Greetings BAD Community. I hope you’re all having a magical day even though Tuesdays are basically a letdown. I’ve heard from some of you that numbers are important so I want to share some of my monthly expenses. I didn’t get into discretionary spending because that’s a topic for another day. Before we get to that, here’s my life by the numbers:
Hi, my name is Lindsey. I have a BA in psychology and currently, work as a mental health outreach worker for the provincial healthcare authority. I bring in about $75,000 a year but can bring in extra cash if I’m freelance writing – up to $15,000 in a year. But I try to avoid working that much because I burn out and then I’m useless.
Single Motherhood & University
When I graduated from university, I was saddled with $45,000 in student loans because I was raising my daughter while going to school. My first job paid next to nothing, and it was hard making ends meet in the beginning. Nonetheless, I paid off all those loans even though it took me eighteen years. Buh. Bye.
Love, Marriage & Buying a House
I ventured into real estate when I bought a house ten years ago with my then-husband, but it didn’t last. In the first year, an intense rainstorm had water pouring through our pot lights – insurance didn’t pay, but we were still on the hook. The second year, there was a hail storm with a costly deductible. To this day, I believe this house was made of marshmallows and built on a sacred burial ground. It was so cursed.
My spouse was unemployed for close to eighteen months during this time, so we decided to sell the house. It wasn’t anyone’s fault; it was just a bad three years, and we ran out of options. We made a modest profit from the sale and paid off the cars and credit card debt. We separated in 2016 and finalized the divorce in 2019. There wasn’t any bad blood; it was just something that needed to happen.
Boldly Go Forth, Child
My daughter moved out and started college in 2016. She is done with school for the time being but supports herself with a full-time job. I guess you can say she’s still finding herself and is happy to work at whatever job she finds herself at the moment. Being young is a journey, and sometimes one path is windier than another.
Right Here & Right Now
Now, I am a 45-year-old ‘empty nester’ with a reasonable career and few financial obligations. I’ll be paying off the last of my credit card debt in the next month and have less than two years on my car loan. I have some extra expenses like my $500 personal training package I signed with my gym. I wanted to make my health a priority, and I have a flex spending account as part of my benefits that cover the majority of it.
I am in a common-law relationship with my partner of four years. He has three kids and sees them every second weekend. By the time I started dating him, his children were getting older, and my relationship with them reflects that reality. After speaking with a lawyer, I decided to keep my finances separate as it’s easy to become legally entangled in financial obligations for child support. Is anyone else in a ‘blended’ home? If so, how do you decide to split expenses?
Can’t Sing, Can’t Dance, & I’m too Fat to Fly
Career-wise, I have no idea what I’m doing. I’ve hit the top end of what I can do with my degree. Healthcare is a highly regulated profession, so options are limited unless I go back to school to get a very similar degree to my current one. It’s a really cool job and there are many perks like an excellent defined benefit pension plan, strong union protections, prescription coverage and a flex spending account. But it also keeps me stuck because I don’t want to leave a safe, warm work cocoon for a ‘risky’ job in the private sector. What would you guys do?
As far as financial goals, I’m similarly stymied. I think paying off my car faster could be a good goal. I don’t think it saves me any money, but it’s one less monthly payment. While that’s important, I also need to spend more time planning out retirement. If I stay in healthcare, I will be paying into a defined benefit pension plan which will pay out close to $50,000 a year. On the other hand, I’ll have to put away a lot more if I move into the private sector.
At any rate, here’s my current budget. The rest will come as I figure out how best to share all this information.
What do you guys think so far?
**You may need to use the drop-down menu so the table shows all 12 lines of my budget.
|Mobile phone w/ AppleCare||$150|
|Internet & Web Hosting||$90|
Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash
Lindsey is a freelance writer in the personal finance and lifestyle sphere. When she’s not at her laptop, she is likely teaching herself a new hobby with a high potential for injury – such as skiing or cooking.