It’s the most wonderful time of the year.  It’s back to school and that means families all across the United States are getting their kids (and in some cases themselves) ready for back to school.  So let me ask you a question, even though you’re all grown up and work full time do you miss going back to school?

I do.  I get nostalgic this time of the year for overcrowded classrooms, busy college campuses and long nights filled with homework.  I definitely don’t miss the sleepless nights and the feeling of always being ten minutes behind, but I do really miss going back to school and here’s why…

Buying school supplies

I love paper and pens.  The smell of paper and books is very calming and for some strange reason I also really love the smell of ink on paper.  Maybe it’s because I miss going back to school or maybe it’s because I have a weird paper fetish that’s about to be unleashed.  I’m not too sure what it is but either way I still buy myself stationary at this time of the year in reminiscence of going back to school.

Shopping at the campus bookstore

I think this weird obsession is the exact reason why I became an avid reader after graduation.  When I have a bad day at work I like to take my lunch break at the bookstore.  I enjoy the calming atmosphere of bookstores because it helps me decompress. I think it’s directly attributed to my days spent in the campus bookstore.

The smell of fall in the air

I’ve said this time and time again on Dinks Finance and I’ll say it again, I love fall.  Not only is my birthday in October, but fall is by far the prettiest season when it comes to landscapes.  I know in most parts of the country you can’t go to the beach and enjoy long days during fall like you can in July and August, but trees changing from green to orange is just so beautiful.

Then of course there’s also the annual indulgence of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spiced Latte.  I look forward to that every year.  Although I heard they’re changing the recipe this year and actually adding real pumpkin flavor, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out.

These are the two things I never liked about going back to school:

All the expenses that come with college

Going off to college is an exciting time in a young student’s life, but it’s also a very expensive time.  I don’t miss taking out a student loan for tuition and spending hundreds of dollars of my hard earned money on books.  That’s not even mentioning the cost of room and board.

Saying good-bye to friends

If you attend college in a city away from your hometown going back to school can be both happy and sad.  It’s sad to leave old friends behind and say good-bye to them until next summer, but at the same time college life is exciting because you get to make new friends.

Do you miss going back to school?

engagement, getting married, couples advice

How long were you and your spouse engaged before you got married?  That seems to be the million dollar question for all couples.  My best friend just moved in with her boyfriend of one year.  Her parents were less than thrilled with her choice because she was committing to him without “any promise” – that’s a direct quote.

As you know Nick and I have been dating for 16 years and it doesn’t look like marriage is anywhere in our future.  So if someone asked me “How soon should you get married after being engaged?” my answer would be forever.  However, not everyone feels the same way.

When you can afford it

My best friend decided (against her parent’s wishes) to move in with her boyfriend on the condition that they would be engaged within the next year.  I don’t agree with giving your boyfriend or girlfriend an ultimatum, but it’s definitely one way to go.

My friend will be 35 years old this year and she doesn’t want to “waste time” if there is no promise of getting married – that’s also a direct quote.  She wants to get engaged as soon as possible and now that they live together she’s just waiting for her boyfriend to pay off his debt so he can afford to buy her an engagement ring.

Before the seven year itch

There’s a scene in The Hangover movie where Stu tells his friends that he is going to propose to his girlfriend because they’ve been dating for three years and that’s what you’re supposed to do.  I hate doing anything because we are supposed to do it at a certain age, because we have a certain amount of income or just because that’s what society says we should do.

However some could argue that if you don’t set hard deadlines for your goals they will never be achieved.  I believe goals that are tracked get accomplished, so if getting married is one of your personal goals maybe a definitive date is a good idea.

As soon as possible

When it comes to dating, relationships and getting engaged my friends are all over the spectrum.  I have a friend who dated men she met in bars, men from the office and men she met online.  All the relationships ended in breakups.

She finally decided to try online dating one more time and found the man of her dreams.  Within a year of meeting they moved in together, got engaged and got married one month before their first date anniversary.  Now after two years of marriage her son is about to celebrate his first birthday.

Obviously the rash decisions and rush to the alter seemed weird to me (16 years of dating, remember?) and when I asked her about her year of chaos she just said “I know it’s right”.  O.K. I guess I can accept that, but how well do you know someone you’ve only known for 11 months?  Well enough to get married I guess.

I know this is a dual income no kids personal finance blog, so it should go without saying that I never want to have kids.  However something happened to me last weekend that just solidified my life choice is the right choice for me.

Last Friday my best friend and I decided to take a girls weekend away from our boyfriends and just hang out together doing nothing but watching movies, ordering room service and shopping.  We decided to meet in a city in between where we both live so it would be convenient.  I quickly booked a train from Montreal to Toronto and I was on my way to a nice, relaxing, long weekend.

Sitting across from me on the train was a young couple, with their very young daughter.  After watching the mother try to keep her child quiet and calm for the better part of a five hour train ride and after watching the father gaze out the window for which I can only assume he was wishing to a higher power for a better life, it reaffirmed my decision as to why I never want to have kids.

I know there will probably be some backlash on everything I’m about to say, but this is my decision.  I’m sure happy families all across the United States have a million reasons as to why they want to have kids, but it’s just not right for me.

Kids are a lot of work

I saw the young family in the train station and I remembered them because of the abundance of luggage they had and couldn’t seem to manage.  By the time I boarded the train, had my ticket verified and started setting up my laptop the family barely made it on to the train, let alone to their seats.  It must be hard to manage all your life’s belongings with a child in tow.  That seems like a work commitment I just can’t make.

It’s expensive to have kids

By the time you add up the cost to have a child, raise a child and provide for them I’m sure the expenses related to having a kid are the same as (or even more than) buying a house.  According to CNN Money the current average cost to raise a child is $245,000.  I like to travel, eat out and just be able to spend money whenever or however I want to.  I feel that financial freedom is taken away when you have kids.

You don’t have your own life anymore

I couldn’t even imagine my life if I had to rush home after work to cook dinner and help my children with homework.  This is probably the biggest reason as to why I never want to have children.  In all honesty, I’m just too selfish.  My dad always says that when you have kids, you live for them.  Every single time parents want to make a decision they have to take their children into consideration.

I just can’t give that kind of commitment to someone else.


Financial Advice for a Happy Marriage

August 24, 2015

Some say the secret to a happy marriage is communication, some say it’s honesty and others say it’s compromise.  Among other things, I personally think it’s a combination of all three…especially when it comes to money in your marriage. If you could go back to the first year of your marriage, what financial advice would […]

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Should Married Couples Merge Finances?

August 21, 2015

Here’s a question that a lot of couples want to know: Should married couples merge their finances?  I am not sure there’s a right or wrong answer.  If I base my answer on my relationship I would say no, but that’s what works for us.  However in some situations it’s easier for one person to […]

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What To Do With Your Unwanted Gift Cards

August 20, 2015

Have you ever opened a gift box or birthday card and found a gift card that you just don’t want?  I’m sure we’ve all been there.  So what do you do?  You probably smile politely, say thank you and then start creating a list of all the things you can do with your newfound unwanted […]

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How to Travel Alone and Be Safe

August 19, 2015

As you know I love travelling.  If I had access to unlimited money I would travel all the time.  Unfortunately my boyfriend doesn’t share the same passion.  Every single time I think of a fabulous destination or a weekend getaway I always ask him if he wants to come, even though I know the answer.  […]

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Why Uber is Ruining Everything

August 17, 2015

Have you ever had one of those life experiences with a complete stranger that made your heart break, even though you don’t know them?  This just happened to me in a 30 minute taxi ride on my way to the airport and I can’t stop thinking about it. As you know I am not a […]

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Personal Finance Tips for Young Couples

August 14, 2015

So you’re in love.  So you want to spend the rest of your life with someone.  That’s all fine and dandy but what about the money.  Nick and I had our share of arguments about money, but that’s because we met as teenagers and neither of us had any idea how to make, save or […]

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