Give Me Back My Five Bucks

Doubled the debt today, and still smiling!

Well, there goes my dream of getting a free computer. The transaction finally posted to my Visa, which is making me pretty depressed. Just when I was less than $3k in debt, I had to go and double it. I don’t regret the purchase, because I know I’m going to love it, but still. At least on a positive note, by May 25th at the latest, I should be completely 100% out of consumer and student loan debt. So the computer basically added on 6 weeks more of living with debt, and when I think about it that way, it’s not so bad after all! :)

I met some really important deadlines at work today, which I’ve been stressing out about for the past few weeks. To congratulate myself, I went shopping online. Well, not really. I didn’t buy anything, I just lusted after things. Clothes, mostly … but also funky accessories, and home items I’ll never be able to afford. Browsing online was probably the worst thing in the world I could have done for myself, because I love shopping. So to calm myself down, you know what I did? I logged onto my city’s public library site, and put Shopaholic & Baby and Save Karyn on hold. Normally, I would have just popped down to Chapters and bought myself both books, but I saved myself a ton of money and will borrow them instead. Even though I’m hold number 196 of 196 for the Shopaholic book, and they haven’t even gotten any in circulation yet since it just got released. Sigh.

After I finished torturing myself by pretend-shopping online, I went pretend house-hunting online instead, and hit up my favourite real estate sites, MLS.ca and comfree.com. Most of the homes in my price range are ugly and dated, or super small and cramped. But there are some gems out there. I am really looking for a chic loft in the city, or a condo/townhouse in the suburbs that isn’t completed dated. At this point in my life (while I’m young and just starting out), I think the city loft sounds more appealing, but most of them are so small (500 sq. ft or less). I guess you have to sacrifice space to get city living.

If you won $1 million, what would you do?

  1. Scream and jump up and down.
  2. Call my boyfriend.
  3. Scream and jump up and down some more.
  4. Pay off all debts. ($7,000)
  5. Max out emergency fund: 6 months worth of income. ($18,000)
  6. Buy a new 2 or 3-story detatched townhouse in my city. ($400,000)
  7. Buy the dream car: Mini Cooper S convertible. ($45,000)
  8. Take distance education courses to obtain my B.A. in Communication Studies. ($20,000)
  9. Set $$ aside to go travelling once I’ve obtained permanent employment. ($10,000)
  10. Talk to a trusted financial advisor, and invest the remainder. ($500,000)

That’s what I would do. What would you do?

Thinking about adding GICs to the portfolio

With the recent beating my mutual fund porfolio has taken, I’ve decided to look into a more secure form of investing to off-set the riskiness of it all, namely GICs. I’ve been researching into Outlook Financial (a Manitoba-based credit union), and their rates are pretty unbelievable compared to the major banks in Canada. I mean, granted, they are GICs, and compared to the return I could be making elsewhere, it’s not a lot. But it is a guranteed investment contract, afterall. And you certaintly can’t say the same thing about stocks.

I think they require a $1,000 minimum deposit, but I can start saving up now. Ideally down the road, I’d like to have 3 to 5 GICs on a rotation, so that every year, one of them is up for maturity. Then I can either re-invest the GIC, or invest in something else. It seems like a good idea, but I’ll have to research a little more into Outlook Financial, as well as if it’s in my best interest to go this route.

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A beginner's guide for Canadians looking to get their financial life in order. Get great info on budgeting and saving, RRSP's and pensions, investing types, insurance, and where to go for additional resources.

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