As a 31-year-old who just spent the past year dealing with breast cancer, chemo, radiation and all that jazz, I can only say: *do your check-ups*. I have always been super healthy, exercized regularly, rarely ever get even a cold or flu, and this still happened. I didn't even have a family doctor before cancer. A good friend of mine from my support group for young adults (people in their 20s and 30s) with cancer found out about her ovarian cancer through a pap when she was *22*. Everyone in the support group felt themselves to be really healthy. But sometimes through check-ups and sometimes through other casual visits to the doctor, we discovered these malign cells and tumours that have been growing inside us, sometimes on organs that we never even thought about (adrenal cancer anyone). I am, however, in Canada though, so not sure how the insurance part plays out in the US. Still, if you're insured, it's worth the peace of mind SO MUCH. Even for breast cancer, early detection can mean the difference of the size of my scar from surgery could have been smaller, or I could have been spared chemo.
@Katey Rich@facebook Err how about someone who helps you being responsible with money and not guilt tripping you into buying something deep down you know you don't need? The post reads like you talking yourself into and justifying making a purchase that your gut instinct was telling you to be a bad idea. When can people realize that having a top-of-the-line Apple computer isn't a prerequisite to being a good writer.
@KatNotCat No, he couldn't even pay for himself. See: "It clearly wasn’t enough to cover his portion of our modest happy hour tab, and I hadn’t even seen the bill."
@Amanda T #1 is kind of true under certain circumstances. If you would have been a full-time student in the States anyway, then Montreal is definitely cheap. Otherwise the affodability can be cancelled out by the lack of job opportunities for non-francophones -- you need very good spoken French for even the low-end jobs. By "very good" we're not talking about very good French French, the "very good for Anglophones French" here. My french is good enough that I can work in bilingual jobs in Ontario, but I would never call myself bilingual in Montreal. The quebecois spoken on the street is a different language. I knew a lot of anglophones who were content with working in call centre jobs and having the best time of their lives in Montreal. It's technically true that you can live on $13/hour full-time and having a good life. But we were all in our early 20s at that time. On the other hand, if you were going to be a student anyway, you'll definitely come away with significantly less debt and having a lot more fun. #2 -- totally true. Holy shit the city is awesome if you like art, pretty architecture, food, and culture in general. I had the best time of my life there. #3 -- totally true. #4 -- Yes healthcare is free (not sure how it works for non-Canadians). But the maternity leave thing is also kind of elusive if it's very hard for non-Francophones to get decent jobs anyway. Most of the jobs that the Anglos I knew had didn't come with benefits. Universities are also falling apart due to lack of funding. It's still a good deal overall though, and I have no qualms about my education. Winter -- IT IS THE WORST. I grew up on an East Asian island and the novelty of Montreal winter completely worn off after two years. I was sick of being permanently cold and wet in my feet if I didn't shell out $300 for a pair of winter boots. I was sick of having to wear two pairs of stockings under my jeans every time I left the house (plus leg warmers). I was sick of everything being such a huge effort for four months every year, like trudgeing through the sidewalks for two blocs to go to the depanneur. Winter can be winter-y and pretty and have proper snow without being so brutal.
Err yeah I live in the most expensive city in Canada, grew up in a household where good food is absolutely essential, and $1000/month on groceries for two, even if including household supplies and gifts, is definitely a really high sum for someone who is already making an effort to save money. Or maybe there is other ways where "good food" can be procurred? It doesn't always need to come from fancy "indie" markets... I mean, I'm enough of a food snob that I don't even buy regular button mushrooms - I prefer oyster and shiitake mushrooms for the flavours (yes, laugh). But they're cheap in Chinese stores. I eat out constantly and usually buy organic as well, and it usually comes to $400/month for me and my boyfriend on groceries and maybe another $150-$200/month on restaurant bills. If you don't really know where the money went, how about keeping track of your expenses and saving the receipts for 2 months? That's how I got to know my spending habits. I kept a detailed tracking of where I spend my money, particularly when it comes to food, for 3 months last summer, when my food bills tend to be particularly high. Also, don't romanticize Montreal. I spent most of my 20s there and it's my favourite city in Canada. But it can be a bitch place in many, many ways.
@Ghost Fart@twitter Unfortunately I agree with you to some extent. We can't all have our dream jobs at the end of the day (mine, for the reference, is to be a film director). I know many people who grow up wanting to do jobs like writing, advertising and media, which are very glamourized and in extremely high demand. Maybe I'm secretly jealous that they're following their passion, while I'm working as a coordinator in a non-profit which I reasonably like (but don't *love*). But there is always trade-offs to make in life I suppose, and it's a fairly personal decision.
I think by "instincts" you meant "impulses". But good work on ignoring the evil spendy voice in your head! Jake's point is interesting. I've been thinking that working full-time sometimes makes me spend so much more on frivolous purchases, because I'm always tired/thirsty/hungry on my way to/from work, and being in the middle of a big city I walk past at least 5 Starbucks daily. Dresses used to be my big indulgence, but after reading an article about how it's so much more satisfying to spend money on "experiences" as oppose to material needs, I did notice that the thrill of a new dress usually lasts me 5 days TOPS. Afterwards the novelty simply wore off and it just became yet another dress in my closet. I start thinking about this now everytime I have an impulse to buy another cute dress in mustard yellow. It has worked somehow -- 3 new dresses (one second-hand/vintage) in the last 10 months only!