I splurge on Starbucks every once in a while, I take cabs a couple times a week – usually only late at night or on the weekends, I buy makeup and hair products at an alarming rate, I even go to the hair salon just to get my hair washed and blow-dried every couple of weeks.
On the other hand, I have almost no credit card debt (I’m down to $600), no student loans to pay off, and no car payments. I have a savings account with my rainy day fund and an RRSP with enough for a very small down payment on a house.
Therefore I think I’m in an okay position to talk finance.
Don’t get me wrong, life isn’t all peachy keen. I don’t wander around throwing money to the wind while singing a little ditty about my Monolos or diamond-encrusted Diva Vodka (neither of which I have ever owned) .
I’ve been so poor that I grocery shopped on my Bay (department store) credit card, the only card of 4 that wasn’t maxed out. My phone has been disconnected and I went without cable for a long time (partial laziness, partial brokeness, partial not caring enough to watch TV).
I had moved out of Douche-ex’ place where I paid $250 a month for rent and into my own apartment where I paid $900 a month plus all my own groceries, nights out and entertainment. That’s what I call a huge adjustment. I slept on a semi-futon chair for a month before I got a bed and ate more then any sane persons share of macaroni and ramen noodles.
Eventually I got adjusted, luckily I knew that rent came first and was never late with any payments, I started paying down my credit cards after cutting three of them up and acquired furniture – slowly.
I got my new job a year and a half ago. Better pay, normal hours, nicer people. I also moved to a different apartment (because my rent went up to $2100 a month – damn you “no rent control”! Obviously I moved before that rent came into effect) last year that is cheaper but still spacious.
Luckily my dad made me start an RRSP when I was 19. My work takes ten percent of my paycheque, matches it and puts it in my RRSP as well so I’m doing well on that front. It’s strange getting a letter every four months about the amount in there when I don’t even notice it missing from my cheque because I’ve never had it in the first place. It’s the best way to save.
I opened an ING account a year ago. I put ten percent of my income automatically into it off each cheque for my rainy day fund. With that money I’ve gone to Cuba and PEI, I’ve gotten many a pair of shoes, I’ve bought Christmas and birthday presents, I’m planning on flying to Victoria for Thanksgiving and possibly Hawaii in the spring.
If I didn’t automatically save money I would have spent that all on food, booze, and gawd knows what else. Instead I get to enjoy it. My dad wishes I would save it all and use it for something bigger (like buying my house) but you only live this life once and I’m going to enjoy the freedom I have to travel and have fun while I’m still young and single enough to enjoy it.