My siblings and I absolutely had to go to college. More than a decade after the start of my career, my mother again said “when you come back to finish your degree …” I started college and dropped out after a year to go to acting school instead. My parents always made it clear that they would do whatever was necessary to help us with our education. They paid my tuition for the four years I went to school (one year of college, three years of college), and I lived at home and commuted for both. intervening years. When I rented an off-campus apartment at college, I paid for it with the money I made playing in a movie in high school. In my last year of drama school, I got a $ 7,000 OSAP loan to help pay for an apartment near my college campus. I repaid this loan within 18 months of graduation; nobody at OSAP was proud of me, but damn it, I was proud of myself.
Growing up, what kind of conversations did you have about money? Did your parents / guardians teach you about finances?
I don’t remember talking about money, but I knew we didn’t have any and paying the bills was a constant stress. I assimilated from my parents that there is “good debt” (student debt, career debt) and “bad debt” (unnecessary debt related to consumption). Beyond that, I am still educating myself.
What was your first job and why did you get it?
My first job was babysitting / tutoring when I was about 11 years old. I was in French immersion all my life and I helped neighborhood children do their homework in French and keep it in French. My father was very against me taking a job that could possibly affect my school performance, so I had to fight hard to work at a local restaurant on weekends when I was in high school. I took it so that I could pay to eat out with friends and buy sneaky clothes and liquor bottles through older siblings.
Are you afraid of money growing up?
Money has been a major stressor my entire life. Somehow, I was always aware that we didn’t have enough and I was definitely the kid who didn’t bring home any exit cards because I was so scared. that my parents feel bad. My dad always believed that money or lack of money shouldn’t stop you from experimenting or learning and therefore had no problem getting into debt. My mother was still terrified of losing our home; we were a one income family and my dad made money while my mom managed it. Looking back, we were never more financially precarious than the lower middle class, but the fear of total catastrophe was still there. Things stabilized as my father progressed in his career, and my younger siblings had a very different childhood than my older brother and I.
Are you worried about the money now?
I waver wildly enough. I am aware that I am in a stable financial position, especially for someone in my field. But I still have a deep fear of being in debt and not being able to pay my bills. Being in an industry in which my income can fluctuate so drastically contributes to this worry. Thank goodness for the therapy (and being able to pay for the therapy). I incorporated about four years ago, a year that I made a lot of money, so my tax rate dropped significantly, but my RRSP limit did too. I’m still looking for the best way to plan tax and save money effectively. As I progressed in my career I was able to help my parents and siblings with money and I am very proud to be able to do so. I keep cash as a safety net in case they need help again.
At what age did you become financially responsible for yourself and do you have a financial safety net?
When I moved when I was 20, but I had a credit card attached to my parents’ account for emergencies until I was about 22. I have built up my savings so that I can take care of myself long enough if I have a slow career period, but I also know that my partner, parents, siblings and in-laws would step in as a safety net if I needed it !