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Treating Yourself is Not the Answer

March 13, 2017

Treating Yourself is Not the Answer
Sunday was errand day. Every day feels like errand day, when you’re moving, but Sunday is the big one. I drive to the big box store part of town to pick up all the things I will need in my new home: dish soap, hand soap, cleaning products and laundry detergent. My shower curtain has to be replaced, so I grab something white to brighten up my new-to-me bathroom with the dark tile floors. Into the basket it goes, along with a new plastic liner. I forgot my shopping list at home, which feels like the biggest mistake I could make on a day like this. But I know I wrote down that I also need aluminum foil, so I grab a roll of that too.

As I walk toward the numbered rows of blue cash registers, I pass the seasonal goods. Easter is coming. There is a lot of chocolate on the shelves. Chocolate definitely wasn’t on my list, but I gravitate towards it anyway. My eyes scan dozens of products and eventually settle on the Cadbury section. Creme Eggs and Mini Eggs are dangerous substances, in my world. I can’t help but notice that buying four Creme Eggs is cheaper than buying two. I could eat four Creme Eggs right now, I think. Oh, but the big bag of Mini Eggs looks even better. I nearly salivate at the thought of smelling the sweet vanilla scent that releases from the bag when you open it.

I spend the next three minutes running numbers and making justifications for why I should buy one of these two items. It’s not surprising that the more you buy, the better the deal is. But I know I don’t need a 2 lb. bag of Mini Eggs any more than I need the four Creme Eggs. Still, I imagine buying one, opening it in the car and stuffing my face full, then feeling the temporary high that comes with giving into a craving. The sugar would hit my bloodstream and, with a few beats of the heart, run through my entire body. I realize my eyes are closed, as I’ve been visualizing the experience. When I open them, I see the bag of Mini Eggs is in my hand. I return it to its place on the shelf and walk away.

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There’s No Place Like (a New) Home

March 8, 2017

There's No Place Like (a New) Home

If you’ve been following my story for a while, you know I’ve moved many times in the last six years. First, I left my hometown and moved to Toronto for work. After realizing Toronto wasn’t the place for me, I took my job back to BC and moved to Greater Vancouver. Due to a series of unfortunate events (attempted break in, bad roommate situation, etc.), I had to move in/out of three different apartments in my first year there. I finally settled in a condo in Port Moody, where I stayed for two years, before another unfortunate event inspired me to go back to my hometown to be closer to my family.

Throughout all of those transitions, I never minded the moving process. In fact, some of my friends joke that I am a professional mover. They aren’t wrong, in the sense that I know the drill: find a place, pay the deposit, change your address on a million and one things, coordinate the move, take the boxes out and clean, bring the boxes in and unpack, and get your old deposit back. And when you have just 20% of what you once owned, the entire thing only takes a few hours. Moving is easy. Living in a state of transition feels normal. But it’s not normal… or at least, I don’t want it to be my normal anymore.

At the beginning of the slow money experiment, I hinted that I was ready to stop bouncing around from place-to-place. Being back in my hometown has been great. My family needed me, I needed them, and the quality time I got to spend with my friends here is something I will forever be grateful for. It healed me, during a time when I needed extra support. But it was never going to be a permanent move. I didn’t know where I would go next or finally land. I just continued to live in this transition period – until I went to Squamish for two months and realized that was the place I wanted to call home.

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How I’m Adopting an Abundance Mindset (and Applying It to My Investing Strategy)

March 3, 2017

How I'm Adopting an Abundance Mindset (and Applying It to My Investing Strategy)

When I first decided to spend a month experimenting with slow money, my goal was simply to do a proper check-in with my finances. It had been years since I’d had any major financial goals to work towards, which I knew was only going to lead me down the road to nowhere. And even though I had maintained all my savings in my first 20 months of self-employment, I wasn’t happy with how much I was spending on my business and I hated feeling like all I was doing was staying afloat. So, I set a list of intentions and have spent the last four weeks crossing off every last one of them.

Experiment #2: Slow Money

Most of these were easy to tackle. I’ve done this exercise enough times to know what I value, which made setting new goals and finding ways to achieve them simple. However, when it came to changing my investing strategy, I struggled to get comfortable with implementing what I knew I wanted to do.

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