It was pay day and I had received my meagre $800 paycheck for two weeks of full time work. I had no benefits, no vacation time, no overtime pay – nothing but a small suitcase of stuff and my fellow broke colleagues. I’m pretty sure we ate Kraft Dinner.
This was my reality that I lived in for a year working in the arts. But that $20,000 salary experience was invaluable. It taught me frugality and gave me the ambition and drive to generate a higher income.
*Note: This post focuses on strictly my career after graduation. But if you’d like to know – I worked in retail for about 4 years throughout my Bachelor’s degree renting out DVDs (Gasp!). Yes. I am a dinosaur. I also had a job one summer where I temporarily paused my retail job to dress up as a character at a tourism place and made an insane $29 an hour. That’s another story, though.
November. The worst month of the year. Dreary. Long. And full of consumerist temptation in the form of Black Friday and Christmas shopping.
Spending went up, thanks to some of that shopping but all in all I had an amazing month. I got a job offer for a new gig with a 24% increase in salary which I start in December, scored a semi-kind of bonus at work, and got offered a side hustle speaking gig for 2018. All in all, that gave me a savings rate of 69.22% despite spending $2554.23.
So dreary? Yes. But life goals are chugging along just fine.
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?
October is one of my favourite months because of something magical called fall and all the lovely Thanksgiving Day food that comes with it (leftovers, anyone?).
Excluding my one week trip to Rhode Island / Cape Cod / Boston (more on that in a future travel post, but a preview here), my expenses totalled $2179.20, giving me a savings rate of 57.4%. This is a drop from last October’s 60% savings rate.
This post was originally written on October 19th, 2017.
It’s Thursday night and I’m on vacation with my girlfriend. Around now I would start prepping my weekly Monday post on this recent trip through Newport, Rhode Island, Cape Cod, and Boston, Massachusetts.
I had it all figured our you see: I was going to write about what we did, the route we took, how much it cost me personally, and the frugal hacks I enacted along the way. It’s something I’ve done with pretty much all other travel posts.
But instead of focusing on the cents and the dollars, I’m going to talk about two people who made our vacation truly special. It all starts with a receipt: