Had I not chosen the glamorous career of a standup comedian, I am quite certain I would have been a life coach. My advice has actually helped tens and tens of people get their lives on track. Here, you may write to me in the strictest confidence, knowing that I will do everything to protect your anonymity. I look forward to hearing from you, and helping you in any way I can. I got your back. – Tranna
I am terrible with money. There, I said it. I’m in my late 20's, have a steady job, and no matter how hard I try I just can’t get it together...financially. I tried to cut things out of my life to save cash but I just end up spending that money on other things. I don’t buy a ton of clothes, or get pampered constantly, but can I help it if I want to go out to a nice dinner once in a while and enjoy a night out with my friends? Or the occasional trip to somewhere tropical when it’s minus 100 outside? How do I save my hard earned dough while still living a normal life?"
Dear Big Big Spender,
I'm so excited to put on my Suze Orman hat and help you with your financial predicament (my Suze Orman hat is probably my favorite hat). I want you to know that this advice is coming from someone who is in the lowest tax bracket. I am a self-proclaimed tranny on a budget but I live like a queen. Basically, I'm saying that it is absolutely possible to live the life you want on a limited budget AND to save money in the process--I am living proof. First off, it sounds like you are not in any major debt, so that already puts you way ahead in the financial game. And you should feel good about that. One of the most important things you need to do for yourself is to let go of the "I'm broke" mentality. People who are always thinking and saying, "I'm so poor, I have no money, I'm always broke," are always the worst off financially. There is something about that mentality that perpetuates itself. If you're always thinking you're broke, you're always going to be broke. Be responsible, be aware of how much money you have coming in, but don't think too much about it. The more you think about money, the bigger problem it's going to be in your life. One of the easiest things to do to save money without feeling restricted is to put money away in a savings account AS SOON AS you get paid. The moment you get your salary deposit, transfer $100 or $200 right away into a savings account. I would even suggest opening a savings account with a separate financial institution so you don't even think about the money you're putting aside (try to find a savings account that will at least give you a little interest, like a Tax Free Savings Account. Stay away from RRSPs, they will fuck you over). The key is that you must make this transfer as soon as you get your deposit. Do not wait a day or two, because those two days will turn into a week and you will end up spending that money. If you put that money into a savings account as soon as you get paid, you won't even feel like it's made a dent in your budget or lifestyle. You can spend that remaining money as your heart desires, no limitations! (But don't forget it to pay your monthly bills.) Enjoy each moment of your life. Don't miss out on experiences because of money. Keep living your fabulous life the way you want to. You work hard for that money, so don't ever deprive yourself. It's important to put money aside, but it's more important to live your life to the fullest. What are you going to do with a million dollars when you're 80? You'll be too old and tired to move!
I've been with my partner for 4 years. Until now I never wanted kids but lately I've been feeling like I'm missing out on something. I know my girlfriend doesn't feel the same way. She's been clear that she wants nothing to do with any rug-rats. Not sure what to do..."
Thank you for trusting me with such a personal question. I've been thinking about your question for the past few days. Of course, there is much to consider. I have many questions for you, and I hope that in answering these questions to yourself, honestly, you may find your way through this uncertain moment. I must stress the importance of being honest with yourself as you think about these questions and what you really want for yourself. Also, please know that these questions are not accusatory, they are simply being asked to help you to consider your situation from as many angles as possible. At the beginning of this relationship did you want children? If not, what has changed? Where do you think your desire for a child is coming from? Is having a child essential to living your life in a complete, fulfilling manner? When you hear a baby screaming and crying in a public space do you get furiously annoyed or does it tug at your heartstrings? Do you want a baby badly enough that you'd consider raising one on your own? Is there something missing in your relationship with your partner? Do you think you might be unhappy in your current relationship and that your desire for a baby is your way out of it, being that your partner is adamant about not wanting children? If that's not the case, and you are happy in your current relationship, than you must discuss your want for a child with your partner. There is no other option. You've built a relationship with this person, you need to trust that they will listen to you with an open heart and mind. And, of course, you must be willing to listen to your partner's wants openly as well. I think it's safe to say that regardless of your want for a child, your relationship with your partner is at a crossroads. That can be scary and anxiety-inducing, but I think that's fairly common at the four year mark. Before you make these important decisions--having a child, not having a child, staying with your partner, leaving your partner--please be deeply honest with yourself. Try to understand your motivations so that you don't walk away in either direction with any regrets. You can never go wrong when you're being honest with yourself. Trust in that.
Wishing you all the best in all your choices,