Author Topic: Case Study - Polyamorous canadian in university trying to do better  (Read 9521 times)

3last

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I am 25 years old and live in a large city in Alberta, Canada with my two partners (ages 32 & 37). Our collective financial situation is a little hairy (minus the stache) and I'm trying to get us on track to do better. Some background notes:

  • All three of us are currently in school full-time funded by student loans.
  • Partner S (32) has around $30,000 of previous student loan debt (govt & bank). He has returned to school in year 3 of a 4-year BA thanks to transfer credits. His job history is mostly clerical, so hopefully the degree will help him get higher-paying office jobs. He relies a lot on creature comforts and so has a lot of room for getting better at saving.
  • Partner P (37) has no previous debt and no savings. He was a high-earning tradesperson for 10 years, saved nothing, then broke his back last year. He is now in school to earn a 1 year travel program diploma. He wants to start his own travel planning/accompaniment business in the future. He's also interested in a transfer program to a university where he could get a Bachelor's degree in tourism management. He is terrible at saving but has given me full control of his finances, and is a master at frugality when given no access to money.
  • I have $7000 remaining in previous student loan debt from getting a professional certificate (federal govt loan only), which my mom is helping me pay off in dribs and drabs. I have worked in non-profit sector jobs for the last 4 years (as a program coordinator, education facilitator, etc in LGBTQ* advocacy and anti-sexual violence fields). I saved up $10,000 in one year for a surgery, so I know I can be an adept saver. I am in my 1st year of a 4-year BA program that I hope will allow me to move into management positions. I am open to switching careers but don't have the chops for STEM.

Current monthly expenses for THREE adults:

House
  • Rental house: $1650/month (actual rent is 2200 split between 4 people but I'm not counting roommate's share)
  • Utilities (gas, water & electric): ~$150-300 depending on the season (300 max in winter) - roommate kicks in $125/month
  • Wood for fireplace: $180 (we are experimenting with this since we just moved into a house with a fireplace - maybe it will help us cut down our gas bill?)
  • Internet: $30 (this & netflix are pretty much our only entertainment expenses)
  • Cell phones: $170 for 3 people
  • Netflix: $9
SUBTOTAL: $2189-2339

Car
  • Car insurance: $115 (2005 Ford Focus shared between 3 people - we also have a retired 1984 Toyota Tercel wagon, love of my life money pit sitting out back)
  • Gas: ~$80
  • Parking: $110
SUBTOTAL: $305 (I know this car expense is ridiculous for students. My justifications: Two of us carpool to school together & park on campus, saving us 90 minutes/day and untold anxiety for bus commuting. I'm trying to learn to winter cycle, but my partner who commutes to the same school has zero interest, so he'd be driving anyway. Outside of this, we use the car for groceries, going to the off leash dog park, and that's pretty much it.)

Consumables
  • Groceries: $500 (includes household supplies such as TP, soap, light bulbs, home repair materials, etc) - reduces in summer when we grow much of our own produce
  • Eating out & lunches: $200 (this month we have started packing more lunches, so this should go down)
  • Alcohol: $80 (estimate because partner always buys this ~one 6 pack of good beer per week)
  • Cigarettes: $120 (partner is trying to quit)
  • Other smokables: $120 (self-medication, whoooo!)
  • Prescriptions: $60
  • Pet food (& litter) for 1 dog, 2 cats: $100
SUBTOTAL: $1180

Fees & Debt Repayment
  • Bank fees: $100
  • Payment on partner's previous student loan debt: $250
  • Payment on partner's previous credit card debt: $50
SUBTOTAL: $400

TOTAL: $4074-4224

Monthly Income
  • Me: $1600 working ~30/week at two different non-profits on campus (actually I work more hours than this but my main job is salaried at $1400/mo)
  • Partner S: $300-500 at PT on-campus job
  • Partner P: Variable piecework as handy-person, cash jobs with catering company. Range from $500-1000
SUBTOTAL: $2400-3100 before factoring in student loans

School/Student Loans
As mentioned, we are all in school full-time, being paid for by student loans. We're in three different programs, so our expenses vary. Tuition & fees at the school Partner S and I go to is about $3,600/year per person. Partner P's total program cost is around $11,000 (accelerated diploma program done in ~1  year). We have all received the maximum student loans we qualify for and are left with ~$800/each in student loan money for monthly expenses. This is somewhat variable based on how cheaply we can get used textbooks.

Specific Question(s): I know our hair is on fire. Both partners know that they need to earn more money, but they are struggling to balance their schoolwork loads. I honestly don't know what to do. I want to get all this freaking debt paid off, but we are continuously racking up more by being in school. I waffled for so long on going to school, since I was able to earn about $2000-3000/month without a degree in my fields, but at my best was only able to reduce my spending to about $1000/month for just me and I think I can do better.

Basically, please punch me in the face, and I will pass on all face punchings to my partners. 
« Last Edit: January 10, 2015, 03:55:27 PM by 3last »

iamlindoro

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Re: Case Study - Polyamorous canadian in university trying to do better
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2015, 03:25:41 PM »
I'm just going to say up front that the word "polyamorous" in the thread title is probably the most clever ever way of getting people to read your thread. ;)

Lot of fat to cut here, but here are the ones that stick out at me most:

Cell phones:  Switch to an MVNO, stat.  Here's a thread which covers the Canadian market:

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/cheap-canadian-cell-phone-plan/

Wood for fireplace:  Holy crap, your hair is both literally and figuratively on fire.  Stop this!  This is insane!  Is this some sort of crazy service?  If you *need* fire wood, can you not go rent a trailer and pick it up in the country somewhere monthly?  Have you tried a month of no service to see how it affects the gas/electric bill?

Smoking:  Don't do it.  For so many reasons.

Drugs:  Don't do it, or at least moderate.  If it's large enough to make the monthly budget, it's too much.  This is about as frivolous as frivolous gets financially speaking.  This is not a moral judgement, it's a financial one.  Debt first.

Auto insurance:  I am not sure how this compares to the US market, but is this at the minimum coverage level?  I pay about this much for every *six* months.

Parking: That... seems like a lot.  Can you park off campus?  Can you pay someone just off campus $20 a month to let you park in front of their house?

Why are bank fees so high?

Mr. Frugalwoods

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Re: Case Study - Polyamorous canadian in university trying to do better
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2015, 03:44:16 PM »
iamlindoro said most of what I'd say.

But burning wood in a fireplace is usually net-negative for heating the house.  Think about where all of the heat goes?  Up the chimney.  Along with a lot of air.  Air that needs to be replaced (your house is negatively pressured at that point) comes from the outdoors.  Thus cooling the rest of the house.

This is assuming that you don't have an insert (those can be efficient depending on the style) or a special masonry heater.  But you probably don't  ;-)

TLDR; fireplaces are for ambience, not heat.  Kill the wood bill.

3last

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Re: Case Study - Polyamorous canadian in university trying to do better
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2015, 03:45:35 PM »
I'm just going to say up front that the word "polyamorous" in the thread title is probably the most clever ever way of getting people to read your thread. ;)
Haha, cleverness unintentional, it's just my life! :P

Quote
Cell phones:  Switch to an MVNO, stat.  Here's a thread which covers the Canadian market:

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/cheap-canadian-cell-phone-plan/
Thank you for the cell phone tips. Our individual phone plan costs are $40, $60, and $70 with various carriers. My contract has just ended, so I'm looking into reducing to $40 which is the lowest we could find.

Quote
Wood for fireplace:  Holy crap, your hair is both literally and figuratively on fire.  Stop this!  This is insane!  Is this some sort of crazy service?  If you *need* fire wood, can you not go rent a trailer and pick it up in the country somewhere monthly?  Have you tried a month of no service to see how it affects the gas/electric bill?
I calculated the cost per month for wood from the total price for one cubic metre, which is $550 including delivery, and should last about 3 months of daily fires. We've only lived here for a month, but previous tenants were paying $800-900/month for utilities and never used the fireplace. At this point without experimenting, I honestly have no idea if we're saving money having fires, but we are keeping the house at 15 degrees C and hunkering down in front of the fireplace instead of heating this whole huge house. We might try a month without to see, but I'm pretty scared of those previous tenant bills. We've spent a lot of time discussing how we can get free/cheap firewood, and will probably create a stockpile that way over the summer for next year.

Quote
Drugs:  Don't do it, or at least moderate.  If it's large enough to make the monthly budget, it's too much.  This is about as frivolous as frivolous gets financially speaking.  This is not a moral judgement, it's a financial one.  Debt first.
Yeah, this is legit. However, smoking weed has had many other cost-reducing effects such as partner smoking fewer cigarettes and saving on pharmaceutical prescriptions for anxiety & depression.

Quote
Auto insurance:  I am not sure how this compares to the US market, but is this at the minimum coverage level?  I pay about this much for every *six* months.

Parking: That... seems like a lot.  Can you park off campus?  Can you pay someone just off campus $20 a month to let you park in front of their house?
Yep, it is the minimum insurance coverage. We could probably shop around. Parking off campus would leave us with a 20-30 minute walk in the mornings, which is not so bad and I was prepared to do. It's really just the worst months of winter that have us wanting on-campus parking, but honestly, buying it for this term was me coddling partner a bit :( The rest of the year we'll bike from home or from a free near-campus parking spot.

Quote
Why are bank fees so high?
My bank fees are typically $20/month, as are Partner P's. We could both reduce this by switching to a bank with free chequing accounts. Partner S has service charges from loans at two different banks which drives his up to $60/month, not sure if that's reduceable.

Thank you for giving me things to ruminate on!

surfhb

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Re: Case Study - Polyamorous canadian in university trying to do better
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2015, 03:48:19 PM »
Not much else to add but are you responsible for their debts too?   If not, then why are you bringing it up?   

If yes, then I think its incredibly irresponsible of all of you at such a young age and place in life.     Youre not married your current situation is likely not permanent

BTW.....STOP THE SMOKING!  Start vaping!!   
« Last Edit: January 10, 2015, 03:57:22 PM by surfhb »

3last

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Re: Case Study - Polyamorous canadian in university trying to do better
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2015, 03:51:46 PM »
Are you responsible for their debts too?   If not, then why are you bringing it up?   

If yes, then I think its incredibly irresponsible of all of you at such a young age and place in life.     Youre not married your current situation is permanent

BTW.....STOP THE SMOKING!  Start vaping!!
We are working on reducing debt collectively - shared goals and all that. Almost all of the debt is from student loans (except $1500 on credit card). Can you clarify what you think is irresponsible?

Vaping as in vapourizer? For tobacco or pot?

surfhb

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Re: Case Study - Polyamorous canadian in university trying to do better
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2015, 03:58:21 PM »
Are you responsible for their debts too?   If not, then why are you bringing it up?   

If yes, then I think its incredibly irresponsible of all of you at such a young age and place in life.     Youre not married your current situation is permanent

BTW.....STOP THE SMOKING!  Start vaping!!
We are working on reducing debt collectively - shared goals and all that. Almost all of the debt is from student loans (except $1500 on credit card). Can you clarify what you think is irresponsible?

Vaping as in vapourizer? For tobacco or pot?

BTW.....I edited my previous post.    Meant to say your situation is likely not permanent :)

vaping- as in Ecigarettes.   

3last

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Re: Case Study - Polyamorous canadian in university trying to do better
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2015, 04:02:19 PM »
Quote
If yes, then I think its incredibly irresponsible of all of you at such a young age and place in life.     Youre not married your current situation is permanent

Meant to say your situation is likely not permanent :)

Hey, different strokes! Besides, marriage is not exactly a guarantee of permanence, eh?

surfhb

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Re: Case Study - Polyamorous canadian in university trying to do better
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2015, 04:06:44 PM »
Quote
If yes, then I think its incredibly irresponsible of all of you at such a young age and place in life.     Youre not married your current situation is permanent

Meant to say your situation is likely not permanent :)

Hey, different strokes! Besides, marriage is not exactly a guarantee of permanence, eh?

I meant legally being tied to another person but  point well taken :)

Anyway....stop smoking or you will die a slow and unpleasant early death.   cool?

3last

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Re: Case Study - Polyamorous canadian in university trying to do better
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2015, 04:07:53 PM »
Quote
Anyway....stop smoking or you will die a slow and unpleasant early death.   cool?
We are in agreement there! One partner has already quit smoking in the last year, and the other one is on the quitting train, woot!

surfhb

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Re: Case Study - Polyamorous canadian in university trying to do better
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2015, 04:12:09 PM »
Quote
Anyway....stop smoking or you will die a slow and unpleasant early death.   cool?
We are in agreement there! One partner has already quit smoking in the last year, and the other one is on the quitting train, woot!

Good!    The debt is the least of your worries.    Go to a local vape shop and check it out.   Greatest invention ever for people who are nico addicts like i was :)

marty998

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Re: Case Study - Polyamorous canadian in university trying to do better
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2015, 04:14:29 PM »
If double-income-no-kids is an accelerated path to FI then triple-income-no-kids 'should' be a cake walk.

Interesting that although you are the youngest you seem to be the one with your shit together.

Partner S - creature comforts? Ask him how much he can cut back given he doesn't even earn enough to cover his share of the rent right now. Sure in future he might earn more but there's a fair way to go before you get to that future. You've got to get there in one piece.

Partner P - broken back but at least it looks like he's trying. So many people just go on disability welfare forever and never try again. Good on him for making an effort.


iamlindoro

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Re: Case Study - Polyamorous canadian in university trying to do better
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2015, 04:14:53 PM »
We are working on reducing debt collectively - shared goals and all that. Almost all of the debt is from student loans (except $1500 on credit card). Can you clarify what you think is irresponsible?

The thing about collectively accepting responsibility for debt, outside of a legal arrangement, is that you are thereby accepting collective responsibility for destructive financial behavior, too.  $120 on cigarettes is, in effect, you and the third partner subsidizing 2/3rds of it, since it's not being otherwise being used to pay down debt.    Likewise with drugs, alcohol, bank fees, excessive cell phone bills, etc.

I like where your thought process is, but it seems a little like you haven't totally bought into this mustachianism thing.  It is *not* necessarily an ascetic monk lifestyle long term-- but I would argue that it is until you have gotten out of debt.

surfhb

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Re: Case Study - Polyamorous canadian in university trying to do better
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2015, 04:18:34 PM »
BTW....I hope you dont think I was judging your situation?    I truly was not.

I would say the same thing to any "normal" couple too.    You're not responsible for another's debt if not legally bound by them.

3last

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Re: Case Study - Polyamorous canadian in university trying to do better
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2015, 04:19:50 PM »
Quote
you and the third partner subsidizing 2/3rds of it, since it's not being otherwise being used to pay down debt.

This is valuable re-framing, thank you.

surfhb

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Re: Case Study - Polyamorous canadian in university trying to do better
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2015, 04:20:29 PM »
We are working on reducing debt collectively - shared goals and all that. Almost all of the debt is from student loans (except $1500 on credit card). Can you clarify what you think is irresponsible?

The thing about collectively accepting responsibility for debt, outside of a legal arrangement, is that you are thereby accepting collective responsibility for destructive financial behavior, too.  $120 on cigarettes is, in effect, you and the third partner subsidizing 2/3rds of it, since it's not being otherwise being used to pay down debt.    Likewise with drugs, alcohol, bank fees, excessive cell phone bills, etc.


Good Post!     

3last

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Re: Case Study - Polyamorous canadian in university trying to do better
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2015, 04:22:30 PM »
If double-income-no-kids is an accelerated path to FI then triple-income-no-kids 'should' be a cake walk.

Interesting that although you are the youngest you seem to be the one with your shit together.
Haha, right?! To both points.

Quote
Partner S - creature comforts? Ask him how much he can cut back given he doesn't even earn enough to cover his share of the rent right now. Sure in future he might earn more but there's a fair way to go before you get to that future. You've got to get there in one piece.
I better take a look at some 'converting spouse' threads.

3last

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Re: Case Study - Polyamorous canadian in university trying to do better
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2015, 04:24:37 PM »
BTW....I hope you dont think I was judging your situation?    I truly was not.

I would say the same thing to any "normal" couple too.    You're not responsible for another's debt if not legally bound by them.
Thanks for the clarification, and no offense/judgment taken! It's a legit line of questioning for my circumstances. As mentioned by someone else on this thread, my mustachianism is in no way rock-solid, and I certainly have a soft spot for collectivism, especially within my little queer poly bubble.

iamlindoro

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Re: Case Study - Polyamorous canadian in university trying to do better
« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2015, 04:28:03 PM »
BTW....I hope you dont think I was judging your situation?    I truly was not.

I would say the same thing to any "normal" couple too.    You're not responsible for another's debt if not legally bound by them.
Thanks for the clarification, and no offense/judgment taken! It's a legit line of questioning for my circumstances. As mentioned by someone else on this thread, my mustachianism is in no way rock-solid, and I certainly have a soft spot for collectivism, especially within my little queer poly bubble.

And I think this is okay-- The-- I think second? Maybe first? -- ever post by MMM himself discusses a spectrum that we all fall somewhere on, from retired and 100% okay moneywise to totally screwed.  I recognize from my own journey on that spectrum that the first few steps are the most painful.  It's *WAY* more fun to be "debt free and racking up shittons of money in my retirement accounts" than it was to be "staying at home most of the time for a year paying off consumer debt."  But staying the course is so, so worth it-- in peace of mind, in financial security, in increasing excitement about looming retirement.  Keep on the path!

lifejoy

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Re: Case Study - Polyamorous canadian in university trying to do better
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2015, 09:23:02 PM »
Ok, face punches and hugs! Welcome :)

I didn't read all the responses but I am Canadian, and you should NOT be paying bank fees! Most student banking is free, no? And even if you're not a student you can get free banking. Eeps! Get on that!

Parking costs: well, my husband and I are in debt repayment hair-on-fire mode. We are walking 40-80min daily in order to avoid parking and gas expenses. Did I mention it's -30 outside? ;) I use many layers and my iPod and the motivation of so many hardcore Mustachians cheering me on. You can do it too.

As for getting your partners on board, make yourself the good example. My DH used to abhor leftovers and he always bought his lunch. Now, he regularly asks (when I make an especially nice dinner) - "Will there be leftovers? :)" and he takes it for lunch. For a while I was making his lunch for him, and my own, to show my commitment.

You can do it!! Posting here, and throwing your info out there, is a great step in the right direction.

lifejoy

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Re: Case Study - Polyamorous canadian in university trying to do better
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2015, 09:24:16 PM »
PS- if you're on campus all the time and have wifi at home, do you need a data plan on your phone?? I'm assuming you all have one...

I don't and paying $25/mo feels waaaaay better than paying $80! Consider it.

lifejoy

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Re: Case Study - Polyamorous canadian in university trying to do better
« Reply #21 on: January 11, 2015, 09:26:50 PM »

We are working on reducing debt collectively - shared goals and all that. Almost all of the debt is from student loans (except $1500 on credit card). Can you clarify what you think is irresponsible?

The thing about collectively accepting responsibility for debt, outside of a legal arrangement, is that you are thereby accepting collective responsibility for destructive financial behavior, too.  $120 on cigarettes is, in effect, you and the third partner subsidizing 2/3rds of it, since it's not being otherwise being used to pay down debt.    Likewise with drugs, alcohol, bank fees, excessive cell phone bills, etc.

I like where your thought process is, but it seems a little like you haven't totally bought into this mustachianism thing.  It is *not* necessarily an ascetic monk lifestyle long term-- but I would argue that it is until you have gotten out of debt.

+1

Mustachianism is putting your money on what you value most. And if you're smart, what you should value most is GETTING OUT OF DEBT, FREEDOM, and making your money work for you (so you don't have to)

:)

caseyzee

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Re: Case Study - Polyamorous canadian in university trying to do better
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2015, 05:37:18 AM »
Rent + utilities = 1800 a month!

On a $2400 a month income, that's 75%.
On a $3100 a month income, that's still 58%.

You can't afford that house!  Nevermind the wood, the smokes, the parking - that house is just way too much for your incomes.

3last

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Re: Case Study - Polyamorous canadian in university trying to do better
« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2015, 08:54:35 AM »
Rent + utilities = 1800 a month!

On a $2400 a month income, that's 75%.
On a $3100 a month income, that's still 58%.

You can't afford that house!  Nevermind the wood, the smokes, the parking - that house is just way too much for your incomes.

You're tellin' me! My city has the lowest rental property vacancy rates in the country (~1.5%). Before deciding to go back to school, I did a lot of research on other cities, and things are pretty comparable in all the major university towns in Canada... the only way to live much cheaper than we are now for housing is to each individually rent a furnished room with utilities included for around $500/month.

3last

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Re: Case Study - Polyamorous canadian in university trying to do better
« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2015, 08:56:59 AM »
Ok, face punches and hugs! Welcome :)
Thank you for your kind welcome :)

Quote
Parking costs: well, my husband and I are in debt repayment hair-on-fire mode. We are walking 40-80min daily in order to avoid parking and gas expenses. Did I mention it's -30 outside? ;) I use many layers and my iPod and the motivation of so many hardcore Mustachians cheering me on. You can do it too.
Your walking is inspirational! I live about a 50-60 minute walk to campus. I did the walk once but that was only at about -10. Must get tougher!

caseyzee

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Re: Case Study - Polyamorous canadian in university trying to do better
« Reply #25 on: January 12, 2015, 10:03:49 AM »
Quote
You're tellin' me! My city has the lowest rental property vacancy rates in the country (~1.5%). Before deciding to go back to school, I did a lot of research on other cities, and things are pretty comparable in all the major university towns in Canada... the only way to live much cheaper than we are now for housing is to each individually rent a furnished room with utilities included for around $500/month.

Can you add more renters to lower the cost per?  I think you said there were 4 of you - could you add a couple more?

lifejoy

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Re: Case Study - Polyamorous canadian in university trying to do better
« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2015, 11:55:01 AM »

Ok, face punches and hugs! Welcome :)
Thank you for your kind welcome :)

Quote
Parking costs: well, my husband and I are in debt repayment hair-on-fire mode. We are walking 40-80min daily in order to avoid parking and gas expenses. Did I mention it's -30 outside? ;) I use many layers and my iPod and the motivation of so many hardcore Mustachians cheering me on. You can do it too.
Your walking is inspirational! I live about a 50-60 minute walk to campus. I did the walk once but that was only at about -10. Must get tougher!

Dress properly, carry a thermos of tea with you, and music or lengthy phone chats are a real boon. Think of it as getting paid to fit in some exercise :)

mozar

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Re: Case Study - Polyamorous canadian in university trying to do better
« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2015, 08:47:30 PM »
I'm concerned about your partners ages. Being in their 30's and just starting to get it together is very different than being 25 and starting to get it together. Your partners are adults and having shared goals is fine but it sounds like they expect you to parent them as well. The line about one of your partners being frugal if they are prevented from getting their $ sounds co-dependent to me. Budgets should be by mutual agreement. I'm concerned that they will eventually start to hold you back financially.

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Re: Case Study - Polyamorous canadian in university trying to do better
« Reply #28 on: January 12, 2015, 09:24:14 PM »
Koodo runs on the telus network, same service as you get now. Look at cheaper plans with older phones. Stop getting "free phones"; use your own and they give you 10% off.
$550 a m3 for wood sounds steep! Try kijiji, my prices are 75% lower a province over. Also buy a "cord", it's the normal unit of measurement for wood. M3 are way smaller, it tricks people who are bad at math when they compare prices.
Bank fees? Stop it now. Whatever you are doing to incur these fees is not good. I haven't had fees in years. If I switched banks it would still be under $10/month.

Good luck with school! Life gets easier when it's finished :)

3last

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Re: Case Study - Polyamorous canadian in university trying to do better
« Reply #29 on: January 21, 2015, 11:00:12 AM »
I'm concerned about your partners ages. Being in their 30's and just starting to get it together is very different than being 25 and starting to get it together. Your partners are adults and having shared goals is fine but it sounds like they expect you to parent them as well. The line about one of your partners being frugal if they are prevented from getting their $ sounds co-dependent to me. Budgets should be by mutual agreement. I'm concerned that they will eventually start to hold you back financially.

I can see how things might look that way, but there's so much info about our lives missing when only looking at financials. I suppose it depends on where you personally draw the distinction between co-dependent and interdependent by choice. Since shacking up (with one partner three years ago, and the other moved in a year ago), we've split up tasks based on skill and interest. For example, I have not done my own laundry in three years now. One partner does most of the car repairs. Another keeps an eye on our food & grocery situation. I watch the budget spreadsheet. We all take care of the animals.

3last

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Re: Case Study - Polyamorous canadian in university trying to do better
« Reply #30 on: January 21, 2015, 11:10:30 AM »
Koodo runs on the telus network, same service as you get now. Look at cheaper plans with older phones. Stop getting "free phones"; use your own and they give you 10% off.
$550 a m3 for wood sounds steep! Try kijiji, my prices are 75% lower a province over. Also buy a "cord", it's the normal unit of measurement for wood. M3 are way smaller, it tricks people who are bad at math when they compare prices.
Bank fees? Stop it now. Whatever you are doing to incur these fees is not good. I haven't had fees in years. If I switched banks it would still be under $10/month.

Good luck with school! Life gets easier when it's finished :)

Thank you for the prairie perspective! We burned through that M3 so quick over the holidays... I guess it was our version of Christmas splurging - no travel or presents or fancy food, so we just had fires almost every day for two weeks (ridiculous luxury, I know)! Since then we've been much more careful with it, burning only about twice a week, and have bought a cord of wood delivered from kijiji for the same price and about 3x as much wood. We're planning to make that last right through til summer. Seriously should have mathed better the first time around, oops.

I was thinking about Wind, but I'll check out Koodo too, thanks!

Hmm the bank fees are the lowest price available to me at my current bank, TD (except for a free student account, but at TD you only get 15 transactions a month with a student account). I hate TD anyway and have wanted to switch for a long time. Better get on it.

lifejoy

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Re: Case Study - Polyamorous canadian in university trying to do better
« Reply #31 on: January 21, 2015, 12:52:39 PM »
When you threaten to leave td for free banking across the street, they will probably give you free banking. Totally.