No Money Mo Problems.

The aftermath. It’s shit.

But financially, it’s becoming a real problem. I don’t understand why rap stars don’t write about it more often. Throw your bills in the air like you just don’t care. So much more relatable.

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0 + 0 keeps not equalling $1,000,000. I don’t get it.

I’m a relatively financially responsible person. Boyfriend and I have a strict budget and each month we sacrifice allocate money toward various savings accounts. We don’t spend a lot of money eating out or in bars or lounges anymore; our careers leave us far too exhausted to want to recuperate from hangovers these days. Also, I am old as balls so staying home is my jam.

I am a credit card points whore, but usually pay off my card balance each month. I am not, aside from that, the best saver, so I rely on automatic withdrawals from my paycheques to retirement savings plan accounts to save for the future. If I don’t see the money in the first place, I am not going to miss it.

But overall, I’m used to indulging my desires. If I want some new article of clothing, I buy it – but I’m a sale junkie. I take up J Crew’s 40% off sale items offers, and scour places like Marshalls for last season’s discounted (or grey market?) Kate Spade. I also like my Starbucks and my pho. I imagine that the majority of my frivolous spending is on lunches, actually.

At Christmastime, I blow through my budget faster than Trump blows through administrative staff. Buying my loved ones the perfect gift is my favourite. It brings me so much freaking joy. Boyfriend in particular lights up like a little child when he opens gifts from me, and I live for that look on his face. I have a picture of him on our first Christmas together, and it makes my heart smile.

But I’ve been on government assistance, for the first time in my life, since October. It’s a pittance, being less than half my salary. Since Boyfriend is footing the bills right now, I’m not immediately responsible for much. But my therapy bills swallow up about half of that paltry sum, and I’m still paying for things like my cell phone. And, I have an ever-mounting debt to him, which I will be paying back to him when I can.

And so, I essentially have no money right now. I’ve depleted my savings, and am afraid to look at my credit card bill because I’ve only been able to manage $100 payments per month.

I can’t spend money on anything, and Christmas is only weeks away. There are several family birthdays this month, too. I was abashed when my mom emailed me telling me not to buy her anything for Christmas this year, since she knows my situation. It’s humiliating that Boyfriend has had to foot every single bill for the last two-and-a-half months. I dropped an eyeliner into my shopping cart a couple of weeks ago, and felt immediate guilt that he was paying for it.

I’m stressed out because I’ve completely depleted my insurance resources. Realistically, I can’t actually afford my $160 therapy bills.

But the other day, I was reading a fellow blogger’s post about mental health taking its financial toll on him and his family. Check it out here. As I read about his experience, and those of other people’s experiences in the comments, I felt somewhat ashamed for having anything to complain about.

I am lucky.

I am lucky that I have Boyfriend, who’s still employed, financially sound and who pays our mortgage and grocery bills.

I am lucky that he has extended health insurance through his work that I have been added to. Not only does it pay for extended benefits (things like psychologist visits, physiotherapy appointments, and medication cost top-up), but it also pays for my mandatory provincial healthcare premium. It’s allowed me to recoup the costs of my therapy, and has also cut my monthly bills by about $75.

Finally, I am so incredibly to live in Canada.

Canada has amazing health care.

If I didn’t make a decent salary, my health insurance would be free. My prescriptions would be free. I’ve had this since I was born. There’s no such thing as co-pays (I’m not even 100% sure what that is, to be honest), or being aware of what prescription drugs actually cost, or pre-existing conditions. Signing newcomers up for health insurance is something I did at my old job; our governments don’t seem care if you come to Canada with a brain injury. You’re covered. In fact, in the province of Alberta, you’re covered as soon as you step off the airplane, which I found especially wonderful.

In Canada, I can walk into the doctor’s office every day of the year and never pay a cent. I have never paid more than about $10 for prescription drugs, and that was only a few times when I was uninsured through work. If I get hit by a car tomorrow and spend a week in the hospital, my bank account will be none the wiser. If I am diagnosed with cancer, my family will not have to pool together funds to keep me alive. If I get pregnant tomorrow, I will not have to make decisions based on whether or not I’m okay with applying for a second mortgage.

Canada is a wonderful, wonderful place. It is magical. It is a dream.

Yes. Being off work has its drawbacks. But my necessities are covered. I am clothed, warm, and fed. I do not live in fear that my family will ever lose everything to medical bills.

I need to remember that so, so many people do not have this luxury. That this is a luxury.

It pains me to think of how many people are not as fortunate. Do I wish that my government paid for all of my therapy? Sure. Do I wish my old paycheque were still being deposited into my bank account? Yes! Of course I do!

But if I’m honest, most of that money that I’d be saving would be going toward things I don’t have to have. I don’t need a manicure, or new shoes, or a dinner out.

I need the basics. I need my family to be healthy and happy.

I have those. I am so, so, so lucky.

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21 thoughts on “No Money Mo Problems.”

  1. I love your writing style ; its fun and quirky and the references are hilarious.
    On a serious note, its really heartening to see the change in your outlook. Your previous posts were about dealing with depression and now you can proudly say you’re lucky.
    Way to go !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wish you a speedy recovery! From the bottom of my heart I would like to say, you have such a genuine fella, he’s a keeper!! And Canada seems like a nice place. I live in India where unfortunately no such things exist.. Anyway, happy holidays!! This year we shall enjoy it a little differently.. Yes?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You started my day off right, with a refreshing look at life from the perspective of what we have, and can be thankful for, as opposed to what we don’t have, and covet. It’s heartwarming to hear that, while you are in a (temporary) financial pickle, the thing you will miss most, this Christmas, are the things you can normally do for others. That speaks volumes about your heart.

    Excellent piece. Thank you! 👏👏👏

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Also, this blog is so touching. And admittedly, so accurate. Last week, my account was negative by $47.58 (yes, I remember the exact amount because it was burned in my memory until I got paid). Not only was I broke, but I was in the hole by almost 50 bucks and I was completely out of gas. After a few days of wallowing in self-pity, I had the same moment of clarity. There are so many people in this world, even in my own city that have far less than I did in that moment. The homeless man on the street that I barely passed in my empty car or someone who is just struggling to live, would probably have killed me to at least have a warm home to go to that evening. So yes, I am with you in this post. I, we, are so so very lucky. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Like

  5. A great peice of writing. Canada sounds like a cool place to be. Here in the UK we have amazing healthcare, all my therapy is paid for. Not sure how much longer this will last but for the time being I feel very fortunate to live here. As usual I loved your post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Unfortunately my therapy is only paid for by my extended benefits. I did see a psychiatrist that was covered by my government but it wasn’t a counseling session unfortunately. It’s all about politics, we all need to sit tight and wait for an MP who values health care more and allots more funding toward it!

      Liked by 1 person

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