On City vs. Suburb

I can't imagine why anyone would want to live in suburbs since they have always seemed much more expensive than living in a city. I live in a big city in a busy neighbourhood. I don't even need a bus pass since I can walk to work, my grocery store is 24 hours and is one block away, if I want to go to a pub or club or restaurant, there are a tonne on my street, I'm a thirty minute bike ride away from the beach. If I were to move to the suburbs I'd have to buy a house, and then buy a car, and then constantly be buying gas because suburbs are so spread out that I'd not only have to drive to work but to the grocery store and to meet up with friends as well... AND I'd have to buy home and car insurance and who knows what else -- a lawnmower!? The consumption needed to maintain a suburban lifestyle seems to never end.

Posted on January 28, 2015 at 1:03 pm 1

On Open Thread: Parental Assistance

@gyip "The only trouble with those is that you do have to have money to invest in the first place." Yes, this. I've never had an in-depth conversation about money with my parents but from what I've picked up over the years, they were far too busy working just to feed and house and clothe us that they didn't have much left over for savings. I mean, they're both in their 60s and are still working because they were never able to save for retirement much less tuition for three kids. (They are moving in with my brother, the oldest of us, sometime this year though, so they should hopefully be able to stop working soon.)

Posted on January 21, 2015 at 12:47 am 0

On Open Thread: Parental Assistance

I'm 34. I moved out of my parents' home at 18 and they haven't helped me financially since. I took out a student loan for school (about $20,000 which I paid off in full this year), have always worked to pay my own rent, bills, if I want to visit them, I pay for the airfare to do so, etc. They've never offered financial assistance for anything and I've honestly never thought to ask. I just wasn't raised to expect that from them as an adult. I do really appreciate having been raised to be entirely self-sufficient but it does twinge a little pang of jealousy in me to see all these comments from people who got their tuition, rent, and even bus passes subsidized. Are all your parents millionaires!? How can they afford to that?

Posted on January 20, 2015 at 8:39 pm 0

On Brown Bagging It

Every day I bring my lunch I deposit $10 into my savings account. It's the only thing that's ever worked for me. I'd always known that bringing lunch saves me money but it just seemed like too nebulous of a goal, like how much am I saving? Where’s it going otherwise? What am I spending it on instead? Now I can actually *see* the savings at the end of the month which is a big incentive, even if it's only $60.

Posted on January 17, 2015 at 1:06 pm 0

On Here Is Your Open Thread

I was the Jane in this post (http://thebillfold.com/2013/07/dick-and-jane-both-work-hard-but-jane-pays-the-bills/) about how my ex and I did money (tldr: I paid for everything, he paid for nothing, we were always in the red). Just thought I’d give an update to all those who were “DTMFA!”… Well, I did! Not entirely for financial reasons, but that did definitely play a part. I made a little breakdown of how my finances measure up from last year when were together to this year. My rent has decreased from $1300/mo to $850/mo but my bills haven’t gone down that much because my ex left me with $9,000 in debt that I pay $300/mo towards (I consolidated credit card & line of credit debt for a 3 year term loan with a 2.5% + prime interest rate for those interested. I received a tax refund for the first time in years by filing as single instead of commonlaw after we broke up that I used to pay off my student loan so I currently have no other debt). Overall, my income and my expenses are more or less about the same, but I now have the freedom to spend my money the way I want to and the peace of mind to not have to be constantly checking my account balance every day to make sure I can afford coffee in the morning (living with my ex meant my bank balance would consistently go below $0 and we’d use my Visa or line of credit to buy groceries and other basics every month). So even though the monetary value of being single isn’t that large — the emotional value of living alone in a place I love that’s close enough to walk or ride my bike to work, of not having to look after anyone other than myself, of not feeling weighed down by financial stresses, of being able to spend the money I earn on the friends I love and even on a vacation with my mom while still having enough left over to start a TFSA (and soon a RRSP) is immeasurable. Anyways, here’s my before and after: 2013 (dating) / 2014 (single) I keep track of every nickel I spend in an excel spreadsheet, these are rounded totals. My income is about $3,000/mo (depending on how many shifts I work) Bills (rent, hydro, phone, loan, etc) $1,750 / $1,570 (down a bit, even considering the term loan) Ex (his drugs, his work supplies…) $360 / $0 (down obviously) Beauty (clothes, make-up, hair cuts…) $160 / $280 (up since I now have the money to spend on myself) Fun (shows, vacation, going out with friends…) $45 / $290 (up – this is a good thing! Spending time with friends! Having fun! This is still very novel and exciting) Food (groceries, morning Starbucks, eating out at restaurants…) $550 / $490 (down even tho I’m eating out with friends a lot more) House (cleaning supplies, toilet paper, laundry…) $55 / $95 (up mostly due to having to buy a new bed and other things when I moved) Savings $0 / $500 (up! It’s so exciting to have real, actual savings and not just money I put aside that I later have to pull out at the end of the month because my ex spent all our money on pot)

Posted on October 3, 2014 at 3:20 pm 8

On Where to Sit in a Movie Theater

I think I'm one of those rare people that will literally enjoy sitting anywhere. Saw Gravity in 3D while sitting in the front row and it was great because we felt completely engrossed in the film. And then I saw Catching Fire alone and sat in the last row, centre seat, and thoroughly enjoyed not having anyone behind me so I could be completely inconspicuous crying with District 11 and eating my homemade smuggled snacks.

Posted on December 3, 2013 at 9:59 pm 0

On What It's Like to Be a Personal Assistant for the Rich and Famous, Part II

Being able to manage people's lives like this seems like such a superhero skill. She's a real life Alfred!

Posted on November 16, 2013 at 3:37 pm 0

On "A Currency for Paid Friends"

@NoName Ohhh that's a great line.

Posted on November 12, 2013 at 6:45 pm 0

On I Saw the "You Should Quit Your Job" Signs, So I Quit My Job

"To deal with your boss/coworker/whomever, you start imagining yourself as an actor in a play, to emotionally distance yourself from their comments." Oh wow, I've actually done this.

Posted on November 12, 2013 at 5:59 pm 0

On Zadie Smith On Tipping Your Delivery Person

@s. dekker I liked that too. Also: "We are subject to enough delusions in this life without adding to them the belief that the girl with the name tag is secretly in love with us." YES. Being fast and efficient should be enough, I shouldn't have to basically flirt with everyone who comes to my counter as well.

Posted on November 5, 2013 at 8:49 pm 1