Tag Archives: savings

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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Whoops, forgot about a goal. Or two.

So we all know I have a history of setting goals and not putting them on the blog, right?

I’ve taken it to a new level.

I set a goal, and I met it, but I completely forgot I’d even set it in the first place and only realized I’d made it today. I didn’t even write it down! It was a five figure savings goal that I’d had in mind for awhile and set a rough deadline of achieving it at the end of June. I didn’t think it was going to happen, but thanks to automatic withdrawals to my savings accounts and some slight spending restraint (although not much), it did! At the end of June, just like I’d hoped, like some magical PF fairy just sprinkled savings dust on my pillow to make all my savings dreams come true! It just took me almost two weeks to realize my shiny savings goal was completed.

Worst. PF blogger. Ever.

Along with that goal, the final payment went into my travel account at the end of June as well. Now I have the $2500 for  NYC with my mom in October! The only reason I knew about that one is because ING sent me a congratulatory email for achieving it.

Now that I’ve realized these goals, with my luck if I set any goals for the remainder of the year and forget about them, they probably won’t even happen. I won’t tempt fate.

So there you have it, savings is my life and it’s so ingrained in my day to day existence that I do it subconsciously.

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Paying the stupid tax and goals for March.

I’m still mad at myself for this, but on February 4th I did the dumbest thing I’ve done in a long time: I lost my bus pass.

It must’ve fell out of my pocket on the bus, therefore I had absolutely zero chance of anyone actually turning it in. I waited a couple of days, got ridiculously upset with myself, and looked everywhere I could think of but I definitely lost it. I think the most infuriating thing about it was that I was now going to have to pay around $150 to ride the Edmonton Transit System to and from work, which is NOT worth it given its many inefficiencies. I didn’t want to give them any more of my hard earned money! But I had to get to work somehow, so I bought $68 worth of bus tickets (it was too late to buy a new monthly pass for $89). That $68 was my stupid tax, and coincidentally I had just read Cassie’s post about stupid tax on my way to work, about eight hours before I lost my pass! I’m still very upset with myself for being so careless, but I’ve learned my lesson: bus pass will ALWAYS go into my purse after I show it to the driver. Not my pocket, not my lunch bag, my (secure) purse.

The $68 I spent on tickets actually helped me save money by not being able to go anywhere after my transfer expired. I’m guessing I saved at least that much (if not more) by being restricted to a walkable radius near my apartment. I’m willing to admit it now, as it may have been a blessing in disguise.

Which leads me to my February summary and March goal. I saved 49% of my net income in February (seriously, who am I, I don’t even know anymore), and since I pay my credit cards from my first cheque in March, I’m on track to save about 50% in March as well.

I love seeing my savings grow, but I’m probably going to have to shell out for a few things in March considering that while I was walking home from work one day, I realized that my left boot was no longer waterproof. It’s actually pretty good timing considering winter boots are on sale right now, so I’m hoping to find a good deal. I also need a couple of new clothing items (mainly a black cardigan), so hopefully I can find something reasonably priced in that department. I may or may not be getting my hair did in March, because I’m now officially closer to 27 than I am to 26, so the greys are taking over in full force. The worst thing I might have to shell out for is taxes. My return last year was small, and I didn’t get my T4 on time to do anything extra on my RRSPs (maybe it’ll be in the mailbox tonight!), so I might be owing this year (yuck).

What’s the biggest stupid tax you’ve ever paid? Do you have any big goals for March?

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Sunday fluff: If I had a million dollars edition.

Now I have the Barenaked Ladies song stuck in your head, don’t I? Sorry. But I couldn’t not go there!

Mr. Dollars and I buy a lotto max lottery ticket almost every week (yes yes, OMG you should be saving that money or that’s SUCH a waste you’ll never win). We’ve won free plays, I think $20 here and there, but obviously there have been no massive windfalls (despite the rash of recent Alberta jackpot winners). We mostly play for fun, and the whole “what if we were millionaires” scenario. The odds are indeed against us, but wouldn’t it be nice? In fact, there’s an outstanding winning ticket of $46 million in Alberta right now (unfortunately it’s not us, we didn’t play the 649).

If we won the $50 million LottoMax jackpot, we’d take the lump sum and split it down the middle, $25 million each (same goes for a smaller win, say $1 million). I’d definitely quit my job if I won $25 million, but I don’t know if I’d stop working altogether if we won $1 million. I’d most likely buy a car and make sure money was set aside for its lifelong maintenance, insurance, gas costs, etc. I don’t know if we’d buy a house since it’s not a priority for us, but I’d definitely take myself on a shopping spree and on a few dream vacations. And of course some money would go to family (it helps that my family is small. Very small). I’d make sure some money was put away for retirement as well.

I’m mostly disappointed we didn’t win the lotto max when I was still 25, because then I could sing along with The Motto  and not be lying when I sang “25 sittin on 25 mil”. Le sigh.

According to a recent poll done by Capital One and Credit Canada Debt Solutions, approximately 2 in 10 of those surveyed stated that lottery winnings will contribute to their financial plan. They’re casually adding a line to their retirement savings called “lotto winnings” and actually relying on that to fund a retirement instead of saving money? You’ve got to be kidding me. This needs to stop. If you think the lottery is less about pure luck and more about playing the game so you can fund your retirement, you need to check yourself now before you end up below the poverty line at 70 and struggling to survive. Consumer debt levels went up again thanks to car loans, and the average in Canada is now $26,768 – an all time high. More and more people are planning to retire with a mortgage. WHAT?!

To quote David After Dentist – Is this real life?

Please tell me your retirement plans don’t involve the lottery.

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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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