On Job of the Day: Silicon Valley Home Stager

From what I've seen when realtors stage here in Ottawa, it's all about vases with sticks "to draw the eyes upward". My partner and I made it a drinking game when we were looking at places, and his realtor used them when selling his place. But she only had one, so she moved them from room to room during the photos.

Posted on September 15, 2014 at 5:15 pm 0

On Saving Money Vs. Earning Money

That's one thing I always liked about the (Canadian) tv show "Till Debt Do Us Part" - frequently, the host Gail Vaz-Oxlade's prescription for fixing the financial situation of the couple involved earning more money, as well as cutting expenses. Sometimes that was ask for a raise, or pick up extra hours at the job one currently had, but sometimes it was finding different or more work. I recall her admonishing a woman who had failed to find work (she'd applied to a few retail jobs, all of a very specific type) for her lack of imagination, that she could be putting up flyers about house sitting, dog walking, babysitting, home cleaning, shoveling snow, delivering newspapers, something, while she waited for the job she wanted.

Posted on August 20, 2014 at 12:35 pm 0

On The IKEA Furniture We Live With That Inevitably Ends Up on Craigslist

Yes to secondhand furniture! I especially love how one can get quality hardwood for less than the price of Ikea. However, as a non-car owner, getting to a viewing and then moving things afterwards can be anywhere from a pain to a problem. Though, there is a place for Ikea, and I say that especially as someone who watched a friend go through a divorce, leave with nothing, and need to furnish an entire home in one day so his son wasn't living in an empty apartment. And their couches are pretty comfy and decently attractive.

Posted on August 18, 2014 at 9:46 am 0

On The Cost of Fostering Kittens

@beastlyburden My partner's argument for why we can't foster is he doesn't feel he could tell his 5 year old son we had to give the kitties back. He may also not want to have to remind me of that, given my love affair with all things cat.

Posted on August 12, 2014 at 10:30 am 0

On How Much Should I Be Saving For Retirement?

I am one of those (very, very lucky) people who is probably over-saving for retirement - defined benefit pension plan supplemented by government pension, plus I sock away another 5-10% of my income into fairly aggressive investments. All of this means I am on track for more than 100% income replacement. And which hopefully means if the market tanks and I lose my savings, or something goes wrong with my employer or government pension, or other catastrophic event, I'll still be okay. On another note, there was an article I read a while back on countries you can retire on $25,000 CAD/year - it included countries like Costa Rica and Italy (if you live in a small town). Given I love travel, and don't anticipate having a tonne of family to visit, I am thinking a cheaper (and warmer) country may be part of my future, at least part time, when I retire.

Posted on August 11, 2014 at 5:01 pm 0

On "So, What'll You Have?"

@sir digby Mmmmmm yes. In part because margs are usually way too sweet. Though both of these can be truly vile when someone does not actually use lime juice.

Posted on August 5, 2014 at 1:32 pm 0

On Does Biking To Work Take All The Joy Out of Biking?

This author is the worst. I don't bike to work (yay living close enough to walk!), but I don't drive and many months of the year, my bike is my transportation. Screw going nowhere - there's a patio I can be drinking on, or an awesome music festival I can be grooving at, or a farmers market I can be buying fresh corn at, and its just a bike ride away!

Posted on May 14, 2014 at 7:15 pm 0

On Frugal Travel Moves That Backfired On Me

Sleep is my super power, so I definitely take the overnight buses (and the red eye flights). I also love earplugs, sleep masks and sleeping pills. But, as my partner regularly reminds me, I am a freak for my ability to sleep through anything (except snoring. Snoring is my kryptonite.)

Posted on April 15, 2014 at 10:28 pm 0

On Paying for Dinner

As a former server, thank you to everyone who pays during a "bathroom" break - nothing more awkward for the server than hearing guests duke it out (or insisting you decide whose card to take).

Posted on April 15, 2014 at 10:17 pm 0

On Some Costs Associated With My Roommate’s Boyfriend

I'm both thrilled and sad I don't have any roommate horror stories. At 32, post-breakup, I moved in with my very first non-sexytimes roommate, and he was awesome. Over a year of living together, zero drama, and he was super chill that time I came home at 3 am very drunk and didn't have my keys. But, no stories to bond with people over either! Some of this sounds totally justified in terms of accounting (laundry detergent and shampoo), some of it a bit petty (tp - I don't want to have to account for every square I use in the roommate math, and that road seems dangerously close here). All of it is a good reason to chat with both roommate (Hey, X has been spending a lot of time here - can we talk about how we're splitting costs?) in a non confrontational manner, and ask her to remind the bf to bring his own shampoo, etc or be sure to use hers. If that doesn't work, sure, start to keep laundry soap in your room. But let's all start by pretending we're rational if somwhat clueless or conflict-averse adults here.

Posted on April 8, 2014 at 3:40 am 0