In Life

Ask me Anything! – Responses Part Two

You asked, and I am answering every Friday once I have enough questions!

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1DKFg6SD0Kmb_0U5yb4OTNfkvfmsf5dWxJJbZTzUtH7M/edit

You can ask any question using the form here.

I had such a great response to my Ask me Anything post that I figured I needed to start answering!

I will keep the post open indefinitely so that people can continue asking questions via comments.

——–

Barb:

How do you organize your closet?

Right now, by type of clothing and within type of clothing, by the colour of the rainbow.

So all tank tops in a row, organized by colour, then t-shirts by colour, then long-sleeve tops by colour then button-up shirts by colour.

Next section is ALL dresses (just ALL dresses by colour, no sorting by short sleeve or not).


Then ALL skirts sorted by colour.

Then ALL pants (sorted into 2 sections of CASUAL Non-Work pants, sorted by colour then FORMAL Work pants, sorted by colour).

Then ALL jackets sorted by colour.

Then ALL sweaters sorted by colour.

I hang everything up. I hate folding anything. It just ends up as a heap on a shelf and when I pull out one item, it all falls on me.

Purses all go on the floor unless I’m using them, then they’re on hooks in the front hall closet.

Shoes are all in the front hall closet (boots have boot shapers).

Scarves are all on those velvet hangers (5 to each hanger).

Jackets are in the front hall closet, sorted by season (right now only the winter stuff is in the main section by the door, spring stuff is at the back where I don’t open the door as often).

I tried organizing my wardrobe recently by putting EVERYONE into colour groups (all red items, no matter what they were), but that just confused me because I don’t pick outfits based on a single colour.

I tend to start with one specific piece I want to wear (dress or whatever), and then I decide on a secondary piece, so if I decide that I want PANTS today, I don’t know what colour at that point.

I just know PANTS, and then from there I see WHICH pants.. which then decides what colour top matches with the chosen ones.

How do you spend your weekends?

Right now? Doing absolutely nothing but taking care of and playing with Baby Bun. Literally. During winter I am holed up like some invalid with only The Bun and sometimes my partner for company if he is not running errands (groceries, household stuff, etc).

How do you think Baby Bun changed you ( your life goals, priorities, relationship with your partner and so on.)

See my answer above about motherhood.

As for life goals, nothing has really changed.

I have never aspired to be a manager or an executive of any sort. I like to just be in control of myself, my life and no one else to manage (I hate the idea of babysitting adults). I still want to just be a consultant and work whenever I want.

What HAS changed is my priorities are now obviously The Bun.

I would quit a contract or refuse it (which I actually did) if it meant I had to give him any kind of time with him and not see him at all except on weekends. No traveling either.


Partner relationship… it’s different now.

We are working through the difficult parts of having to now think of a shared common little mini being and trying to reconcile what I want to do and what he wants to do and what is best in the end.

Sometimes I feel steamrolled, to be honest. It’s like he’s always right and I have no say.

I’m trying my best to be on the same page with him so that we’re a united front, but I am truthfully struggling with getting him to see that he has to bend and give in to me sometimes even if I am “wrong”.

I am pondering writing a post about this. I don’t think anyone has really addressed how hard it is to have a baby with someone when you are BOTH strong alpha personalities.

Anyway, Baby Bun has changed everything for both of us. We can’t be selfish any more and that is hard when you have spent your entire life just thinking of you and us, and now there’s a tiny little dependent human who is 100% in love with you and you with him.

jenn:

Where are your favourite places to shop in Toronto?

For clothing, like consignment stuff, this is my list: Best resale shops in Toronto.

Otherwise, I just like to wander down Queen street, from about Ossington all the way to Yonge street.

There are a LOT of great little independent shops along the way, like the Spice Shoppe, independent artisanal jewellery and homewares shops.. I mean it’s really the best stretch to spend a few weekends exploring.

I reviewed almost all the places I have gone to on Yelp.

How did you decide to go into consulting? and how did you start doing that? It’s something I have thought about doing but am so lost on how to start.

I chose it only because it paid the best salary out of business school and I had $60,000 in student debt. No other reason why I chose it.

To start, you need to join a consulting company and to get into one, the only way I know how is you need a business degree (undergrad) and get recruited or you need to get an MBA and then get recruited.

I truly don’t know any other paths.

Any investment tips for a young 25 year-old just starting to invest that lives in Toronto?

Yes, stick to index funds and keep a balanced portfolio that is well diversified.

Don’t get fancy with individual stock picking and all that.

The key is just to save. Don’t get caught up in investing and doing it right from the start, because just as long as you save and you stick it in an index fund you will be fine.

What are your favourite places to eat in Toronto?

A few notable ones that stick out in my mind are Blackbird Bakery in Kensington Market for their flat breads, Khmer Thai near St. Clair West and Bathurst, and the omakase sushi menu at ND Sushi.

I reviewed almost all the places I have gone to on Yelp.

Taylor Lee @ Engineer Cents:

Do you cook? / What is your favorite thing to cook?

I do cook but I don’t do anything fancy because I have no idea how to and am very lazy.

I like making really simple foods like roasted chicken. My very favourite thing to eat though, is raw fish with some miso paste and white rice. I have not had that in a long time.

I also like making grilled fish and eating that with white rice.

What has been your favorite place to stay/visit/eat/etc States-side?

I really like visiting New York City to shop, eat and be there for a short period of time but I don’t like living there full-time.

To Stay: New York City

To Visit & Relax: Miami Beach

To Eat: Penang in Boston

I reviewed almost all the places I have gone to on Yelp.

Favorite fashion designers?

The Row, Chanel, Narcisco Rodriguez, Burberry, Nanette Lepore, Oscar de la Renta and lately, Michael Kors but I don’t like his purses and his huge gold medallion logo bouncing everywhere on every accessory.

How did you get into your current field?

I got into it after I graduated. It was paying the most money out of all the job offers I had, and with $60,000 in student debt.. well.

Yep that sealed the deal for me.

The learning curve was crazy though, took me about 5 years working my butt off before I actually felt like I knew something.

How did you find your first clients when you started consulting?

They find me. I’m on LinkedIn and they message me all the time.

Do you invest your money? If so, what’s your portfolio look like?

Yes, I have about $275,000 invested. It’s mostly in index funds and in a few stocks.

My portfolio is listed here and I have some other suggestions here.

Notable stocks with significant holdings:

  • Enercare (ECI.TO)
  • Penn West (PWT.TO)
  • Oil Index Fund (XEG.TO) — a short-term hold once oil goes back up
  • Rogers Sugar (RSI.TO) — Damn stock! Going to keep this one forever

 Sally

How many children would you like to have?

I originally thought I’d like to have 4 kids when I was younger. Then I had Baby Bun and revised that number to 2.

Then I talked to my partner thinking we were on the same page (we had “compromised” on 3 when we were dating), and I was taken aback pretty recently that he only wants to have Baby Bun and no other future Buns.

I’m currently trying to work through this idea of having ONLY Baby Bun and no other Buns. I had always imagined at least two children but we have to be on the same page for this.

I haven’t said anything in response to my partner yet because I am first trying to feel if I can reconcile this within myself and accept just having one child, and then later on in the year when things get easier (e.g. when Baby Bun starts talking and becomes easier to communicate and manage in that sense), I will broach the subject again and then drop it if he is firm and set on not having any more children.

I’m still struggling with this, and have been contemplating writing a post about it.

Do you prefer the city or the country?

I’m a city mouse, but I don’t mind the country in small doses.

What does your dream house look like (if you have one)?

Ooo what a good question. I saw this house on HGTV called the Yen House by an architect called Ken Kellogg.

The inside is just stunning. It’s all this bent wood, in curved, organic shapes and it feels so warm yet open and cosy at the same time. I’d have a house just like that, with a HUGE kitchen with tons of space and organization.

The bedrooms can be small, as long as there’s a huge walk-in closet.

The bathroom can be small too, I don’t really spend a ton of time in there.


I’d also want a separate office just for me. I hate having wires out in the open in my blank living room space.

Is your partner in the same field/industry as you?

Not any more.

Who influenced you the most growing up? Did you develop your personal values as a result of people in your life, experience, certain books, or a combination of the three? 

All three.

My mother was a big influence in my life. Her stories about how she grew up in such stark poverty, and just the way money played such a part in my childhood

I’d say reading books like the 10 books that changed my life have really shaped me my way of life and my thinking.

As for my experiences, I’ve done some good and bad things and I’ve learned from both. I’ve made a ton of mistakes, dated wrong people and came out the better for it on the whole. Would I have changed anything?

Well no. If it wasn’t such a painful experience then I probably would not have learned from it.

Rose:

What’s your favourite fragrance?

Is it cheesy to say the top of Baby Bun’s head? Or the smell of my partner?

If so, then lavender. I wear lavender essential oil as a perfume. I love the smell of that, and the smell of roses…

Heather:

I will be receiving an approximately $40,000 inheritance this year and would like to keep it somewhat accessible as an emergency fund but making as much interest as possible. What is the best thing to put it in these days?

Savings account at Tangerine (referral key: 32726976S1) pays 2.5% interest until end of March 31st 2015.

I kind of play the switching balance game between Tangerine and PC Financial.

See, I keep two bank accounts — one with PC Financial and one with Tangerine.

I keep all the money in one and get interest on it, then when the other does promotional interest bonuses like now on any NEW balances in the account, then I switch my money over to them, wash, rinse and repeat.

I try my best to keep my money in high interest savings accounts as much as possible.

If this is too much to manage, you can always buy GICs or bonds… but 2.5% is pretty generous as a promotional rate.

If you do want to sign up with Tangerine because you haven’t already done so, this is my bonus key and you’ll get $50 for doing so!

(My Tangerine referral key: 32726976S1)

Can you talk about how you got into the consulting business and how you made your way up to making what you make?

In general, I went to business school, became a consultant out of school, found a niche that I was particularly good at that is very hard to learn, let alone find in terms of skillsets, explored the market and saw a potential to make 4X my income, and started freelancing.

RELAX MUCH:

1. I have a question about your futon :)))- is it high maintenance? With ours we have to air it in the sun every few weeks or so to keep it fluffy.

It IS high maintenance in the sense that you have to fluff it and air it out to keep it fluffy… but what I do is I just pile 3 on top of each other, and then fluff less  often. I haven’t figured out a solution for this yet.

2. What would you do if you won the lottery- like $20million?

Hand over a million to each of my partner’s siblings and to his mother, one to each of mine, and one in store for my mother so I could pay for a really nice vacation and do all these nice things for her. That would eat up a good 10 million right there.

Then with the $10 million left….

I’d buy my condo, perhaps on a higher floor than I would have originally decided upon, buy FOUR parking spots rather than just two so that I can have one for guests in the event that we have any, and both my partner and I can park in the middle of two without worrying about getting my car perfectly centered.

Then I would bank the rest and continue working, while living off the interest.

Yes.. I’d continue working because otherwise I’d be really bored.

My partner would retire immediately though.

In between projects when I’d take time off to go on vacation with Baby Bun and my partner, but we’d stay in slightly better hotels, maybe like a Hilton or something rather than the cheapo Ibis hotels.

My life would upgrade slightly.. but not by much. I would also probably worry less about making sure I have enough for retirement.

3.Who are your style icons?

  • Audrey Hepburn – Obviously
  • Emmanuelle Alt – French Vogue Editor who always looks chic
  • Anna Wintour – she NEVER wears all black!!!
  • Diane von Furstenberg – Queen of the wrap dress
  • Olivia Wilde – Love her looks
  • Kate Moss – She has a nice alternative edge to her
  • Miranda Kerr – Always looks put together but not fussy
  • Marion Cotillard – Elegant and classy
  • Lauren Hutton – A bit irreverent and wonderful

Still have a burning question?

You can ask any question using the form here and all of my previous Ask Sherry posts are here.


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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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14 Comments

  1. P
    Paula

    Have you ever thought about doing a car owning vs taxi analysis? Like you did for buying or renting a house?

    Reply
  2. R
    RELAX MUCH

    Thanks for answering my questions I love reading this post. I wish I could hang all my clothes but we are renting and we’ve always had tiny wardrobes so all my clothes are fold up 🙁

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I said the same thing.
      It is why when we got a bigger closet my partner gave it to me because I HATED FOLDING!!!

      Reply
  3. s
    sylvie

    I’m looking for a fashionable travel bag for a week-long overseas trip. I’m not a fan of Baggallini-style bags, and my Le Pliage developed small holes within a month of use. Any recommendations? Would you go with a large purse or two purses, one small, one big? I’ll be lugging around a camera and a laptop, but wanted something with which I could feel comfortable going into small shops.

    Reply
  4. a
    anonymous

    Have you considered getting Lasik eye surgery? Just wondering because I remember on a past post you mentioned how important contact lens were to you, but wanted your opinion on not having to depend on glasses/contact lens and if Lasik will be worth the money for you.

    Reply
  5. L
    Lila

    You had a bad experience in the U.S…what was it? What happened to you that made you give up on it?

    Reply
  6. NZ Muse

    Oooh yes kids are a hard thing to compromise on. That can’t be easy.

    A thought: You said your partner isn’t in the same field anymore. What made him decide to leave? And (although I know he was older and had more years in it than you) did it ever feel competitive, at all?

    (Asking as I’ve always thought I’d hate to have a partner who did the same thing as me but lots of couples do)

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I’m working on this idea of an Only Bun. He left because he learned another field that pays way more.. 🙂 it did feel competitive at times!!!

      Reply
  7. S
    Sally

    Yay!!! Thanks for answering my questions. This post was awesome. Looked up the Yen house- beautiful, and so one-of-a-kind. My home tastes veer way more traditional, but it would be amazing to live in a piece of art.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      That Yen house looks so calm, inviting and warm. Very organic..

      Reply
  8. E
    E

    Thank you so much for being so open and informative. I am very impressed with your success. I feel very stuck at where I am at the moment in my career. It is difficult to go a level up every time and this time it has been a way too long for me. I have been applying and am passing the first interview and have been getting the second round interview without actually landing that job offer. So frustrating!!!! Do you have any suggestions, books, tips and tricks?

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      You’re welcome. As for tips I don’t have any.. It seems like you are doing fine but for some reason someone else is getting the job. Maybe what you could do is ask for feedback about why you were passed over (politely). They may or may not tell you the truth but at least you may know where to focus. It could also simply be because of price so don’t mention salary at all

      Reply
  9. E
    Erika

    I’ve been a fan of Michael Kors since way before his products became so mainstream. I agree with you though that all of his branding is tacky, but then again I feel that way about any designer that plasters giant logos all over everything.

    Reply

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