Chris, 28, project manager

By Esther LeeGentleman in Dress shirt smiling

“I’m saving up for my mortgage. I’m already living in my condo but once it closes I’ll have to come up with the big bucks and try to have my mortgage organized and arranged. I bought the place in 2011 when I was a master’s student, though I had been saving up for years before that. I was really fortunate to be able to work while in school and live with my parents during the co-op phases. I had an automatic thing set up where it would set aside a certain percentage of my paycheque every month. The money just accumulated over the years. It also really helped is that I knew I wanted to buy a condo. The real estate market was pretty hot at the time and I remember thinking I just needed to get my hands on something. I knew how much I needed to have saved up. When you sign up for a pre-sale condo, they give you a payment plan, so that informed my savings plan. The goal was actually a big catalyst for me. It really helped motivate me while I was doing my schoolwork. I knew I had to do well, otherwise I wouldn’t get a good paying job. And if I didn’t get a good paying job, then I might not be able to pay for my mortgage. The whole potentially-being-in-debt thing is kind of a kick in the butt. A lot of people say that being in debt sucks, but I think without that threat I would probably not be where I am today.”

Interviews have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

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