Give Me My Money

Earning and saving money have always been interesting processes to me. When I was 15, I started my first paper route, as my sister from another mister got me a job with delivering the Sunday Sun around my neighbourhood. I have been fortunate to be working ever since, albeit different jobs, different roles and responsibilities.


When I decided I wanted to further my career and education, I first learned that ever so expensive price of tuition and incidental fees (which just keep increasing…). That’s when I was introduced to OSAP, and savings and investment options. Luckily my winter and summer before university, I earned enough as a cashier at Wal-Mart to pay for my first year’s tuition on my own, so was advised to put the usused OSAP funds into a TFSA until I needed them.

I thought TFSA’s were amazing! However, I didn’t read the fine-print. After withdrawing from my TFSA multiple times, I had forgotten that the space in that savings account was no longer available to me until the next year, after which my contribution room would increase by $5000, in addition to the space taken up from my withdrawals.

Long story short, that tax year I had to pay a hefty tax fee just shy of $500, because I overcontributed. I was infuriated…come on, I’m a student, and shouldn’t the bank have emphasized these things to me when I opened my account, or even when I’d come in to make cash withdrawals? These were the questions I asked the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA), and submitted a formal letter stating these arguments. But the response I received – sorry, but no.

Needless to say, I was quite upset – I was mad at the government for not forgiving my ignorance, my bank for not looking out for me, and myself for relying so much on these institutions. I thought the TFSA was too good to be true – but it’s actually not, if you follow the rules.


After that experience, I’ve become more skeptical about where my money is going, especially during the tax season. Curiosity fuels education, and throughout my search I came across an amazing resource – the CRA’s website! The website on its own has a plethora of information, I really wish I had accessed it before! The link that is attached brings you to a free course where you can learn about taxes – awesome! I took the course, which includes 4  modules touching upon the topics of why we need to submit income taxes, consequences of not doing so, history of taxes, and of course, how to submit your taxes on your own along with support along the way. To add, throughout the module there are direct links for other sections of their website that may be of interest to you.

That being said, I plan to submit my taxes by NETfile for the 2012 tax year – before April 30th of course! I’m a DIYer at heart, and now that I have some understanding of the process, would much rather do it myself. I’m also trying to convince my parents to let me do theirs (for free!) so that they can save their money, and hopefully become inspired to do it themselves in 2013.

As I said before, money has always been interesting to me. If I wasn’t more interested in health, and intimidated by the corporate world, I may’ve primarily studied business. However, last year I learned about tax school that’s offered through H&R block every fall. I was ready to sign up last year, but with my last year of university, and a few part-time jobs, my plate was full. If I wasn’t starting professional studies this fall, I would’ve signed up in a heart beat! Even if I’m not able to take the course anytime soon, I do plan to look more into volunteer opportunities for those who aren’t able to prepare their income tax and benefit returns on their own, as this is something that is really interesting!


Fool Me Once-Shame on You; Fool Me Twice-I’m An Idiot!

The relationship I had with heartbreaker, which ceased to exist as of late January, drove me to learn more about men, and how to understand the seemingly alien sex.

I was so spent until last month, when I finally stopped being so angry and self-pitying. In fact, at times I used to have spiteful intentions of trying to become a femme fatale so I could play the role I imagined heartbreaker was enacting. I was so bitter that I wanted to get my revenge, and ensure I’d never endure a relationship like that again.

I realize I cried weekly rivers because my hope and my time went into the garbage. But now, I just want to understand how men think and operate, what are their primal motivations? That way, when I’m in a new romantic relationship, my decisions will naturally be rational instead of completely based upon emotion.

I thought my time had been wasted, but it wasn’t. I’m 23, and I was told that this would eventually happen to me. Imagine, if I had met heartbreaker this year… I would’ve had no idea what I was in for, and would’ve have reached this realization at the age of 26! If that was the case, I would’ve wished I could get my time back and met him earlier to get the fun, pain, and learned lessons earlier.

Now that I’ve gone through that experience and came out alive with my head on straight and my positive attitude back in tune, the wisdom I have gained is priceless. Anyone can warn you about the red flags indicative of who should be avoided, but when you experience it yourself, you evolve and that is internally valuable.  All in all, heartbreaker was an attractive guy, who came at the right point in time when I wanted to receive him – I loved him and took him as he was. However, he put me through hell, and for that, he will always be reduced to that attractive male, with deep addicitions, who used me to fill a void. On this  human-filled planet, he was right for me then to teach me something, but now there’s no need for him to be in my life anymore. Adios…

Step Two

With everything in life, we have to take the first step,  mentally and actively. Before that first step, we may experience excitement, hesitation, and/or anxiety. These feelings may intensify, or change after we’ve allowed our heels to roll to the balls of our feet. With every step, we evaluate how we felt with the steps we took prior, and consider which directions our next steps will lead if we move ahead, and at what pace we feel comfortable.


Last week I took my second step within my yoga teaching journey. Back in May, I took my first step by participating in the class portion of my level one yoga certification, and decided to chill for a bit, as I wasn’t sure that I was interested in pursuing the teaching journey any further. However, upon stewing for a bit this summer, coupled with an encounter with an awesome yogi, I’ve acknowledged my deep yearning to be an influential, multi-dimensional instructor. I also have to accept that will be a challenging journey, that will test my commitment, willingness to learn and to be persistent.

In order to complete my level one YogaFit certification, I must complete 8 hours of voluntary teaching to a group of individuals who otherwise would be unlikely to experience the benefits yoga can provide. After feeling overwhelmed from the training, I perceived my requirement as a positive challenge along my journey. As I rationally thought about what is stressing me out, I’ve decided to take a systematic approach towards addressing my roadblock:

My fear of teaching –> not completing certification = wasted money, wasted time, and future regret

The main components of my fear = participants not liking my teaching style, and that I will be viewed as a moronic instructor

To address my fear of participants not valuing my teaching style, I have adopted a new attitude:

  • I will aim to always be professional, respectful, positive, have a sense of humour and make efforts in life to practice my teachings
  • I’m not aiming to change myself to fit a perfect “teacher mould” as participants have different preferences, which may’ve been stemmed from instructors seen on TV, online, or from participating in other classes they really enjoyed. I hope to offer something positive in addition to that.

To address my fear that I will seem I’m lacking in knowledge, I have accepted that I am not flawless, nor will I ever be perfect:

  • I plan to be as prepared as possible by practicing and knowing the routines I make, and consider modifications along with possible questions.  Also, I’m going to be honest with my particpants from the beginning to inform them that I am a student as well, and welcome any questions as finding the answers will also help me to grow as an instructor.

In addition to talking my talk, I took action and walked by contacting an agency that would host me, and starting to devote time towards learning the yoga poses. To add, one of the perks of my current part time job is free access to fitness classes (so awesome!). I’ve met a yoga instructor who embodies yoga, and plan to attend a scheduled class that I can commit to for 6 weeks.

I currently feel that the second step is harder than the first, because it means you’ve committed yourself to keep pushing through ….like at the end of run, you’ve got to push yourself!