TD cross-border banking

A perfect southern day! From opening a bank account to gem mining, we did it all.

What a surreal feeling that was, pulling into a TD bank (in North Carolina, no less!)  this morning and promptly opening a checking account. Combined with a borderless account on the Canadian side, this makes wire transfer and currency conversion very easy- and free! (due to it being the same bank).  Armed with a newfound financial confidence, we’d proceeded to inquire as to whether we could get  a credit card with the same bank, to avoid having to physically send a check each month back to Canada, to cover our only Canada-based credit card issued in USD, which feels archaic.

What happened next wasn’t exactly how I’d pictured it in my mind:

-So, do you two have income?

-Umm, no…(I felt my voice starting to wobble), but the house is paid off and we have savings?…

She seemed unphased.

-So, no income? Not even a little bit? (she was grasping for straws now)

-Nope.

Well, let’s see how that application turns out!

Later on in the car, we discussed the whole psychology of continuous employment versus  savings. I know plenty of people, my mom  used to be one of them, who have full time jobs, yet between the mortgage, line of credit, car payments and general living expenses, there are no savings! Sure,there’s always that 10% for a rainy day, a dentist emergency, an extravagant trip or house repairs.  What seems of much more value to me is how long can you support yourself, your lifestyle, if the carpet’s been pulled under? What if you lost your job tomorrow, how long do you have until the panic sets in and you’re desperately looking for any job just to make the next billing cycle? Just because you have a job today, there is no guarantee it’ll be here tomorrow.

What I find more reassuring is being realistic with you financial situation, being able to project your expenses and still leave a 20-30% buffer zone. Of course, a big part of that is eliminating unnecessary expenses if you can help it, such as mortgage, loan, a second car… we’d gone from a 4 br 3 bath 2000 sq foot house with 3 cars, 3 phones, mortgage and more credit lines than I can count to 3 br 2 bath 1350sq foot home that we actually own, downsized to 1 car and 1 phone line between the two of us. And honestly, now, rather than spend my money on going out, latest fashion or unnecessary impulse buy, I’m much happier buying another edible plant/shrub to enhance our garden.

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