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The end of summer is near

Well, I am squeezing one last trip out of the summer – this coming long weekend, I am headed to Tofino! I haven’t been there in a few years, so I’m really looking forward to it – even if we’re only going to be spending one night camping We also plan on heading down to Victoria to spend a night in the city. It will probably be my last time home until Christmas.

It won’t be a cheap vacation – trips to the island never are. But, we will be staying with relatives one night in Nanaimo, camping in Tofino, and then staying at my parents house in Victoria for the other night, so at least our accommodation expenses will be kept to a minimum.

Here’s the breakdown I’m expecting:

Travel expenses:
$76 ferry & 2 passengers (one way)
$60 gas

$25 food & miscellaneous
$10 camping fee

$100 Wild Play ($48.15 x2)
$100 miscellaneous

TOTAL: $371

Wild Play is a high ropes course that we will be doing with Cupcakes and Cash. I budgeted paying for Nic too, since it was my idea. I did it last summer, and it was a blast, so I’m really excited to attempt it again. Other than that, we have a few meals planned with my friends, and a bunch of wandering around the city. Fingers crossed for good weather!

After this trip, I’m kind of excited for my travel schedule to calm down a bit, and to just settle into a more normal routine – with much less spending. To be honest, I expected the summer to be really laid back and inexpensive, but it ended up kind of being the opposite.

Thankfully, the next trip planned isn’t until the end of September for the Financial Blogger Conference in Chicago. I finally booked my flight for $515, which in my opinion, is a pretty decent price. But, it’s still expensive. There were roundtrip tickets for about $375, but all of the flight times were ridiculous and inconvenient. At least the hotel room was cheap – only $82/night, and right at the convention centre. And I can write all of the expenses off because it’s related to my freelance business.

Also, I’m already taking 2 vacation days for the Chicago trip, but part of me wants to take another day off. That way, I can spend an extra day in the city (I only have one full day to explore the city as it is). Because, really, when am I ever going to go back to Chicago?

Dating etiquette: how to split the costs

I know that when it comes to relationships and dating, there are three ways that couples generally split costs:

  1. Split evenly – expenses are split down the middle, or you take turns paying.
  2. Split according to income – expenses are split proportionately, based on income.
  3. One person pays for the majority – well, self-explanatory. :)

When I was in college, I started dating someone who was already somewhat established in a career. He paid for most things, because he knew I couldn’t really afford to. Then, when I started working and our incomes aligned together better, we started splitting things right down the middle. And I mean, to the penny. In fact, there might have even been a spreadsheet.

Then there was ex-BF, who paid for most things during the beginning. But then I fully supported him financially during the last year of our relationship when he quit his job to go back to school.

And here’s where I’m reminded of Young and Thrifty’s post, are financially independent women a turn-on? Not that I want to talk about financial independence in relation to sexiness, but rather how men view women who can fully support themselves – and in some cases, their partners as well.

Women have come a long way in the last few decades, and we can do a lot more than we give ourselves credit for. Once we recognize that, and utilize our power to propel us to achieve all that we’re capable of, there’s no stopping us. And I think that can be intimidating to some men, who might have subscribed to the idea that they should be the bread winner in a relationship.

Although, I think for the most part, men are okay with women who make more money than them – as long as they aren’t reminded of it every day, or belittled, or made to feel inferior in any way. Because really, in a relationship, while you still have to maintain a level of independence, it’s about teamwork and supporting each other.

Now that I’ve been dating Nicolas (yes, he has a name!) for just over 2 months, I tend to want to lean towards category #1 and #2. We usually take turns paying (although he has definitely paid for more things than me), but I would feel a lot more comfortable if we split expenses according to income. And I don’t mean dividing the bill when we go out, but more like I would pay for more of the activities we do. At least for now. He’s been open about how much money he makes (not sure if that’s his personality, or if it’s because I’m so open about how much money I make), and I know that I make more than him. That being said, he’s currently studying for his Masters in Architecture. So, not only is he a student, but once he graduates next year, he will have much more overall potential earning power during his career than I ever will. So I feel like, over time, it would all even itself out anyway.

How do you and your significant other split expenses?

Navigating dating and personal finance

As a short follow-up to my post about using coupons on the first date, over the past week I haven’t been able to subtly convince anybody to use a coupon with me. I even straight-up asked a guy on a first date what he thought about using coupons. He just laughed at me, then looked a little horrified when he realized I was serious.

My official stance on using coupons on a first-date is that I would have a neutral-to-somewhat-positive reaction to it. I don’t think I’d be high-fiving the guy if he pulled out a coupon (like I previously thought my reaction could be), yet I don’t think I’d be offended or think negatively if they decided to use a coupon either. However, after reading all of your comments, and after getting laughed at on a first date, I’ve concluded that I don’t think it would ever happen. There’s just too much of a stigma attached to it.

I think when it comes to dating, a big adjustment I will have is not being so open about my finances. It’s hard though, because personal finance isn’t just a hobby to me anymore – it’s part of who I am. I generate an income from writing about it, have made good friends through blogging, and it’s what I’m really interested in. So when someone asks what I do for a living or what my hobbies are, I can either lie and not mention writing/blogging, or I can be honest. It’s a fine line, because if I don’t mention it, a quick internet search will bring up every single detail about my finances for the world to see anyway. Which one of the reasons why I remained anonymous for so long. It was okay when I was in a long-term relationship, but now that I’m single and putting myself out there, I feel somewhat self-conscious.

I went on a date with someone recently who had Googled me (without me even telling him my full name), found my Moneyville articles, and proceeded to read a few of them (proving I’m not the only internet stalker in this area code). I didn’t hold it against him, because I totally Googled stalked him too. But the point is, I don’t think I can get away without mentioning that personal finance/blogging is a huge part of my life, yet it’s something about me that I don’t want them to know about. But, it’s the internet. You can’t hide from it, and it knows everything about everything.

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