In his new book, a chartered professional accountant says striving for financial freedom boils down to posing one very simple question: do you really need it?

CTV’s Your Morning sat down with Pierre-Yves McSween on Tuesday to hear takeaways from the Montreal-based accountant and writer’s aptly-named paperback, “Do You Really Need It? One Question to Free You Financially.”


McSween says you only really need one credit card in your wallet.

“You don’t need two or three,” he said. “You need just one to show that you don’t need money, so it increases your credit score.”

As for points cards, he says the rewards are usually not worth the price you pay.

“Usually you want to spend money to get points, but it’s such a small amount of money that you won’t get money for that,” he explained. “For example, once in my life, my girlfriend told me, ‘Hey, we should go to Shell because we’re going to have points.’ But the gas was like two cents more by litre, so we lost money.”


Although you might be pining for a shiny new ride, McSween says you’re better off buying used.

“I’ve never bought a new car,” he said. “You know why? Because 30 or 50 per cent of the car value, you lose it in the first or second or third year of using it.”

Instead, McSween says that you should keep an eye on cars purchased by your friends that pique your interest.

“I know you buy a new car, I wait that you will be able to get rid of it and I’m going to buy it from you,” he said. “That’s what I do.”


If you have children, McSween says you should definitely be putting money into a Registered Education Savings Plan, or RESP.

“School is really important,” he said. “I’m here because… I got a diploma. And that’s like a driver’s licence. You need a driver’s licence to drive, so you need school to get a good salary.”

RESPs are great, he adds, because if you have one, the government will also end up contributing to your child’s education.

“That’s the first thing you should invest in because you get 20 per cent from the government,” he explained. “So, take it! It’s free money! Get it!”


In his book, McSween calls neckties “corsets for men.”

“It’s useless -- why do we have it?” he said, grabbing at the open collar of his shirt, which he wore under a tasteful dark suit. “It’s a knot around your neck, so it’s dangerous! So, I don’t pay for that anymore.”

In addition to saving money on this fashion fossil, McSween also believes that ditching neckties can increase your quality of life and productivity.

“You save money and you have more fun and, you know, you breathe!” he exclaimed. “If you breathe, you have a better performance at work and you’re happier.”