Monday, 24 January 2011

Going Loonie in The Great White North

I'm rich!

So we’re back to typing and writing - no vlogging this week, so I hope you enjoyed it last week - it may be awhile before any of us agree to do that again!

For our January posts we’ve been keeping them light and fun for the most part, but we all know that being a 20-something isn’t always fun. In the past we have tackled difficult subjects such as relationships, future ambitions and getting older. This week we are tackling the subject of money.


Here are some quick things about me and money:

• I work at a cafe and make minimum wage. My pay cheques - even though I work five days a week - are not enough to survive on my own. This sucks.

• I am currently paying back a hefty student loan. This also sucks, but I am responsible and diligent when it comes to making loan payments.

• I wish I could live without a lot of money - I just want to be happy and not care about money. But I also want a lot of freedom, and freedom costs a lot.

• I love to shop. I realize that it’s silly to buy things I don’t NEED, but my argument here is that these things make me happy (for the most part).

• For someone with very little, I am actually really good with my money. I have good credit and always pay bills early or on time. I also have RRSPs - so I’m also investing in my future.

• Greed makes me angry. I hate seeing people my age with so much, and yet they want more. I have nothing and would be happy with just a bit more - I am not cut out for capitalist society.

I wish I could do what I love and get paid for it. Is that too much to ask? A lot of people tell me that I should just do something - something that pays - and that it shouldn’t matter if I hate it because EVERYONE hates their job and that’s just how life is! I say NO! Why should I do something I hate just for money? If I’m miserable at work - and I’m at work most of the week - then what am I gaining? Money to save for when I’m too old to do anything? Yes I work at a cafe now - and it’s not ideal, and most days I hate it - but right now it’s what works for me. Yes, it’s stupid, but yeah, I’m holding out for better opportunities. At the end of the day I’ve made some awesome friends and have a few bucks in my pocket.

One thing I’d love to do is travel more - make that “perfect day” a reality (maybe split into four separate vacations though). Right now travel isn’t very realistic, unless I’m willing to go into a bit more debt for it. Everything I do puts me in a bit more debt, and then I recover, but I’m back to square one. I’m really debating that trip to the UK I mentioned before (in my what I want for 2011 post) - but what’s really halting me is lack of funds. Just say I’m still a barista when I decide to go - I’d have to book the time off - unpaid, obviously. I’d have to put the flight on my credit card, that would take months to pay back. I’d also need some spending money, and after converting Canadian dollars to Pounds Sterling, well I’d be left with a pitiful amount. What keeps me dreaming about this trip is that no one would be able to take that experience away from me - I’d always have the memories and I wouldn’t regret it. But money seems to always win. I feel like I’m too old to be reckless with the few bucks I do have. Should I stay or should I go? Should I be responsible or fun? Can’t I be both?

I do the same thing when buying unnecessary items - such as concert tickets, books, DVDs, music. While these items don’t really put me into debt, they also take away potential savings. When I get my tax money back or any government reimbursement cheque my first instinct is to spend it one something fun - because it’s like free money. But then I feel like I’m just acting like a kid with birthday money and that I need to be more grown-up and responsible. Getting older sucks sometimes!

Basically, when it comes to the little money I do have I am constantly playing tug-of-war with myself. Neither side is right or wrong, just a different approach to life. Some days my head is in the clouds and I feel myself wanting to click “Buy” on those plane tickets. Other days I close the window and try to forget about it.

I wish money didn’t always have the final say in my life. Lauren, maybe I should move to Portland, where young people go to retire.

See ya Wednesday Tom, ‘cause money can’t buy me love :)

P.S. A Loonie is a dollar coin in Canadian currency. We also have a two dollar coin known as a Toonie.


  1. Your money is really amusing. It reminds me of Monopoly money.

    That came off sounding like an insult. Bargh! That's not how I meant it. Promise.

    I'm awful with money too. In fact, after reading your post, I was inspired to write my own post about my difficulties with money. Hold your horses before you go and check though. It's not up yet. It will be someday though.

    Fun fact: I just made your gift, and I'm going to send it to you shortly. Be stoked!

  2. Justin - Don't be all "typical American" and mock our money! Did my vlog last week teach you nothing? I'm kidding - but seriously, our money is real! It's worth almost as much as yours is, only ours is prettier. But I do know that you weren't insulting me.

    Someday I look forward to reading that post about money.

    Can't wait for the gift! Tell me when mine arrives!

  3. @ Justin: I love our money, the colours make it easier to count ;)

    Allison, I know how you feel about our capitalist society. As much as I don't care (and don't want to care) about money, it affects every facet of daily life -food, shelter, freedom-- and becomes very difficult to avoid or live without.

    My partner and I set 'allowances' in regards to fun money based on monthly earnings as a way to reward ourselves for being mature, responsible adults who pay the bills. The rest goes straight into savings, or gets re-invested through our TFSA's.

  4. Martina - you sound very responsible! Good for you guys! I also envy duel-incomes. Not that money should ever be a reason to be in a relationship - but it definitely seems easier to pool money for things. But I guess money also becomes a point of contention for a lot of couples. Money's always getting in the way of a good time, eh? But it's good to put some aside for fun stuff - you have to give yourself something to make it all seem worth while!

  5. I felt like cheering when you said "A lot of people tell me that I should just do something - something that pays - and that it shouldn’t matter if I hate it because EVERYONE hates their job and that’s just how life is! I say NO! Why should I do something I hate just for money? If I’m miserable at work - and I’m at work most of the week - then what am I gaining? Money to save for when I’m too old to do anything?"
    I wish that didn't have to be the case as often as it is in life. I always swore that I'd rather be poor and do something I like than have money and be miserable doing whatever I had to do to make it. So at 29, I have had mostly low-paying jobs. Now I'm out of work and I can't support myself either (living with parents). I'm scared of what will happen if I don't get something soon. I guess I'm not the only one in this situation, but it sure helps to commiserate with other people sometimes. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and nice to meet you :)

  6. I think we were promised so much when we were young. Our parents told us we could be whatever we wanted to be. Now they want us to move out and grow up...but I feel like they failed to teach us that.

  7. THREE CHEERS FOR THE BEATLES REFERENCE! You're too good at this.

    I tried to comment the other day but my phone wouldn't let me. I hate my phone.

    I applaud your decision not to do something you hate for money, it's all to easy to start somewhere with the intention of not staying long, only to wake up years later too used to the money and security to find anything else. Or so I've heard. I was quite lucky, I did a job I hated for six months after graduating, then found a job I love. But those six months were hellish. It's horrible to wake up and dread going to work.

    However I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that you find something great soon, until then I'll keep reading about your crazy customers in the coffee shop.

  8. I thought the Beatles reference was appropriate - you are from the land that gave us the Fab Four.

    You love your phone - stop lying :)

    Well, I am doing something I hate for money - but I continue to do it because nothing better has come along. I'll keep writing about my crazy regulars if you keep reading :)

  9. I've been writing a lot on this subject myself. I quite like, and share the same train of thought as you in regards to money. You can always make money doing something you love. Don't settle

  10. I'm not even sure what I want to do with my's too hard!