Over coffee with Glenn this morning, I mentioned my total lack of inspiration for a blog post. Out came the manager hat. “What month is it?” says he. “Financial.” say I. “Find something financial to blog about then.” Gee, thanks. Right. Stay on topic….
So, clearly, I need to blog about Oscar Wilde then, right? And as soon as the thought was born, there was no rest. The quote that sprang to mind is…
And, trust me when I tell you, there has not nor will there ever be a lack of imagination in this household with regard to our finances.
I can share a little of our checkered past now that a decade or two separate us. When we met in 1987, I hadn’t quite finished my degree and was living off campus (U.W….. Go Dawgs!) in what I now think to be a seedy little apartment (Lisa, help me out, am I being too harsh??) I 100% financed each and every penny of that degree myself, btw. Scholarships, grants, student loans, student jobs, Nordstrom credit card. Wait. What?
You heard me… Nordstrom credit card. A sorority girl needs clothes, right? I wasn’t a snob about credit cards though. I had an account at the Bon, too. That was back in the good old days when department store interest rates were a “reasonable” 18%. Are they still that in the U.S.? If so, quit yer bellyachin’, ’cause north of the border (yes, Canada) our department store cards are a whopping 28.8%.
When we finally cut them all up, we had (and this is from memory so there might be more, but certainly not less)…. Nordstrom, the Bon, Target, Mervyn’s, Frederick & Nelson, the Bay, Eaton’s, Woodward’s, Canadian Tire. I know… that seems like a short list to me too. Menopausal memory blips strike again. Anyway, you get the point. To be clear, we were young (& stupid???) and starting our first jobs, furnishing our first apartment together; you know, life stuff.
When we bought our first place, a condo, the bank rep was unable to use my income because I hadn’t been in the country long enough so she had to channel her inner Oscar Wilde and get creative. (We are still loyal CIBC customers thanks to that one interaction. Little did she know.) She “suggested” the card cutting and consolidated everything into a small personal loan that both of us carried and managed the mortgage based on Glenn’s income alone. Clearly, not much has changed! Lol! Poor man is still paying for my lifestyle!!
That brought us into the age of paying credit cards off monthly… *yawn* … but our will to live beyond our means lives on. A quick look at the devastation to the U.S. economy due to the mortgage crash would indicate that I am a mere amateur in the ring, however.
Our financial strategy is simple. (This is where I hope Glenn’s brother, Richard – the CGA, isn’t reading, because he and his financial spreadsheets would shudder.) 1) Set long-term goals that are ambitious, but achievable. 2) Create a plan to make it happen. 3) Forget about it. See. Simple. Seriously though, talk to your financial advisor. Don’t listen to me. I channel Oscar Wilde.
And, today – as with every other day, I wish I could eat croissants and visit his final resting place, Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. This time, I’d be sure to bring lipstick….
Au revoir! s. xoxo
p.s. If I could just use the same imagination in austerity as I did in consumerism…