Surviving a Market Downturn

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Things are bad here. Like, really bad. I feel like the Canadian media is grossly under-reporting the real state of the economic downturn in Alberta because, peeps, it is BLEAK. My city whose streets were once paved in gold is quietly becoming a wasteland. No jobs, no money, tons of debt From the outside looking in, the numbers only tell half the story: over 11,000 group layoffs in the province so far, applications for Employment Insurance up over 30%,  etc. These numbers don’t reflect the thousands and thousands of contractors that work in the province who have simply seen their contracts “not renewed” or canceled, or those that don’t qualify for EI for one reason or another. But a few months or a year of joblessness wouldn’t hurt someone that has prepared for it. Too bad Albertans, particularly Calgarians, lead Canada when it comes to debt. The average Calgarian owes $27,712 in consumer debt — […]

You Work Too Hard Not To Care

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You work at least 40 hours per week, possibly more. You likely spend an additional 15 hours or more commuting. As a result, you probably work more than you do anything else: more than you sleep, more than you cook & eat, more than you watch TV. Your profession is a significant part of your identity, and also has tremendous impact on how you perceive your quality of life. At the same time, your work is likely a significant source of stress in your life and frequently leaves you feeling exhausted. You probably studied for at least four years, and paid tens of thousands of dollars to your university, in order to attain the degree that got you this job. This is your life. And you are compensated for all of this this time and effort with your pay. So why then are there so many people that don’t give a shit about […]

Shopping Ban Update: Day 30

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Readers, I have turned over a new frugal leaf. No, not really. But I am cruising through my 90-day #ShoppingBan like a champ. I have not bought any new clothes, housewares, or take-out coffee for more than 4 weeks, and except for the latter in that list, the craving for all has dissipated completely. Which just goes to show how much of our purchases are emotional or habit, rather than true necessity. I haven’t learned anything… yet. Having exercised no-spend months before, I already knew what 30-days of abstaining from non-essential spending felt like: an agonizing first 2 weeks where you break your bad habits, followed by 2 weeks of an otherwise ordinary existence where you are a new you, minus a large credit card statement. I was never operating under the illusion that I “needed” anything I was buying, so this challenge is missing that liberating epiphany that accompanies […]

My Wedding Is 3 Months Away, Here Is My Wedding Budget

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I haven’t done a post about my wedding in awhile, because I still haven’t caught the bride fever, but I felt it was time to give an update. I know how much I love to see numbers on other people’s blogs, especially when it comes to something almost everyone spends money on! When my fiancé and I got engaged, I was working in an underpaid internship, which I quit less than 2 weeks later. Uncertain what my employment situation would be going forward (I actually didn’t think I would get a job again until I was done my MBA), we set our budget at $5,000. That’s tiny for a wedding, but workable with a small guest list. I got a job a few weeks later and more than twice what I had been making before. A few months after that my fiancé got a raise at work, then our parents offered […]

You Have A Debt Problem

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If you have debt, you have a debt problem. Most people don’t believe this. They feel even if they have debt, so long as they are managing it appropriately, it’s not a problem. I’m not talking about careless people that only make the minimum payments on everything they owe, I mean the dedicated, want-to-get-debt-free people that are diligently putting 15%+ of their net income towards their balance owing. They have a debt problem. Why? Because all debt is a problem. If you don’t think debt is a problem, you’re in denial or you’re not in debt. Having debt should feel like your hair is on fire. Mr. Money Mustache even says your debt is an emergency. Most people don’t think of debt as an urgent issue, because they only think of it in the context of its balance and interest rate. This means the conversation in their head kind of goes something like, […]