Today I had the opportunity to attend a "vip" function at Scotia Itrade. I met both the CEO of Claymore and the Managing Director of Scotia Itrade. The Claymore CEO (Som Seif) looks just as striking in person as on TV. He was however much shorter than I expected, but then again EVERYBODY is much shorter than I expect just because I am... shall we say, not short in stature.
The short (hyuck hyuck gwafawww) of the matter, I'm delighted I chose to switch to iTrade last year and I shall hence recommend to all of my minions who read my blog to do so as well.
Hopefully we won't kill them with our nickel and dime accounts!
Now on to the meat and potatoes of this posting: sticking to your guns.
I've found myself as of late perhaps introducing too many luxuries back into my budget that I have deprived myself of for so long. It's been a long slow grind to get to where I am today, and I expect some (or much) more slow yet painful slogging to continue to get to where I want to be.
Where do I want to be? I want to have my entire set of fixed expenses for my family covered by my investment monthly yield, and a little more left over to cover inflation.
However, as my lot in life has show me both the highs and lows of what society has to offer... Showing up at a job (where you were nickel and dimed on the fee) to discover that while serenading the party with music which they all were thrilled and enjoyed immensely we discovered later from the catering company they had spent about 5 times more on the ice sculpture in the corner than they had on the musicians which they interacted with and made many many requests of. The opulent houses I've been to, the decadent food I've eaten all while simply being part of "the help." On the other side of the coin, fighting for kitchen scraps on low paying gigs that are far too far away and far too long to be able to have a dinner break and not come back with anything that either wouldn't break the bank, or be entirely what we could forage in the wilderness due to the remote location of the job.
Since I have had this taste of the "finer things" I often find myself coming home with some of them on shopping trips. I enjoy them immensely but they are simply too expensive for my financial plan right now. The trick is keeping your will power in check and not beating yourself up (too much) when you come home with a bottle of distillers reserve single malt.
Perhaps my biggest financial mistake to date was the car... Sure it gets me to gigs in style, it's fun to drive and it's immensely practical when you have a young family. (Which I do! My son just turned 1 year old in October) But the sad reality is that it was a poor (terribly poor) business decision.
To date my car has cost me nearly $1200 per month. "WHOOOAH!" I can hear you thinking, you must be driving a Porche! Sadly my friends, you need to look past the advertised price of car financing and include ALL the costs associated with vehicle leasing/ownership and usage. Guess what folks, that's the cost of leasing a Mazda 3... Yes, I got the heated seats, and moon roof, but still had I cheaped out on the model of the car, my monthly costs will be above $1000/month.
How is it so expensive you ask? Lease payment $400, Insurance $250, Gas $200, Parking $100+, oil changes, snow tires and the occasional small "oops" $150 and there you have it. (Yes I know these numbers only add up to $1150). Shocking isn't it?
Due to my enhanced travel options I did get more work than I could have taken otherwise, but it was NOT to the tune of $1200/m more. It was generally on average only about $400-500 more. So I'm really out of pocket $500+ a month.
So my friends, resist the temptation to get a car for as long as you possibly can. You knew your art required a certain amount of suffering... just suffer on the bus! At the same time, try not to do that suffering with an expensive bottle of booze!