Over the past year I have been in the fortunate position where the financial stars have aligned. My husband was granted a Living Out Allowance for work, meaning that his company paid for our rent for a year, and I was given a massive bump in pay due to my completion of a Masters-level diploma program. These two factors have given me a chance to review my financial footprint and make some big changes.
Thankfully I did not allow lifestyle inflation to creep up too much. True, I no longer really think about purchases (at least not as much as I should) because I can afford everything I need without batting an eyelid, but I had already reached a point where I was content with what I had. Instead I cranked up my auto deposits to my investment accounts and watched my money grow exponentially. This year I finally caught up with my TFSA contributions (I had about $25,000 in room available to me) and was able to open up a personal investment account now that I’m all caught up with my tax-advantaged accounts. At the end of each month I now look at my checking account and if it is over $2000 I put the extra in my investments. I have $5000 saved up as an emergency fund in a high-interest savings account, and $2500 in travel funds in a similar account. I’ve reached a point where I am comfortable with the amount of cash I am holding and can now really focus on funding investments for my future.
My comfort levels are very high now. Unfortunately my husband and I, who had a rock solid relationship for a decade, are on a shaky foundation still. I suspect I will soon be in the single income bracket. Maybe not, but time will tell. In the meantime I have been examining my financial habits and have determined that my lifestyle would still be extremely comfortable if I were to be on my own. The fact that money can be taken off of the table as a source of contention between the two of us means I can really examine what’s going on, rather than dwelling on how I depend on someone else financially. If I become single and have to go back to paying my own rent it would be no problem. If I choose to stay in my relationship I will continue to build my personal wealth while trying to rebuild my love life. All in all I can be happy that I have made the right choices to get to where I am now, and that I am financially secure enough to choose a path that makes me happy.