Tag Archives: emergency fund

How my savings landed me my dream job.

In July, I decided to take a huge risk. I left my unionized, secure position in health care to work at a digital marketing startup here in Edmonton by the name of Kick Point.

Over the past year, I’ve been having the career-crisis that many in our age group are familiar with: what am I going to do for the rest of my life? What does my career path look like? What do I WANT to do? I even secretly took courses (finance and accounting), which were great, but didn’t immediately spark a clear career path. So I started looking. I had been at my position for five years and although I had a great relationship with my bosses and a fantastic wage, I felt like I had reached my peak in terms of job development. I took on more responsibility and learned how to do new things (which I love doing), but there wasn’t really a way up and out of that position promotion-wise within the company. I wanted a cool job, with social media and flexible work hours. You know – the mythical millennial job you read about online but have never actually known someone to have.

I found the account coordinator posting while scrolling through twitter one day, and it was hard to hold my excitement in (but necessary – I was on a city bus). Every point on the job description applied to me. This was my job. My golden rainbow-pooping unicorn millennial job. I’d never wanted something more in my whole life, but my first thought was that someone else would be the successful candidate. I didn’t have any experience in the digital marketing industry, I had been working in a hospital for five years! What did I know, anyway. The negative thoughts took over for a day or two, until I decided (with the help of Mr. Dollars) that if I applied, it could pay off in a life changing way. If it didn’t, I would be proud of myself for even taking the risk to apply. I knew I had to write the cover letter of a lifetime and submit a stand out resume, and I had two amazing friends help me make my cover letter strong and eye-catching while simultaneously highlighting all my mad organizational skillz. One of those friends was Bridget from Money After Graduation, whose three part series on The Dream Job  was instrumental in how I crafted both my resume and cover email.

Coordinate ALL the accounts

The job closed on July 19th and I submitted my application after I wrote what seemed like thousands of drafts of both my resume and cover letter. It was different than anything I’d written in any other application, and I had fingers and toes crossed hoping that my personality would shine through and Kick Point would notice me. And I was anxious. I had never been so anxious in my entire life, and even though it was out my hands at that point I couldn’t help freaking out a little.

I got a little crazy. I did things I never thought I would do. Dirty, BC hippie things, like: putting positive vibes into the universe, thinking positive thoughts, meditating to keep my heart rate down, visualizing Kick Point’s partners laughing as they read my email and cover letter, etc etc. The day I got the interview was the day my life changed. After I hung up the phone with Dana, I shut my office door and did the most enthusiastic happy dance I’d ever done. I think I maybe even teared up a little because I was so elated they even wanted to meet me.

The day of the interview, I was sweating bullets all day. I tried to prepare as best I could, but I was a ball of nerves. I don’t think the Kick Point team knows this, but I was early for the interview. I didn’t want to be super early, so instead of oh I don’t know, waiting in the interview location (seriously how cool is it that I got to interview in Cavern) like a normal human being, I decided to duck into an alley and hang out. In an alley. Like a creeper.

Since this post is about how I landed my dream job, you can guess how the interview went. I work at Kick Point! How do my savings factor into this, you ask? Well, I took a pay cut. Having my emergency fund (as well as my additional savings account) gave me the financial security to take the edge off a pay cut. I also went into the job search knowing that what I made at my old position was an extremely cushy wage and no matter where I went (even within the company) I would probably end up making less. I was more than prepared to take a leap.

Is it worth it? Absolutely. Saving equals freedom. Not once in this whole process have I ever regretted taking the risk and doing something new, and if I can do it, anyone can.

What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken? Did it pay off?

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Thanks but no thanks, BMO – Part Deux.

Remember a few months ago, when I got an offer from BMO for a line of credit I didn’t need? I do, because Gail tweeted it and I died, but that’s not the point. Read up on it here.

Well, they did it again. Except instead of a line of credit, they offered me an increase in my credit card limit. That’s all fine and good, because hey, sometimes increases are warranted. The problem lies in their sales pitch and the way they’re framing an increase.

Oops, they did it again.

Oops, they did it again.

They tell me a higher limit would give [me] a little extra for everyday shopping, larger purchases, travel, entertainment, and anything else. BUT they then go on to say that You’ll also enjoy peace of mind knowing you have available funds in case of an emergency.

Oh no you did not, BMO. Did I hear you try to play on my fear of an emergency? 

Two things: you’ll see I’ve handy dandily crossed out “funds” and helpfully written in “DEBT”. Because that’s what it is. Let’s call a spade a spade. Secondly, the way I prepare for an emergency is to build up a proper emergency fund. It took me awhile, but I did it and I’m proud of it. One of the main reasons why I did it was to ensure I didn’t get myself into a debt trap during a stressful time, and that works for me. I’m a type A, ready-for-every-scenario person and I do a lot of worrying so it’s natural for me to have a substantial safety net.

So in short, BMO is plain old wasting their time on me. I’d say I want them to stop sending me mail, but I really enjoy writing posts about how wrong they are, and I take an unhealthy joy in shredding ALL the things.

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Achievement unlocked! My emergency fund is fully funded.

It’s been a big week here on the blog! I had my blogiversary on Tuesday, and now my emergency fund is done. I never thought this day would come (on the flip side I also can’t believe it’s already here), but I’ve made the last payment into my emergency fund.  My goal of six months of expenses – $9,000 -  is finally done. Actually, my rent was even higher back when I made that goal so the $9,000 will stretch to about nine months’ worth of essential expenses. That little progress bar is finally at 100% and I couldn’t be more proud.

Since I set up my automatic savings plan to maximize my TFSA, that means I’ve been putting away $5,000 a year. Now that I’ve met my goal, I’m going to leave that savings program in place. I’ve already learned to live without it for two years, why break that savings streak now?

This is the first major goal I’ve had since taking on my university degree, and I’m so, SO excited it’s finally complete (and I used to hate goals with a passion!). I also feel a new sense of financial stability – if something happens, I’m okay. I’m not going to set any huge financial goals for the rest of 2012 mostly because I’m having a bit of savings fatigue right now. I’m going to cross my emergency fund off my list of things to do and just relax for the rest of the year (and maybe go on a shopping spree or two).

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Blogiversary!

That’s right – today marks one year of writing this blog. Now, are you ready for a super sweet amazing awesome fantastic giveaway?

I hope not. This is a small time blog, and there are no giveaways here! Moving on.

So, what’s changed over the past year? Well, I went from half-living together to being shacked up, and will complete my major financial goal of having an emergency fund to cover 6-9 months of expenses on Thursday. I first found out about emergency funds from all of you lovely PF bloggers around 2010, put a plan into action & started saving my own in 2011, and will make the last payment into it on October 4, 2012. It’s the biggest goal of my adult life so far (other than getting my degree). I don’t get my hair done 3x/year anymore, but now that I’m back to brunette I’m seriously considering box dye since I basically have a heart attack every time I leave the salon. When I first started my blog I was worried I didn’t have a unique angle, but over time, I’ve discovered that you don’t have to be unique: what unites the PF community is a love of personal finance, & I’m so grateful to have become part of it over the last year. I want to thank everyone who reads this blog for taking the time to tweet with me & comment here. It means the world to me and I’m so happy to have so much support.

Now for some of my favourite posts from the past year: the personal finance honey badger, money in your 20s (for women’s money week 2012!), my PF confession post (it was hard to write but I received a lot of supportive comments about all the feelings I was pouring out), and my ranty/judgeypants post about one year anniversary parties.

But, the highlight of my year (nay, my LIFE) had to be when Bridget at Money After Graduation texted me to say that Gail Vaz-Oxlade herself had tweeted the link to my blog post about turning down a line of credit from BMO:

My personal finance hero, Gail Vaz-Oxlade, tweeted my blog. For real. I die.

Thanks for a great year, you guys. Here’s hoping there are many more!

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(Savings) GOOOOAAAAAAAALS!

This is how excited about saving money I get – I make a reference to a sport I don’t even watch. It’s crazy that this time last year I didn’t really have any financial goals other than to save my emergency fund, and I certainly wasn’t saving for more than one thing at a time. Here’s my update on my goals and their progress so far. A few of these goals will be complete with my next pay, which coincidentally enough is the day after my one year blogiversary!

Emergency Fund

Goal: $9,000 Saved: $8,885.23, 98% (!!!) – I’m the most excited for this to be completely funded. I’ve had this goal for almost two years.

Travel Fund

Goal: $2,500 Saved: $982.25, 39% – my mom and I are planning a trip to NYC next fall and I’m hoping to have this goal completed by about June 2013 in order to buy flights or put down cash deposits.

AppleSavings

Goal: $1,783.95 Saved: $1,486.72, 83%
I’m so close to finishing off these goals I can feel it. However, I know it’s going to be a huge step to actually spend the money on its intended use. Are you close to finishing any goals?

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