Goodbye OSAP, Goodbye MasterCard.
The day has finally arrived. I made my last and very very final payment.
I am not ashamed of being 28 and making this announcement now. Did you know the average Canadian consumer debt is $26,000? That is not including mortgage.
I want to help others. Here are my straight up tips on how to beat this:
1. Get a Tangerine bank account. Close all your other bank accounts. Fk TD, Royal Bank and the rest of the mafia. Tangerine is the only bank in Canada to NOT CHARGE you transaction fees, monthly fees or withdrawal fees. It is 100% free. You can withdraw money for free at any Scotia Bank machines and other various machines listed on their website. They will even give you money if you open up with an account. And they have the highest interest rate for savings account. There are no strings attached to this no frills banking. They make enough money from their mortgage services.
2. Put all your loans on an MBNA 0% interest platinum card. Get a cash advance for only a 1% fee, and then use that cash advance to pay your student loans. It’s a lot better than paying 5% interest rates student loans charge you. You have to be very careful as to how to do this because they will screw you over any way they can! For example, if you use that credit card for any other additional purchases, they will charge you 20% interest on that item until your entire card is paid off. That card should be used for one purpose and be locked away. Also, you have to pay it back in full within a year or else they will charge you 12 months of 20% interest on all the unpaid money! I spoke to a lot of people and read a lot of forums before signing up for this dangerous credit card.
Sacrifices I made:
3. I live in a small studio apartment
4. I had no internet at home.
5. I had no car. I took public transit.
6. I didn’t travel as much as I would like.
7. I never bought drinks for my meals at restaurants. I always brought my water mug.
8. I bought no makeup and rarely paid for haircuts at the salon.
9. I rarely ever buy clothes. I never throw out clothes, because I love the clothes I buy. They are unique for me and they are hard to find. So I actually stopped buying clothes recently.
10. Be as DIY as possible.
11. Buy used items from cl, and kijiji before going to the mall
12. I don’t have cable, or even a television!
13. When I needed a professional service, I outsourced on elancer.com rather than hire a boutique agency in Montreal.
14. Don’t be part of consumerist culture and buy useless junk, like nick nacks, and books and cds. Did you know some people go to Wal-Mart as a hobby?
15. Don’t keep any savings if you are paying interest. Only have enough cash on hand for emergencies. But if you are in debt, it is an emergency, imo.
16. Watch zeitgeist for inspiration.
How to Make Money:
1. Work full time and accept freelance contracts, and also outsource, elance.com is a great source ! Highly skilled people from developing countries at good rates can help you! And you can help others too! Always keep on learning new skills online.
2. Acquire a new skill that is in demand for free, such as programming, or SEO, or AdWords. Art degrees are useless. Reading one pdf from Google landed me a job that is more than the Canadian average salary.
A Word To Musicians:
1. Don’t fall victim to music gear hoarding. Don’t be slaves to analogue. The possibilities with digital are infinite. I got a midi controller keyboard, and a simple audio software. You are entitled to a good quality of life without sacrificing art. The difference in quality between digital and analogue are very slight, and analogue brings more stress for recording which frustrates the creative process and costs a whole lot more (which is a whole other world of stress).
And yes, you can record at home! I recorded my last album at home, and I am hardly a professional, and my EP got radio plays and mentions in blogs.