Oh, you all WISH that this post was from me. Me, as in Nelson. You’d be wrong, thankfully. I have not turned to the dark side. I still, as of this moment, leave tracks in the snow. Take it away, Vanessa.ย 

Back in ’07 I vowed to stop having useless boyfriends, because boyfriends are expensive. I knew that I didn’t want to get married or settle down before I finished school and traveled the world and, considering that all relationships end in heartbreak or the alter, I felt that it I would be happier overall if I just focused on saving money and getting rich.

For three years, I worked 50h a week, lived in a tiny apartment with three roommates and gave myself an allowance of $60 a week for EVERYTHING (groceries, toiletries, entertainment etc). I was able to save thousands of dollars, pay for my tuition in cash, and go on a holiday or two. In 2010 I met a boy and, surprise surprise, I realized again boyfriends are expensive. He insisted on the following:

  • BF didn’t want to live in a shared apartment so we had to get a more expensive one
  • BF liked certain (more expensive) foods
  • BF didn’t want to live downtown — a concession which would have cost me hundreds of dollars a month once I traded my overtime for commuting time

Luckily I got out of that relationship, bolstered my savings account and traveled about before settling down in Calgary with my dear Monsieur. Despite people thinking that he’s the thrifty one, MY GOD, does he ever spend a lot — I mean, he’s worked hard and has gobs of money so he deserves it but it really affects my budget.

I’m expected to look and act like a functional human being
Gone are the days that I can wear shoes with holes in them because they’re comfy, or eat cheese for dinner. Now we have to have meals with side dishes and my grocery bill every month is full of things like vegetables and ingredients for stews instead of steak and bagels. Somehow, I’m hooked on cereal now? I never ate cereal before!

I use his things and then get sad because I don’t have the same nice things
Here’s a list of things that I’ve wanted solely because Le Monsieur had one and I used it once, got used to it and now feel that I can’t live without it.

  • A car. Somehow, I used to live without driving but now, I feel like I’ve been a fool to live in Calgary this long and use public transit when cars are only a couple hundred dollars a month
  • A tablet. Everything is so NICE on a tablet! It’s comfy and fits in your bag and it’s only like $400
  • A Kindle. How could I have ever hated ebooks? I can carry ALL my books with me and it’s only $100
  • Snacks. If he’s putting a bag of chips in the cart, I want my OWN chips! It’s only $3
  • A house. He’ll go on and on about how great it was owning a house (vs. renting now) and I get super jealous and insist on buying a house EVEN THOUGH I DON’T EVEN WANT ONE

We have vastly different lifestyles

On my last vacation I stayed 4 nights at my parents’ house and 4 nights in a hostel for a total accommodation cost of $80. When we visited Montreal last year, we spent $400ย for four nights in Montreal because someone wanted a private room with his own bathroom. Our apartment? It absolutely must have a dishwasher, and cable TV and all the electronics have to be plugged in all the time and we need to have Netflix and Next Issue and fancy internet and OMG. Our future house is going to have 100 rooms to heat and clean and insure and the property taxes will be more than I paid in rent last year. And, despite all of these added expenses, I’m not supposed to have a second job? I’m supposed to sit back and enjoy life? How can I enjoy life when the cable bill is $100/month?!

I like Le Monsieur very, very much and I wouldn’t dream of getting rid of him for a few bucks. Some days though, when all I want to do is sit in my pyjamas and read library books, I think back to the simple days of my $600 monthly budgets and think that having boyfriends are expensive.

Tell everyone, yo!