me the confidence to continue investing.

Rina P., ON

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Little Villa in Borneo

My wife and I are both teachers, so we know investing is a big part of our future. We have always dreamed of buying a little Villa in Borneo. With the perfect climate, warm beaches and lush forests it is our ideal retirement spot. Ten years ago we started to set money aside for this dream to come true. With prudent spending and with the right saving and investing tools from Scotia iTRADE we had a 20 year timeline to make our dream come true. This summer we were able to realize our dream nearly 10 years before we had expected to come true. Happy investing everyone!

George E., ON

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Live the Life

After being a stay at home mom at the late age of 39 I started full time employment. Being a single mom now my most important goals was to save to put my two kids through university. I worked all the overtime I could and saved the kids baby bonus cheques in a Scotiabank RESP. They now both have degrees and have been doing well for themselves. Now that I am getting older I having been saving in a self-directed Scotia iTRADE account. With a little research I have been making progress on my investments there, along with my other investments GICs, RRSPs etc. My goal now is to travel and I have. But most of all to save for my retirement to live the life I want to when I have the time to relax and enjoy it.

Debra G., ON

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Honeymoon Cruise

When I retired I decided it was time to focus on my investments. With the freedom and determination to learn to be my own financial advisor, I began with a trial Scotia iTRADE account and found it to be easy to use. In the meantime, I read the business press every day and became informed. Now all my investments are with a "real" Scotia iTRADE account. Last week, I got married and my husband and I are off to Europe for a 32-day cruise on the Mediterranean and the Iberian Peninsula. It took me four years to save up for this trip of a lifetime, but I did it with low cost Scotia iTRADE investments, a realistic goal and cutting costs in areas that aren't important to me. Today I discovered that the cruise line bumped our cabin up to the Spa deck, a spectacular location for seniors on a honeymoon cruise.

Joyce W., ON

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Education Plan

Having two children complete their post-secondary education debt free was a dream come true. As middle class working parents, we realized early on the benefit of RESP funds and signed our children up. The saving was quite modest until they each turned 12. At that point, the MOM tax kicked in. Half of everything they made in money or got as gifts went into their RESP. This often lead to intense discussions but both children realized the money was still all theirs. As a result of the savings, my daughter completed her Diploma in Business Management and went on to work and become an insurance broker and my son studied and trained to become a Power Engineer. Lessons in saving have paid off in life as they are both doing well and understand the value of setting money aside for peace of mind. Contributing savings to their RESP's, built accountability into their decision making. It helped shape their future in a very positive way without the burden of post-secondary educational debt.

Ida E., AB

Education is important. Discover how RESPs can help you to meet your educational savings goals.

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Direct Investing can be Simple

It's very difficult coming out of post-secondary education with multiple financial goals while looking to start a possible lifelong career. Buying your first vehicle, paying off student debt, saving for a house.... it's overwhelming and somewhat complicated to know where and how to start. Thanks to the help of my friends and family, and great online resources through the Scotia iTRADE website, I was able to teach myself how to properly save and invest for the short, medium and long term. I am now 3 years through my career and have already purchased my first car, paid off all student debts, and am soon to be a homeowner in the next coming month. Simple lessons through Scotia iTRADE educational tools have helped me make it happen. Investing does not have to be complicated. Stick to the basics, watch your spending, save as much as possible and invest a portion of your money for the long term and there is no doubt anyone can be financially successful.

Jalen A., ON

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My First Car

My #MakeItHappen story is the timeless tale of affording my first car. In 2013 I began my journey to become a teacher by enrolling in a Bachelor or Education program at York University. I knew right away that once I graduated from University, I would need a car to take me from job to job all over the city. I opened up a TFSA to help me manage the income I was making from the 2 jobs I was working. I put half of my pay into my TFSA each pay period, and I was able to watch those savings grow and grow in just a few short years! Not only was I able to afford my wonderful new car by graduation, but I was also able to leave University knowing that I already had the savings to pay off my student debt. My TFSA helped me to move onto the next chapter of my life, without being held back by the financial burdens of my post-secondary education. That is how I was able to #MakeItHappen.

Marina B., ON

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Direct Investing can be Easy

In 2013 our broker wanted to make a change to how our money was handled. We were not in agreement so it was suggested to us to handle our investment ourselves. This was very scary at first. We met with a Scotiabank Representative and she walked us through the Scotia iTRADE website and assisted us to set up accounts. Within a short period of time we were able to buy and sell stocks, do our TFSA's and research companies etc. My husband checks on our stocks daily and does research on potential companies. We are seniors, if we can do it, anyone can. The best part is the money we have saved doing the trades ourselves.

Sharon F., BC

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Early Retirement

I remember how financially difficult it was to start having kids when you are still paying your mortgage. Luckily, I am interested in finances and started educating myself with regards to savings and investing. Knowing the ins and outs of RRSP's, TFSA's, RESP's is vital in achieving financial freedom. Now that my kids are in high school and my mortgage is paid off, I can look forward to an early retirement. Financial planning is important at a young age.

Ted. F., B.C.

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Previously featured #MyMakeItHappen stories:

My husband and I wanted to take our kids on a memorable vacation but never had extra funds in order to go. We opened a TFSA and slowly saved enough to go to Orlando Florida to visit Walt Disney World. The kids had a fantastic time visiting with Mickey and Minnie and of course the Princesses. Now we look forward to saving enough to return!

Angie B., ON

Discover how TFSA can help to achieve your personal goals.

I enjoy traveling, but with bills, a mortgage, social events and financial "surprises" plus saving for retirement it's difficult to get away as much as I'd like. I decided to start a vacation fund and put away money every week towards vacation. Allocating money specifically for vacation has allowed me to travel to places I've only dreamt about. Not only do I put money towards vacation now, but I have also been able to put money towards retirement and living expenses. Being financially organized is easier than you think!

Christian D., ON

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My whole life I've always wanted a boat; to feel the crisp breeze while out on the open water. It's the ultimate sense of freedom. With the current costs of living however, purchasing a boat seemed more like a dream than a goal. I needed guidance and a chance. Opening a tax free savings account gave me that opportunity.  With a little advice and persistence, I was able make this dream happen. Today, I can gladly say that I can take to the waters at my leisure with my dog and best friend who enjoys the freedom as much as I do!

Brett N., ON

A goal without a plan is just a dream. Open a TFSA today.

Saving money isn’t easy, especially when you’re a graduate student like myself with a hefty $9000 yearly tuition bill. When you factor in cost of living, food, and the occasional luxury on top of that, saving can seem overwhelming. A few years ago my partner and I opened a tax-free savings account (TFSA) and have been putting portions of our biweekly paychecks away. By doing so we were recently able to afford our first adventure together, a trip to Nevada to see Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. Now we are using our TFSA to save for our next adventure and all the things a future together may hold. We hope that by continuing with our savings plan we can one day afford a home and a few more adventures together!

Vanessa B, ON

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After years of not understanding the reports provided to us by our financial adviser, but not seeming to be achieving good growth results, my husband and I decided to self-manage our investment portfolio using Scotia iTRADE as our self-directed online discount brokerage. This move was the best thing we ever did since we were now in control of our own financial destiny. We researched various investment strategies and decided the one of buying and holding Canadian dividend stocks was the way to go. As a result, we were able to save and grow our portfolio to the point where we could both take early retirement together at age 48. That was over 5 years ago and we have been enjoying our freedom and luxury of time ever since. Our friends and family were all curious about how we could retire at such a young age, so I fulfilled another long-term goal to be a writer, by writing a book and retirement blog about our experiences.

A.R. E., ON

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