Tag Archives: shopping

Oh, hello again

Wow, I’m so forgetful sometimes! Like, for the last month, I basically forgot that I have a blog. But now I have so many things to update about – perhaps I will make SEVERAL posts before I once again forget that this thing exists.

So! I went to Alberta! It was a really fun trip. I went with my mom and my aunt. My sister had to work during our first full day, so we explored her neighbourhood a bit. Fortunately she lives far enough away from downtown that she wasn’t affected by the flooding. Her neighbourhood is really cute, lots of stores and restaurants and stuff. Also, it was SO HOT THERE. I’m not used to heat because I live in Saint John where overcast and freezing is the norm, so I immediately got sunburned on my pasty, pasty skin.

We spent the next three days in the mountains. Banff, Canmore, lots of beautiful lakes, waterfalls, and seriously, the mountains are actually so amazing. I feel like pictures don’t really capture them, but here is one of me at the top of the Banff Gondola anyway.

mountain

 

So pretty! We also did a lot of hiking, and then immediately made up for it by eating at a whole bunch of good restaurants. I was a little exhausted (or was it just heat stroke?) by the end of it, but I feel like we got to see a lot. No grizzlies though! We drove around in search of animals a bunch, but we only found mountain sheep. They were FINE I guess, but they were no bears.

Me and my mom at Moraine Lake.

Me and my mom at Moraine Lake.

Our last full day in Calgary was spent shopping at an incredibly massive outlet mall. Oh my god, it is such a good thing I don’t live in a place that has a thing like that. It had all the stores! I wanted all the things! I had to show some restraint because, you know, we had to carry it all back on the plane, so things didn’t escalate TOO much.

And then I was off to Toronto to hang out with one of my bffs, Jeff for a few days.

jeff

 

We went to a drag show (my first drag show!) and then another drag show (my second drag show!) and then a Tegan and Sara concert (my third Tegan and Sara concert!). Basically, we had a blast and it was just great to hang out with Jeff.

ivoryAlso, I finally met Jeff’s friend Ivory, a.k.a. the hottest drag queen ever. And I know what I’m talking about, I’ve been to two drag shows.

Then it was back to reality, but I’ve been finding ways to make Saint John at least a bit more interesting. Stay tuned for a Very Important Post about my experience at the Saint John Psychic Fair, my trip to the zoo, and SO MUCH MORE. No, not really. Just those two things, actually.

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$$$

Aside from the general fixing and clearing out and decluttering of my apartment – more on that soon – one of the major things I’m trying to work on at the moment is my relationship with money. I’ve written and talked and whined about my financial irresponsibility a lot so I’m not going to go into the whole thing. The basic summary is, I make money, I spend that money on Crap I Don’t Need, I end up with debt and this is bad, because going into debt over crap you don’t need is a stupid thing to do.

I would like a goddamn money tree now please, k thanks!

I would like a goddamn money tree now please, k thanks!

So over the past six months, I’ve been trying to be better. And I have been! I’m not perfect, but I am better. Here are some of the things I’ve done differently:

I opened a savings account. I got my first savings account ever about six months ago. Savings were not really a thing I considered before, because all my money was going toward the aforementioned Crap I Don’t Need (dresses, accessories, nail polish, lunch, dresses). In my defence, I was an intern/freelancer until two years ago, but I do wish I had started saving earlier. Now I feel like at least if I have some kind of financial emergency, it won’t destroy me, and I won’t have to turn to my parents to bail me out. I feel like I’m creating at least a small safety net, and that’s definitely a good thing for me.

I started a budget. Mint.com has basically changed my life. I’m kind of an all or nothing person, and if I don’t check my finances every day and see exactly where my money is going, I’m liable to spend it on that Crap I Don’t Need. With a budget, I can still allow for fun stuff like shopping and restaurants, I just can’t indulge quite as often as I might ideally like to if I had unlimited funds. I like Mint because every transaction on my debit or credit card shows up there, and I can’t deny the cold, hard numbers. So far, budgeting is kind of like a challenging game – I have to stay within certain limits, and it can feel restrictive sometimes, but it also feels satisfying when I manage to do it.

I stopped buying Crap I Don’t Need. This is probably the hardest thing for me, but I’m doing surprisingly well! Just this week Modcloth, my favourite clothing store ever in the whole world, had a 70 per cent off sale. Usually I would jump on instantly and buy half a dozen dresses and feel that weird rush of adrenaline I get from shopping. That’s a normal reaction, right??? But this time, I scrolled through the items, reminded myself there is nothing I need because I have like a billion dresses or so, and that was all. This might sound minor, but this is a big deal for me! I’m pretty sure I’ve bought something during every major Modcloth sale for the last four years. Which is…a lot. Glancing at my order history for that site is almost enough to give me a panic attack. Anyway, I’m doing this new thing where I don’t buy things impulsively, I only purchase things that I’ve thought about, that I can afford, and that I actually need.

I’m trying to be more financially independent. This is going to sound like a stupid thing to complain about, but my parents have always given me way too much financial support, and this needs to change. They can afford to help me – that’s not the point. Having them pay for my stuff makes me feel like I’m not a fully formed individual, and it’s not a nice feeling. I recently convinced them to let me pay my own car insurance (I know I sound like a brat when I talk about these things, but I DID have to convince them). For some reason, my mom is adamant about paying my cell phone bill, and it’s really hard to argue with someone who is trying to help you, so I’m letting that one go for now. Instead, I’m taking advantage of her generosity, and I’ve doubled my student loan payment, so now I’ll have it paid off in three years. I don’t have any other debt right now, so that’s something I can definitely handle.

These are all small changes, and basically I’ve just made it up to the level of a regular, mostly functioning adult as far as money’s concerned, but I’m still proud of myself. I just hope I can manage to keep it up.

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