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Money on My Mind: Why I’m trying to get better about my finances

In the past two years I moved twice, switched jobs and stopped living with a roommate. While I wouldn’t do anything differently, big changes took a toll on my bank account.

When I first started journalism school, media seemed like an industry rich with resources but from our classes we watched newsrooms offer buyouts and heard from former journalists who told us it’s a not a career that makes much money.

As we graduated a lot of my peers went for communications jobs, hoping to be a little bit more financially stable. I did the same but eventually left when I realized my heart wasn’t in my current job.

In many ways, I lived far more comfortably in my first job than I do now, but I feel happier and excited about the work we’re doing. In my opinion, this is one of the greatest issues my generation will face. Sometimes it feels like we are forced to choose between our professional passions and making a living.

Making this goal stick

Some of the best career advice went like this: if you’re in the job you love, money will sort itself out. I agree with that for the most part, but we all need money to live. Money puts food on a table and money can buy a place to call home.

When Aiden and I first thought about what we could do to better ourselves in a new year and a new decade, I had a few ideas. I know if I look critically at how I manage my money right now, I can do better. Over the next year, I’m sure I’ll be surprised at where my money

goes and how I spend it. I also hope to learn creative ways to save on money while enjoying trying new activities and spending time with friends and family.

This next year is sure to be tough and I doubt I’ll get any part of this right the first time but I hope to learn and grown personally. I also want to learn about what it can be like to live in the city, the challenges you face, the supports we’re lacking and the services that offer help.

A capital city comes with a capital cost

We posted about skyrocketing rent costs on our Facebook page and it struck a nerve, you shared about relying on affordable housing and even about being embarrassed about your housing situations. In a city that attracts tech executives and politicians, it often feels like other residents are getting pushed out.

At the end of the day, I have a roof over my head and a support system I can fall back on, but I know this isn’t the case for everyone in Ottawa. Rent keeps climbing and last year a new report found more Ontarians with full time jobs are depending on foodbanks to feed themselves and their families.

But there are also organizations and leaders working to make life a little easier in this city we call home.

Next week we’ll be back with some of those leaders.

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