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Opinion Pieces

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Ok ladies and gents…we’re talking about periods and the tampon tax today. I feel like I need to put a disclaimer on that so if my Dad ever stumbles across my blog, he can stop reading. I consider myself a feminist, but there are specific details about my leak week that I’d rather not share with certain people. Clearly that’s not internet strangers! If you don’t like where this is going then feel free to bow out (but also realize that you might be part of the problem, just saying.) Recently there have been reports about the outlandishly high cost of feminine hygiene products in some of Canada’s largest airports (Calgary and Vancouver). It’s ridiculous to charge $15 for a box of pads or tampons, and the stories have stirred up the debate about women having to pay for their periods. Apparently, only bread gets its own price-fixing scandal. In…

You know how people always preach about the importance of goal setting? Especially at this time of year when New Years Resolutions are flooding your feeds. Well, I have a confession…I am terrible at goals. I’m terrible at setting goals, and I’m even more terrible at following through with them. I’m working on it though. I guess you could say that one of my goals is to be better at goals. The Goals This year I’ve got five goals I’m going after, and they cross most sectors of my life. Some of them are big important goals and others, well…not so much. None of them are incredibly lofty, but I’m trying to set myself up for success here. Workout Four Times a Week Ok, this is one of those resolutions I make every year that ends up being a fail. Exercise and I are not BFF’s. I go through spells…

Instead of rounding up a bunch of my favourite personal finance posts from this past year, I thought I would put the pressure back on a few of my fellow bloggers and make them choose one of their own. Some found it more challenging than others (Liz compared it to choosing a favourite child), and others cheated and gave a couple of options ūüėČ Overall though, there were some great submissions, and I found it interesting to see what people chose in comparison to which of their posts stuck with me. How I Became the Dumpster Dog (or, How I Saved $30,000 in 8 Months) by Amanda from Dumpster Dog Blog I could (and would) have chosen any number of posts from Amanda because she has been killing it this year, but she went with her origin story. If you ever wondered how the ‘Dumpster Dog’ came to be, well,…

Is university useless? If you’re considering attending post-secondary then you’ve likely asked yourself this very question. And you’ve probably gone back and forth between yes and no. There are a growing number of career paths you can choose that don’t place the same value on a university degree as others did in the past. This means the answer is very specific to what you want to do with your life, and with the growing cost of education, that’s an important thing to figure out before forking over the big bucks. After graduating from high school, I did what many privileged kids do when¬†they’re not sure what’s next…I went to university. I was 18, a good student, and completely clueless when it came to a career path. Some of my friends knew exactly what they wanted to do; be a firefighter, a teacher, an engineer just like their Dad or a…

As many of you will know, I have a house full of pets. Two dogs and two cats to be exact. But one thing I’ve never done is take them on a trip. Finding a pet sitter can be a challenge but I’m lucky to have my parents nearby and they always take care of the gang when we travel. This year though, the boyfriend and I wanted to give travelling with pets a shot and packed up our easiest to manage pup for a weekend getaway to the mountains. Just one?! (Insert shocked emoji face here)¬† I know, I know, bad pet parents. Our dogs are wonderful, and honestly, if I had to play favourites, the one we left behind would actually be number one in my heart. Sorry Bree, but you did get to come to Jasper. Our Boxer (Baxter), is very sweet and cuddly, but also a…

Confession: I hate math… And right now you’re all sitting there thinking ‘But Sarah if you hate math so much then how the heck did you end up working in finance and writing a blog about money?!’ You’re not wrong to be a little confused, but let me try to justify my life choices. For as long as I can remember, math was always my least favourite subject in school. I struggled through, but my brain just wasn’t built to comprehend¬†algebra and trigonometry. I have memories of my engineer (aka math brain) Dad attempting to patiently walk me through my math homework and me having multiple meltdowns because he didn’t do it the same as my teacher. That’s how math brains work; they can just figure out complicated problems. For me, it was more about memorizing steps than ever actually understanding what I was doing. I went to University without…

Have you ever had a moment as an adult where you’ve seriously considered moving back in with your parents? This could have been because of a job loss, or a break-up, or because you just wanted to get serious about paying off debt or saving money. Or maybe you’ve never jumped ship to live on your own. With the increasing cost of renting or buying a home, it’s becoming more and more common for millennials to live with their parents. According to US data, 15% of 25- to 35-year-olds were living with parents in 2016. That is an increase of 3% since 2010 and a significantly higher proportion than any other previous generation at the same age. What did I do? While this has been a fact of life for many of my cohorts, it was never the case for me. I moved out when I was 21 and have…

Marriage… That wonderful institution where you commit yourself, for better or for worse, to another person for the rest of your life (well, in about 50% of the cases). I’m not against marriage…not at all. But I was also never the little girl who dreamt of her wedding day. I wasn’t some sort of feminist super-child. I played house, and with Barbies, I guess I just never considered a wedding worthy of my imagination time. Some things never change ūüėČ For those of you who have been around the blog for awhile, you’ll likely be familiar with at least some of my story, but I’m going to recap for the newbies. I’m 32 and have been dating the same guy since I was nineteen. That’s twelve years in case you don’t want to do the math. Twelve years of non-wedded bliss (mostly bliss, nobody’s that perfect). We own a house…

Owning your own home is the dream right? Even with the current bloated house prices and terrifying real estate market 86 percent of millennials still consider home ownership important. The problem? It costs a hell of a lot of money to buy a place. The average house price in Canada is sitting at $504,458 (as of June 2017), so even if you put down the smallest possible down payment, that is still going to be over $25,000. If instead, you want to avoid having to pay additional mortgage insurance to CMHC, you are going to have fork over a¬†20% down payment, and that will cost you over $100,000. That’s a lot of money, and it doesn’t even factor in the additional costs associated with your first home. And I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you don’t have Rihanna levels of money…you know, since you’re reading…

This one¬†is for all the couples out there. I’m intrigued by where you guys and gals sit on the gender division of labour? You know, who brings home the most money and who takes on the bulk of the household chores? Are you even splitters (high five!) or does one person take on the bulk of the work? I was recently reading (listening – that always feels weird for me to say when talking about books), Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg and she talks a lot about the importance of having a partner who pitches in. I totally get that! Honestly, I don’t know how some women handle working all day only to go home and have to do the bulk of the childcare and housework. And I don’t even have kids. It’s a much more even split in my house, and I wish that were the norm for everyone.…