July 30, 2012 • Podcasts
Continued from page 2
Like my debt when I had it, I had about $30,000 and it was all consumer debt because I was spending about $500 every month that I didn’t have. That’s bad debt. You have no bad debt. And you have no bad debt on twenty grand a year in 2012,and that’s an impossible amount of money to live on in Toronto, so one can assume you are not spending frivolously. And, the idea is that you are going to hopefully be having more choice and more affluence than you would have without the education, so that there should be a chunk of extra money you can make from that education, that will pay off that loan.
SF: Mhmm, part of this is also that I move around quite a bit. I found that is actually really important for me, its really stabilizing for me to move out of one environment and take time to be in another space and that really helps give me perspective. It also inspires me, but it really helps to give me perspective and helps me value my life more and be more present.
SF: Yeah, right after I graduated, when I completed my undergrad degree I moved first to rural Quebec then I moved to Newfoundland. And then when I came back after just under a year I had saved enough to support myself in the move but it turned out not to be enough money, and I was really, really living close to the bone. And that was probably my scariest experience with money, running out of money, and luckily the people around me were really happy to help me at the time. Like my roommate said “No problem, just pay this month’s rent next month, that’s totally ok.” Yeah, and I just had a little bit of support, just enough support to get through until I able to start getting paid for work again.
AM: And actually that’s one of the things in life I teach about all the time. You can have six to eight months of income in the bank or you can have a very good community of friends who will do that. They are both useful, and people tend to underplay the non-financially elements. I talk a lot about non-financial assets in my work, for example if you want a beautiful garden and your neighbor across the street has one, you can look at. It depends what you wanted out of the garden. Did you want to get your feet in the clay or do you just want to look at? If you just want to look at, well the neighbor’s done all the work, put in all the money, and its right outside your window and there it is for you.
So, those community things are important experiences to have because in fact I think we get more security from that than from cash. I’m really lucky in that in my tax practice I work with almost strictly artists. So artists are people who constantly choose other things over money and seem to have happy lives even though they’re not affluent. So there’s a constant reminder in my work that it’s not about the money. So, I actually really believe that we often get career and making money mixed up and I don’t think they have to be the same thing. I think we have a responsibility as adults to handle ourselves financially and give ourselves what we want financially, that’s one responsibility, and another is to have a meaningful career. And the two don’t have to go together, they can be adjuncts to each other. But I think if we expect the career to always yield all the money we want we can end up hating the career or expect things out of our career that it can’t give.