Headlines for Monday:

  1. Week past, week next (230 words)
  2. Money management for the next stage in your life (297 words)

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1. Week past, week next: 07:42

Last week was a week of thresholds. I've started doing my usability tests, and I'm not going to stop until I finish them. Then I'm going to write them up into my thesis, and then I'll be done.



Last week, I went through my first ever behavioral interview. An IBM HR person asked me those job-interview-type questions that start with "Tell me a story about a time you...".

Last week, I scheduled my first job interview.

Things are moving faster and faster. I'm walking through so many doors.

Goals for this week:

  • Revise my paper according to Mark Chignell's comments.
  • Finish all my usability tests.
  • Write that Emacs mail productivity article.
  • Attend and learn from a few seminars offered by the University of Toronto.

I also *really* need to explore my goals this week, because my job interview is coming up and I had better have a good idea of what I'm getting myself into. Can I stand a job with high travel and lots of stress if it means learning a lot?

Decisions, decisions...

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2. Money management for the next stage in your life: 23:53

I attended a personal finance seminar by Ellen Roseman, a Toronto Star columnist and University of Toronto alumna. I'll write about it in more detail as I reflect more on personal finance, but here are a few new nuggets I picked up:

  • No RRSPs until I get my paperwork sorted out! Boo. Not fun knowing better practices and not being able to use them.
  • It might be a good idea to invest money into an RRSP while I'm young, then take a holiday—leaving the money there to take advantage of tax-deferred growth—and do something else with the money I'm already used to setting aside. For example, I could save up for a house.
  • You can carry forward the tax deduction you get when you invest in an RRSP, so you can invest now in order to take advantage of the tax-deferred growth and claim the deduction when it makes more sense tax-wise. Must figure out when that makes sense.
  • Four magic words: "Can I do better?" Ask for discounts!
  • Two good books: The Wealthy Barber, The Richest Man in Babylon.
  • Tour of Canadian personal finance blogs. Check ellenroseman.com for the link.
  • I should check out the TD monthly income fund or dividend funds to find a growth-oriented investment vehicle. Morningstar.ca has good reviews.
  • Might be more comfortable with a financial advisor within 10 years of my age.
  • E-mail car dealers to get good quotes without having to shop around so much.

Interesting tips came from the other attendees:

  • Skype now has a yearly plan. That'll be worth signing up for.
  • Insurance brokers can be handy.

Worth the time.

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