Financial Anarchist

I am a late 20s female from Canada. I work in Public Relations. This blog chronicals my journey from debt to extreme early retirement, where I will escape wage slavery and opt-out of becoming a pawn in the Corporate Monarchy. 2011 Goals: pay off debt, renovate house. 2012 Goals: rent out part of house, bank and invest $100k, semi-retire.

Nobody ever talks about generational conflict. Who wants to bring up that the old are eating the young at the dinner table? How are you going to mention that to your boss? If you’re a politician, how are you going to tell your donors? Even the Occupy Wall Street crowd, while rejecting the modes and rhetoric and institutional support of Boomer progressives, shied away from articulating the fundamental distinction that fills their spaces with crowds: young against old.

Young People in the Recession - The War Against Youth - Esquire

Another wonderful import from our southern neighbours.

(via solchrom)

(via solchrom)

Honeymoon Phase = Over.

I haven’t updated this thing in a while.

In fact, March’s numbers (income and expenditures) are completely out of whack because I’ve only half heartedly keeping track to the dollar. In my mind, all that mattered this month was that I stayed on track for my overall goal: pay off $1k of my credit card in March, and another $2k in April. I’m on track to do that, so all is good. But I will start keeping track of expenses for April again. And income. 

Anyway, this month has been a whirlwind. I’m dating again, which is going well. And, I’m over a month into my new job. Also going well. It’s challenging work in the field that interests me most, it’s a fun, casual office and I have perks like a MacBook, and a company i(Phone). Not to mention, my biweekly pay check is $200 more than my previous job. Trust me, that makes all the difference. 

I love every single person I work with. So much. I am psyched to be here. I told myself that perhaps I’m doing well and miraculously, I fit in. Things are great.

Then of course, the axe came down that brought me down to reality: a colleague was let go today. It sounded pretty mutual, and a long time coming but still. The circumstances are hazy, and it could be a number of reasons in which the onus is totally on this person: they didn’t try, they weren’t a team player, they simply didn’t like the job. But still, it hurts. It hurts because now the reminder that one day you’re doing so well, and the next you’re on your bum is now a vivid reality and not just a hazy, far away scenario. 

I’d like to think my 6 years in the industry has well-prepared me for this role, but again, this is yet another reminder why it’s absolutely critical to be 100% financially self-reliant and in control of your own life.

2012 Financial Goal: Phase I - Update

$3200 Art

$3500 LIRA

$5000 RRSP

$2000 Book Value TFSA

$4000 Tax Refund (going into TFSA

$600 Side Hustle #2 (if the cheque ever comes)

—-

Total (non real-estate) Net Worth - $18,300

This is what I stand to have by June 1st. That’s $1,700 short of my goal. Here’s why, I was told — off the record — that I would be receiving a $2,000 bonus. I only received half that. I’ve left my old job on good terms, but it left a bitter taste in my mouth. Granted, most employees at my level don’t receive anything and are even underpaid and under promoted given the industry and workload. But on the other hand, vacation time is more than generous, so I guess it all balances out.

The other $700 of shortfall is because I had to withdraw some RSPs (non-registered, so I don’t get penalized!) to help cover the aftershock of ridiculous expenses I’m covering this month.

If I didn’t have a Side Hustle, I’d be screwed!

—-

Any ideas to help me earn an extra $1,700 in three months? Anyone? Bueller?

March 2012 Income

$714 job (there’s a week lag in pay cycle…which means I worked two weeks but only got the cheque for 1 week and the pay cycle will always be a week behind :( )

$380 Side Hustle #1 paycheque

$300 Side Hustle #1 tips

/Updated

$1,540 J*b

$330 Side Hustle #2 paycheque

$300 Side Hustle #2 tips

/Update

Total Income: $3,564

March is going to be a financially dismal month. In February, I managed to pull together enough for my RRSP goal contribution, but not without using my LOC. I’m totally tapped out this month, while I struggle to pay for some other bills and keep up with my home renovation payments, and purchasing a plane ticket for a big trip early this summer.

Originally, I wanted to pay off $1500 of the money I ‘borrowed’ to finance my RRSPs this month, and the other $1500 next month. But, do to some things being urgently due this month, I won’t be making that $1500 payment.

Which means that in order to stay on track with my financial goals, I need to pay $3k next months. This I can do, it simply means that both of my work paycheques (which are bigger, thanks to my new job :), will go directly to paying this off, and I’ll live off of my Side Hustle income, which is what I do anyway.

I know, my finances seem a mess. They’ve seemed a mess since last fall. Which they were, but much more so. And this current mess is all strategic and I can confidently say that there IS indeed a method to my madness.

March 2012 Spending

March 5 - $1.50 coffee

March 5 - $126 bus pass

March 6 - $60 dinner, drinks (with former colleagues)

March 7 - $1.50 coffee

March 7 - $100 clothing (a laptop bag to replace a bag that got stolen. Designer consignment)

March 8 - $10.25 smokes. Depressing date/evening.

March 9 - $210 utilities/housing expenses

March 9 - $10.25 lunch

March 9 - $35 afterwork drinks

March 9 - $1.35 tea

March 9 - $8 taxi

March 10 - $1.35 tea

March 10 - $8 taxi

March 12 - $10 taxi

March 12 - $7 lunch

March 12 - $20 wine

March 13 - $40 drinks

March 13 - $25 taxi

March 14 - $10 taxi

March 14 - $11 lunch

March 15 - $40 drinks, dinner

March 15 - $30 taxi

March 15 - $75 cell phone

March 15 - $58 gym membership

Why (many) bartenders are constantly broke.

So it’s been five months since I’ve started my bar job, and I have another three months to go, consciously aware that as the high season starts, my income from tips has nowhere to go but down. This is because the bar I work at does not have a patio at all. In Toronto, you don’t realize how important this is until late-May, the beginning of patio season, but from the perspective of a patio-beer enthusiast, such as myself, it makes total sense. From June to September, I won’t be caught dead at any bar that doesn’t have a huge, expansive licensed patio.

Anyway, last Wednesday, I worked a wedding during the week, and took home a modest tip out, we’ll say $100 for argument’s sake. The next day, Thursday, I was invited to an event that some friends were throwing at a bar that was NOT open bar (which they usually are). However, some key career contacts were present, so I went any ways, with the previous night’s tip out in tow (I didn’t get a change to deposit it or tuck it away for safe keeping).

I’ll spare you the details and only say that I easily blew through last night’s tips that night. The next morning, I woke up in my bed angry at myself, hungover, and with half a dozen texts from undesirables that I somehow thought it would be okay to give my number.

I guess I’m saying all this because it finally dawned on me why so many bartenders I know, especially non-students, complain or act broke all the time. It explains why so many of them will pocket tips that are supposed to be shared, under-report their taxes so obviously and straight up steal from the bar (whether through not reporting shortages or ‘forgetting’ to ring in a certain number of drink sales). Basically, the reason I see it is this: if you work a certain amount of time in a certain lifestyle vertical or industry, you are going to become that industry and live that lifestyle.

At many of the higher-end, high-volume establishments in the city, if you constantly serve supposed ballers/athletes, celebrities and heirs in a given night, who may generously tip you once every two years they manage to show up at your club, or invite you back to an afterparty at their penthouse suite, you truly start believing you’re part of that lifestyle and therefore entitled to it.

Like say, you work in a nice night club, and some aging playboy president of a real estate company invites you back to an after party filled with all the vices you could imagine, hot people, drugs, alcohol, the party still going strong after you’ve finished your shift. Well, if this happens often enough, you start to actually *believe* that you belong in this lifestyle, and are not some recruited accessory to fill a certain quota of attractive people in order to lend credibility to whoever the lecherous host is.

That’s when you go out with your own friends (new and old) and start consuming alcohol, etc. at the rate that you are used when spending your only spare evening/night moments at some rich person’s party where everything is taken care of.

You go out with your friends and find yourself spending all the cash you have with you on booze and the like, in order to keep up the level of consumption that you’re used to. If you have $100 in your pocket, you’ll spend it. If you have $500, well then, you’re operating at a higher level, and you’re damnwell going to spend that much as a result.

*

A couple times in the past month, I’ve found myself in this vicious circle and I’ve managed to keep it under control, but I see my doomed co-workers: gorgeous, much younger than me, sweet, kind, self-destructive, who don’t yet realize that for most of them, this is the most cash they’ll ever earn.

Must be nice.

"Must be nice," I say to my friend, who has no other profession than "writer." He’s a best-selling novelist, gift journalist and degenerate addict.

He doesn’t pretend to be anything less than what he truly is: a writer and drug/alcohol abuser.

He doesn’t give a shit, he’s tender, he’s angry, he lashes at people (including me, when I don’t think what he wants me to), he pushes people away, maybe he hates himself.

Something in him is severely broken, this beautiful creature with blue, adoring eyes and an aura of sadness that connects to my own.

And yet he’s loved, adored, celebrated, revered.

I wear a mask 16 hours a day, even though it’s so tiring. So tiring. If I was allowed to come apart like him, if I had the fucking privilege, to come apart like him, I’d be despised, beaten, threatened, scorned. That’s just how the world works.

And so I stumble out of my haze, I put on my pretty pantsuits, my cultured pearl earrings, and my big fake smile, and I go out there and hide.

While inside, I die. Every day. I wish I could just be. Like him.

There’s another way to make change,

And I will not give up.

I have come too far.

I have a plan,

It begins today.

Burn it down,

Burn it down.