Monday, August 27, 2012

Dirty Thirty

The Dirty 30s have arrived
The end of this week marks the end of my 20s and quite honestly, I am pretty freaking excited! My 20s have been everything I wanted and more, so I can only be optimistic about my 30s. What makes this even better is that I get to start my 30s on the right foot. I finally have some kind of financial plan and I am not going to stay in debt any longer than I need to.  $hit, I guess this means that I am finally becoming a grown-up! Mind you, someone told me yesterday that they thought I was only 24 at most, so that made me feel pretty good about myself! And I do still get id'd when I'm wearing a hat. My secret, drink a lot of water, moisturize, do yoga, and be a boy.

Monkey Butt
For the big 30th Birthday party I really want to keep costs down, but still have some fun. If you know me well, you know that I started losing my hair when I was only 21, so now I have this giant monkey-butt sticking out of the back of my head. Hence, my decision to have long and luxurious blue hair for my party, was an easy one. That's right, I'm talking about a wig party! Celebrities do this every single day, so why can't my friends and I have a little wig-out of our own? Part of keeping the costs down is to make sure that no-one is having to buy anything more than a wig (or even better, reuse a wig from an old Halloween costume).  This is a wigs-only event! I'm going to make sure that I have some wig-themed activities like pin-the-wig-on-the-donkey. It's going to be fun, affordable, and altogether pretty bad-a$$. I'll make sure to post a picture of my sexy new locks post-party!
In other news, I have been a little taxed financially with helping to cover for my partner who is without a job and heading into school. He's going to be paying me back when his student loan money comes in, which is great, but not having the money to throw at my debt as much as I had wanted to this month has been bizarre - especially since I got an extra paycheck this month!

I really have gotten used to paying off my debt as quickly as possible, so when I don't drop at least $1,000 on my debt each month, I panic a little. This is also a pretty exciting thing too though. My partner and I are starting to behave more like a financial unit. The reality is that his debt becomes my debt, but we do like to keep our finances separate. It seems silly to worry about the money, especially since I am ahead of schedule by 3 months, but I really really want to impress Gail when I am on her radio show in a couple of weeks!
Wig Party!

Speaking of being on Gail's show, I have been booked for an entire half hour, but I think that the reality is that I will only be on her show for about 5 minutes. I think that they want to make sure that I am on the line for when she wants to talk to me and then let me go early if I am boring the heck out of her. There are also those occasions when someone will call into Gail's show when she asks a question like: how much should we give for a wedding gift, or what is the minimum you should tip at a restaurant, then someone will call in on a tangent about something that has nothing to do with what the question is and all about kissing Gail's butt.  I have appreciate hearing all the financial success stories on her show (which is the category I'm going to fall into), but some of the guests have been a bit depressing. It's funny how much some of them still dwell on their past mistakes even though they are debt free and leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else!

Now I'm not advocating forgetting the past, and I do believe that we should learn from our mistakes, but once something difficult has been conquered, we should celebrate it, not dwell on it. Sometimes you just have to let go (which is easier said than done) in order to get ahead. Remember that you have more control of your life than you want to believe sometimes. More often than not, we choose if we want to be in debt, how much we want to stay in debt, and more importantly, we choose how the debt makes us feel and how we feel about the debt. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Move in the Right Direction

My new crack
I have been a little bit too addicted to Bejeweled lately. Yes, that's right, I am talking about the game that came out in 2001. Remember, I had the same computer for 9 years, so I am not one to keep up with the times when it comes to technology. I do find it to be a bit of a waste of money to constantly be upgrading my computer or software, and yes I know that you can replace one or two parts here and there to improve what the computer can do, but for someone whose main uses for a computer are to write a blog, check facebook, and watch videos, I really don't need much more. Mind you, Bejeweled is saying that I need a new sound card - oh god...

Besides Bejeweled, there has been a lot of change happening lately; and more so outside of my little world. Many of my friends and family are making huge changes in their lives and the new budget-conscious John is trying with all my might to want to scream - how can you afford to do this?! I think that everyone is going to come out on top in the end, but I think about when I was in debt and how $hitty it has been afterward to try and climb my way out of it that I want to do everything in my power to try and help them make these big leaps without spraining a financial ankle.

On the flip side, the life changes that my friends and family are doing are also really inspiring. We do need to take some risks if we want to get to where we are living as our most optimal selves. I have always believed that you cannot get ahead in life without taking chances. You know that saying that says you miss 100% of the shots that you don't take, well it really is true. I am proud of my friends and family who have decided to either change careers, go back to school, move, get married, have a baby, and all that other great stuff that makes life so exciting!

Maybe I should have written this post a few months ago, because this advice would have come in handy before all the crazy changes took place.  Before making a major life change, make a plan. Figure out what it is going to cost you, how much you can afford, and what you will have to do in the future to keep everything moving in the right direction. Speak to your bank and see what your options are with them and if they can't give you good advice or better yet, good interest rates, you should think about taking your business elsewhere. It doesn't matter how long you have been with a bank since nowadays we are nothing more than an account number and a bank balance. Gone are the times when you would go and visit Flo, or Doris, the portly, but semi-casually put together lady who knew your name behind the counter. Sure the banks want your business, but remember, you're the client, and you're the one shopping around for the best deal, so just because your bank offers a loan, who's to say it's the best loan. Get out there and do your homework and you'll be just fine!

It's coming to Canada Baby!
On a personal note, I have officially started my new job as a Junior Economist! No more being the office bit₵h for me! Now yes, I know that I am a psychology major with another diploma in advanced web design, but that doesn't mean I don't know a thing or two about analysing data. This job is (hopefully) going to open a few more doors for me to help me reach my full potential. And if that doesn't work, I could always just become famous after my appearance one month from now on Gail Vaz-Oxlade's Radio show!

I finally sent in my answers to Gail's questions so that she can guide me through the interview. I'm not going to be saying everything verbatim, but really, anyone who is a loyal reader of my show should have a pretty good sense of what it is that I am saying. Just typing about this is giving me some butterflies! I cannot believe that I will be talking to my hero (or heroine? but that just sounds wrong for some reason)! And if that appearance on Gail's show doesn't garner me some recognition, I can always go on Big Brother Canada!  

Made $110 in 3 days on this bad boy!
This long weekend I was really able to tackle the things that I have been putting off (in some cases for years). I finally sat down and made a list of all the things that I wanted to get done and I was able to cross off a huge chunk of them. I sold a few things on Kijiji, cleaned out some cupboards to give things away to charity, and finally put up a graffiti print that has been sitting on my floor for the past 3 years! Thank you to Jess for coming to the rescue and then helping me drink 6 litres of sangria! Putting things down on paper is a great way to get all the things that you have to do off of your mind and make them a reality. Give it a try and you will love the results.

In other news, can you believe that I am already more than 65% paid off in my debt? How great is that? I never cease to amaze myself! That's all for now! Sorry for the absence, but Summer seems to have gotten the better of me!