Give Me Back My Five Bucks

Keeping travel local this year

10399796_161454925247_6688913_nI really wanted to do a big trip this year – somewhere fun and exotic! Last year I went to Cuba, the year before was Hawaii, and the year before that was France & Morocco. But with the weak Canadian dollar (and my goal to save 50% of my income this year), it just didn’t make financial sense to go anywhere too crazy … so I’m making a conscious effort to travel locally this year. Or at least within Canada and the PNW region. :)

With that in mind, RD and I just booked our first vacation of the year! Next month we’ll be taking off to beautiful Tofino on Vancouver Island. It just so happens that a couple of good friends and their kid will be up there at that time too, so will be nice to hang out with them. After Tofino, we’ll be hopping on a ferry up to Powell River to visit a few of his friends and family.

This is still going to be an expensive trip. Tofino is not cheap – but we booked accommodation through VRBO.com with a full kitchen so we can cook most of our meals. And in Powell River we’ll be able to stay for free. Still though, I anticipate the week will cost us around $1,000 each.

Other vacation happenings for the year include my family’s annual trip to Seattle for the Blue Jays series (will be pricey!), at least one or two trips to Toronto for freelance work, and I’ll be taking some time off at Christmas. We’ve also talked about going up north to RD’s hometown for a visit at some point this year. Ideally I’d like to carry some vacation forward to 2017, but it looks pretty unlikely as I only get 4 weeks off.

What are your vacation plans for the year?

TD #SaveMore Twitter Chat!

Just a quick note to let you know that I’ll be co-hosting the TD Canada Trust #SaveMore Twitter Chat today from 12:00pm to 1:00pm EST (9am PST) with my friend Robb Engen from Boomer and Echo.

SaveMore

Twitter chats are my favourite way to interact through social media. So don’t forget to follow the #SaveMore hashtag where we’ll be chatting about the current market conditions, saving, prioritizing competing financial goals, and financial planning.

And if you don’t already follow me on Twitter, you can find me at @krystalatwork!

Could you date someone who makes significantly less than you?

428981_10150511290730248_507680247_9376684_690475059_nRecently I read a blog post by a woman who refuses to date men who make less than six figures. “I am all about living life, and not about working to pay for it,” she wrote. At first, I was outraged because shouldn’t we all be striving for our own personal financial independence? It’s the main goal of this blog! But now that it’s been a couple of weeks since I first read that post, I have to admit that I kind of get where she’s coming from.

I’ve never specifically laid out financial requirements for a potential partner, but I’ve always gravitated towards men who were ambitious and financially capable of supporting a certain lifestyle. I’m not talking about flying first class or living in penthouse apartments – I just mean being able to enjoy similar interests, vacation styles, comfortable apartments, and early retirement goals.

And in my previous relationships where there was a financial disparity? It sometimes caused friction. So seeking a partner who made a good income just seemed like an easy solution, and I felt like it would be less complicated. Because the number one thing couples fight about is money, right?

Related: Would you ever date someone who had debt?

Yet, if I had made that a hard rule – if I refused to ever consider anyone who didn’t make at least an equivalent salary to mine – I would have missed out on so many amazing adventures and happy memories in my life. And as for some of the relationships I’ve had with men who made good incomes? They ended up being incredibly messy. Because while it’s true that our finances and lifestyle compatibility were less complicated, I wasn’t completely focused on the bigger picture. Did I love them – or did I just love the idea of them?

As my last relationship was winding down, I learned a lot about myself and what I was looking for. I learned to look outside the box of what I would normally want in a partner – because the path of unsuccessful relationships I was on was not very fun. I needed to stop checking boxes, and I needed to trust my instincts instead. As for financial compatibility, I decided that all I needed was someone who was good with the money that they earned. It didn’t matter what they did for a living. And whether their salary was $40,000 or $400,000 – as long as they were happy and living within their means, what more could I ask for?

Related: Why I can’t afford to start dating

I consider myself extremely lucky to have met my boyfriend. While he cares (a lot) less than me about his finances, he has a stable job, zero debt, savings in the bank, and is really good at pretending to be interested in the latest evolution of my budgeting spreadsheet. :) He is ambitious, yet realistic in the fact that he took a significant pay cut to take a job that would make him happier in the long run – and I think that says a lot about someone to know exactly what they want.

Even though I understand where that woman in the original article may have been coming for, I don’t support her reliance on someone else to create the life she wants for herself. Because you certainly don’t need a 6-figure salary to live a good life. I’ve spent the last 10 years trying to earn my financial independence. I’m not super smart or well educated or even a very good writer.  But I’ve worked hard for the life that I have.

When I was 28, I bought my first home. I saved for the down payment for years, and in the 5 years I owned that home, I paid my mortgage payments on time, traveled to over 20 different countries, and stayed on track with my retirement savings. Maybe this is a super cliche way of thinking, but my financial accomplishments felt like even bigger accomplishments because I was doing everything as a single female.

I don’t really understand why anyone would look for a relationship that includes being financially supported. Sure I understand if you fall for someone who just happens to be wealthy (and also provides you with all of the other things you need in a healthy relationship), but to specifically seek it out seems wrong. I guess I just don’t get why you wouldn’t to experience that amazing feeling of making it on your own. :)

Would you date someone who made significantly less than you?
Would you ever refuse to date someone because they didn’t make enough money?

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