I have lived most of my life on financial edge. First it was school, then it was contract jobs. There was never a moment of financial stability until about 2 years ago when I transitioned into full-time employment.
In that time between steady job and what felt like drifting, I was a hoarder. I’d save as much as my pay check as I could and stick it in a savings account, watching it grow a measly 0.5% at the time (this is pre-discovery of Tangerine and EQ Bank). My savings allocations were basically 100% emergency fund, 0% investments.
Things are so darn easy these days – in fact, now more than ever can we humans be ultra productive with our time. Take this bread maker for instance, which my girlfriend and I bought for her mother for Christmas.
Your first reaction might be: “Holy f***! A $400 bread maker?!” Rest assured, there was aggressive couponing involved and a strong sentiment behind the gift. My girlfriend’s mother is now alone since the passing of her husband, loves to make bread, and can now make 10 loaves in the time it would have taken her to make 2 loaves. She gets to pursue her passion with the top of the line device while my girlfriend and I get more bread. Win-win, right?
Like all children of parents, arguments happen. It probably happened as a kid when you were denied that thing you wanted – and for good reason. You probably didn’t need that thing. Your parents were smart, you were just a kid. But as you get older, the arguments start to get a personal – like marriage, homeownership, and children.
I’m a risk averse person. I don’t bike in the city, I don’t enjoy jumping into water, and I don’t even dare go ten above the speed limit (put me in the slow lane, thanks very much). When it comes to my investments, it’s very much the same thing.
Being prospective home buyer in the city is disheartening. Despite numerous efforts by the Ontario government to try and cool prices, the average home in the Toronto region still sits at just under $750,000. So sure, while home prices dropped 19% from April to August, prices still rose a total of over 33% in the first quarter alone. Real estate is still a rip-off in this town, even the condo market.
Yet every day, a common discussion amongst some of my millennial friends is the lingering sadness that they’ll “never be able to afford a house.” My question to them is “why the desperation?”
It was September 2011 and I was greeted by an elderly cowgirl.
“Welcome to Calgary!” she said with a big smile. I smiled back nervously.
I had just gotten off a plane from Toronto, leaving behind my admission to law school, my family, and my friends. Instead, I was heading off to work at an arts and culture centre in a small mountain town in one of the most beautiful regions in all of Canada.
My parents communicated to me before I left what I was leaving behind: the promise of a stable job, predictable income, and social prestige (I know – parents, right?). They told me my life was my life, but if I ever regretted my decision, I was not to call them. I guess that’s one way of making sure your kid leaves the nest.