All posts by Helen Chevreau

How Millennials can learn from the seniors in Grace & Frankie

Lily Tomlin, Sam Waterston, Jane Fonda at the Grace & Frankie Season 2 Premiere Screening in Los Angeles.

Can Millennials learn life lessons from seniors? I think so, or at least from TV depictions of them.

As an avid watcher of anything Netflix is showing, I came across Grace and Frankie when the first season came out in 2015.

I wouldn’t usually choose this show for myself, seeing as all the main characters are over 70, I figured I wasn’t exactly in the target market. This was a show geared toward people my parents’ age or more, and what could I possibly gain from watching something made for old people!?

However, it was a slow weekend, and I’d already caught up on Orange Is the New Black, so what did I have to lose? If it was good, I’d find a new show to watch, and if it was too far out of my wheelhouse, I’d email my parents and pass on the ‘new show you’d like’ info to them.

I think a lot of the time people my age tend to take for granted that most media is aimed at us, with characters from all walks of life but generally in the same age range. This has the unfortunate consequence of leading us to believe that:

a) we’re the only generation that matters and

b) we will continue to be young and adventurous and the only generation that matters.

If you haven’t yet marathon-ed Grace & Frankie, allow me to break it down for you. Grace Hanson and Frankie Bernstein’s husbands are law partners, and, as it turns out, life partners. The husbands — played by two veteran actors who are 75 or older, Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston — have decided after 20 years of hiding their love that it’s time they get on with it, which leaves the wives in quite an unfortunate predicament. ‘Grace & Frankie’ revolves around these two women — played by Jane Fonda (79 years young) and Lily Tomlin (77) respectively — rebuilding their lives and learning to live their ‘new normal’.

One of the most important lessons millennials should take away from this show is that no matter how much we plan for our financial futures, nothing is set in stone. It is always important to plan for the un-plan-able. We are not invincible, and we are not immune to hardship.

A Victory Lap for both the 70-ish actors and the characters they play 

Though both the lead characters had successful careers in their pasts, what I find most inspiring about these women is that they aren’t allowing themselves to feel obsolete. They find new relationships, new hobbies, and most interestingly, a new business venture that they’re passionate about pursuing.
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Toronto Rentals vs. Hong Kong: A matter of perspective

There’s been plenty of discussion recently surrounding Toronto’s hot housing market. First-time buyers are being priced out and young prospective home buyers are being pushed further and further away from the city’s desirable centre. With all this talk, it’s easy to get caught up and lose perspective, but lucky for you, I’m here to remind you to count those blessings (however meagre they may be).

Sure, the housing situation in cities like Vancouver and Toronto may be less than ideal, and yes, something should be done to improve the way things are going. However, there are far more dire housing situations in other top-tier cities, which, when compared to Toronto, really make everything here seem — dare I say –breezy?

Related Read: INFOGRAPHIC – July GTA Sales Plunge 40%

Taking A Global Rental Perspective

Take, for instance, Hong Kong. As those who’ve read my posts on Findependence Hub may know, I lived in Hong Kong teaching English. It is one of the most bustling, vibrant cities I’ve ever experienced, but I can only defend it so much once the subject of housing prices comes up. Year after year, Hong Kong tops all the lists of ‘most expensive housing,’ and having rented there for a year, I have to concede defeat on that point. For what you get in Hong Kong, there is much to be desired.

 

Chevreau’s Hong Kong apartment was tight on square footage.

Chevreau’s Hong Kong apartment was tight on square footage

If you’re like most millennials and looking to break into the housing market for the first time –- perhaps in a Toronto condo –- you’ve most likely experienced the disillusionment that inevitably comes when you realize the prices you’re looking at paying, even after this summer’s price correction. In the city of Toronto, the average price per square foot, or PPSF, is around $649 with an average home cost of around $550,000. This number spikes to $800 PSF if you’re looking to put down roots in ‘downtown Toronto’ (anywhere south of Bloor, west of Yonge, east of Bathurst).

Related Read: 5 Ways to Get Ahead in the Toronto Rental Market

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Millennial Money: How Daydreaming can help you Budget

If you can dream it, you can achieve it” is a saying more often seen on an inspirational Instagram account than in a financial blog. While I am loath to agree with the sentiment of a mere bumper sticker, dreaming really can be an excellent tool for those struggling to get their financial futures in order.

I began to think about the value of dreams in achieving financial freedom a few months ago. From there I decided to do some research on the subject. What is it about having defined dreams that can help solidify steps needed to achieve goals? When, if ever, is dreaming going to hurt instead of help?

I came across this blog post from ‘The Lady in the Black’ site, which includes a variety of guest bloggers all chiming in with that they consider the true value of using our daydreams to achieve our financial goals.

It’s safe to say we all love a good daydream once in a while. It can be an excellent way to escape the day-to-day uncertainty in our lives. More importantly, however, daydreaming can be an opportunity to really discover what is most important to your future financial wellbeing, and can even help you plan a concrete goal for that future.

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Millennial Money: How I deal with my Financial Anxiety

How do I deal with my Financial Anxiety? Other than “I don’t.”

As a ‘mature student’ and a Millennial I find myself really struggling to maintain any sort of enviable lifestyle on a basically non-existent budget. At 25, it feels beyond embarrassing to still be relying on my parents, especially after having had a 1-year contract (in Hong Kong) which kept me self-sufficient. Though it has felt at times like a back-track, I know that in the long run this step back into financial dependence will be worth it.

In discussions with some of my friends, it became clear that I was in no way alone in feeling a little lost and hopeless in the finances department. It has been said time and time again that as millennials, we are meant to be discovering our passions and taking risks with our careers, but clearly all of this does little to dissuade those of us in the midst of these struggles from feeling as if we’re doing something terribly wrong.

Stop comparing yourself to your peers

How am I meant to reconcile these feelings with the facts I know to be true ( it’s just temporary! As soon as you’re finished school you’ll feel so much better about your finances)? One of my closest friends had some helpful words when I came to her with how I was feeling: You have to stop comparing yourself to people around you.

I’m sure that response has elicited at least one “duh!” from this audience, and even I myself am well aware of this simple truth. It is, however, a different thing to actually put into practice.

We’re at the age now where half of us are well into our careers, purchasing first homes, getting married, and even starting to have children. Meanwhile the other half (the camp I fall into) are running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to find one stable thing in our lives to grab hold of to keep us steady. Continue Reading…

Millennial Money: An experiment in money-saving hacks

As both a student and a millennial, my eyes are always peeled for helpful tips and advice on how to manage my finances. I recently came across this article from refinery 29 about “10 Bizarre Money Habits Making Millennials Richer.”

While I usually try and avoid this ‘listicle’ format, I was intrigued enough to look into it. The list surprised me in that it actually did include some new tips I hadn’t heard about before, like literally freezing your credit card (See image to the left).

I decided to run a little experiment based on this article, and I’m sharing the results with you now. I didn’t think it would be feasible to try and implement all ten of the habits. Besides, some of them don’t apply to me (I no longer have a car or any recurring payments coming out of my bank account), so I decided to focus on just a few of the tips to see how easy they really were to put into action.

Tip 1: Pick a denomination and save it

The first tip I implemented was to pick a denomination and save it, always. Unlike the article, I don’t get paid in cash (or at all really, apart from payment for blogs like this), so the only time I come into contact with physical cash is when I take it out of an ATM or get cash back at the grocery store.

I thought I’d start small: I would save all my £2 coins [the UK pound is the currency where I currently live, in Scotland] in a jar on my desk. This actually turned out to work quite well for me, as my current wallet is a card carrier without any space for coins. Every time I received change I separated out the £2 coins,  then made sure to move them into the jar every couple of days. After three weeks of this method, though, I had only saved around £12. Turns out, £2 coins aren’t given out that frequently as change.

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