Week 9: Financial Planning

Well, they can’t all be lipstick and tattoos. Occasionally, I force myself to do something responsible and adult-y. So this week, I went to the bank, and actually sat down and had someone explain to me (for the 3rd time) what an RSP is.

Years ago, an article was published saying that someone who starts an RSP in their early 20’s is better off than someone who starts an RSP in their 30’s, regardless of how much the person in their 30’s actually puts into the account. So obviously both of my parents sent me this article every day for 2 weeks. I finally just set up an RSP to make them stop. (The same thing happened when an article came out recommending to wash the outside of cantaloupes before cutting into them, because salmonella had been found on the outside of some melons.)

So I set up an RSP, started automatic monthly deposits, and didn’t look at it again for 4 years.

Smart, right? Turns out, could have been smarter about that.

But this isn’t a post about whether I invested in GIC’s or mutual funds (ha, as if I know what either of those are), it’s a post about growing up and actually paying attention to what the big bank is doing with my money (or lack thereof).

I got to the bank and met my advisor, Brad. Apparently Brad thought it would be a good idea to participate in Movember. He’s a financial advisor. With a patchy moustache. It did not inspire confidence.

Although Brad was definitely better than the people I’ve had before. I don’t know if it’s because I’m young or don’t have a lot of money, but banks seem to set me up with their freshest advisors. The last guy I had had so much gel in his hair that I initially thought he was wearing a helmet. He did tell me about a pretty cool party he’d gone to though, which was awesome. I’m super interested in where the guy who is handling my money goes to get drunk.

When you are setting up an RSP with TD bank, they make you fill out a questionnaire. My two favourite questions were as follows (paraphrased):

  • How long do you intend on living once you’ve retired? (The options were pretty grim, with the max being 10+ years.)
  • Do you plan on needing to withdraw a large sum of money in the next few years for a house, wedding, or child? (Because I love planning out the next few years of my personal life in a bank.)

But I’m glad that I went. I now have a pretty decent idea of how much money I have (clue: not much), how much interest it’s getting, and how much cat food I’ll be able to afford when I retire and die almost immediately after.

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How I feel about financial planning.

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Week 8: Red Lipstick!

I have done it! I have purchased, and worn, red lipstick. And it has looked good.

This was a bit of a weird one for me (although really no weirder than a bikini wax), but also very exciting. I don’t know where I got the idea of adding red lipstick to my challenges list, but I’ve always admired women who could confidently wear red lipstick. They always look so polished and classy and put together. I, on the other hand, usually look dishevelled and like I haven’t showered in a few days… which is sometimes true.

I felt that buying and being able to pull off a devilishly red lipstick would make me feel grown up and fancy – much like a child wearing their mom’s clothes. And it worked.

I will be the first to admit that I don’t often wear makeup, and as a result don’t really know how to apply or buy it. Whenever I do buy makeup (once every three years) I go to Mac, because they know what they’re doing. The employees there are always very well coiffed and have probably been experimenting with makeup well before any formal beauty education. Whereas I made mud pies and wrote snarky blog posts.

And so I ventured to the mall to get the help of a Mac employee… on a Friday evening. This was a mistake. With only six Mondays left until Christmas, the mall was pretty busy on a Friday at 4pm. This blog post should really be titled “Katharine visited a mall and DIDN’T leave.” Because if I hadn’t had a timeline to adhere to, I would have been out of there.

But I stuck to it and battled the crowds until I met Gabriela, a makeup artist and my new BFF. Gabriela had a perfect cat eye, on both eyes, so I knew I could trust her. She asked me a few questions and helped me select a good colour. And then, bless her, she showed me how to apply lip liner and lipstick.

Apparently there’s a technique to this, and I had no idea. I listened carefully, watched her in the mirror, and absorbed all of the information she was dishing out.

I have since applied and worn my favourite new lipstick (Brave Red) and lip liner (He Said She Said) out of the house. Admittedly I did not do as good of a job as Gabriela, but she’s had a lot more practice than I have. I felt real pretty in this shade, and I am happy that I’ve finally grown up into a real lady.

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Me and my awesome new lipstick!

Week 7: I call your (Scarborough) Bluff…

I was really excited to go to the Scarborough Bluffs! And then I was very disappointed when I got there.

I had come close to getting to the Bluffs before, but only because I took a wrong turn on my bike. Like most of my adventures. I had seen photos of the Bluffs as well, and was very excited to see this beautiful natural wonder in my very own backyard!

So, my boyfriend and I set out on the subway, all the way to Victoria Park (which is super far), and then caught a bus. Over an hour after we set out on the transit system, we arrived! Or so I thought.

We got off the bus in front of what appeared to be an extremely expensive private school, and started walking south toward the lake. You know what’s surprisingly hard to find? The Scarborough Bluffs! There’s a bunch of small residential streets with big signs that say “No Access to the Bluffs.” Which seems elitist and exclusive, but I can also understand how in peak season those signs would be completely necessary.

Eventually we found the park on one side of the Bluffs. The view was pretty nice, but not was I had imagined. Then we walked some more over to the other side of the park, and got an OK view there too. Much of the Bluffs is closed off for safety: there has been a lot of erosion in the area, and visitors are not allowed to walk in dangerous areas. I can understand why the City would need to close this off (can we say lawsuit) but it also took away a lot of the view from the Bluffs.

Some of the locals just sort of ignored the “do not enter” signs, but I was unwilling. I’ve heard too many news stories of people falling from the bluffs and injuring themselves. I am also nervous about heights, so this was a no-go zone for me.

The area was quite beautiful because the leaves were all changing, and the weather was gorgeous. But overall, I was underwhelmed. On the bright side, we did get to walk around the neighbourhood, and see all of the amazing houses down there. As it turns out, that’s a real nice area.

The sort-of-view of the Scarborough Bluffs.

The sort-of-view of the Scarborough Bluffs.