So what is my current Situation?
I currently have a job that allows me to be an almost full time help to my friends that most need it. Meaning outside the time I work at my job I spend time with these people. I am a surrogate Father to Two(make that Three, the one I spend less time with, different household) young ladies. The children that were missing me so much that I moved back to Canada are now getting me 75% of the time(I actually am only not there 1 or 2 days out of each week). Being a parent has always been the one dream I had, so glad that it has happened. I love these kids so dearly, glad I can be there for them.
My house is approaching being 50% mine, my mortgage will be just a tiny bit bellow 1/2 what I bought the house for as of my next payment. Yes, I am so proud of this fact. Currently have 13 years and 24 weeks left on a 25 year mortgage that started 5.5 years ago. Doing not too bad.
I just had my roof re-shingled this last October, a major expense that I really had no idea how I should handle. I got blessed by my parents, they paid for the whole thing. Actually they have also contributed to helping me pay down my mortgage a little, as they know how much being in debt stresses me out. They are so wonderful to me.
Viewing the 'Personal Finance' Category
So what is my current Situation?
A number of my friends are on social assistance for one reason or another. I use to pity them, or rather feel sorry for them because this should mean they can afford less than a working person. On closer observation I noticed they actually are able to afford a lot of little things that I am unable to afford.
I asked my one friend to share with me what money they get each month. They get their rent covered by social assistance and housing supplement which comes to $850 a month. They get child tax credit for 2 children which is $900 a month. These two items alone add up to more than I get paid each month at a full time job. Plus social assistance pays their utility bills. Since utilities are paid for by others water useage is not something they worry about in the summer, the paddling pool is filled and emptied every day. They use normal 60 watt bulbs, and there is a number of lights in the house that are on 24 hours a day. Because their income from social assistance is low they qualify for food bank, which gives you approximately 2 days worth of food, twice a month(so 4 days worth of food), still this is approximately $60 to $80 dollars worth of food a month(2 to 3 large grocery bags each time).
All of the benefits they get add up to more than I make from a full time job that pays a couple dollars an hour more than minimum wage, plus the income that I make from renting out one of the rooms in my house so that I can pay my bills each month. I really should consider finding away to just get onto social assistance, just kidding, I would rather work and know I earned the money than sit at home.
Sorry if I offend anyone by letting my thoughts be known. I was just shocked to realize that what I consider to be the poor people in my life that I help by running around in my car to get groceries and pay bills, give food to because they have run out, are actually bringing in more money per month than I am.
Latest Items that have seen Progress.
-I got the last of the new windows installed yesterday. This is completely paid for, nothing owing.
-Decided to payoff an extra little bit of my mortgage yesterday. Reduced by 4 more weeks. Now have 16y37w left.
Now for future planning. I just might be abandoning my idea of having my house paid off 5 years or so from now.
My friends back home, the ones that I have served as a helper to in the past, are partitioning for me to move back there. I truly do want to get back there, which you all already know.
I still don't know whether I will move back in the near future. I am planning to set myself up such that I will be able to do so, when the time comes that I feel I need to. I am going to put paying down my mortgage on hold for the next few months and rebuild my emergency fund. I used up a big chunk of my emergency reserve paying for the new windows.
My friends contacted me after I had already made the decision to make the extra payment on my mortgage yesterday. Pretty sure I would have made that particular payment anyways.
I slept less than 3 hours last night, due to the stress of thinking about when I possibly should move back home, and what I should do to make this possible. Sorry if this whole post is a little disjointed, lack of sleep is bound to have messed up my thought process.
How am I going to go about finding myself work back home?(Just starting to plan this one out, sure that I have a decent plan, so scared that I will not find work, when I move home) Hey I can survive on minimum wage, just prefer not to.
Why give up the excellent job I currently have, that has allowed me to pay off 3 years worth of my mortgage in less than 1 year? I love this family so much that I am willing to sacrifice everything for them, if needed.
I am thinking I will move back home sometime late this summer. I will base this decision on what I feel is the true need. Yes, I do believe there is a true need for me to move back to help these people. Also there is a piece of this that is due to my heart desire to be with these people. Plus I am getting so annoyed at some of the inconveniences that come with living in a different country.(My Mom has been kind to me and handled the problems back home that are caused by me not being able to do things personally.)
Yesterday, discovered that because I do not live in my house my current home insurance company is unable to continue to cover me. If I at least lived in the same country as my home, they would have been able to continue to insure my house. So I have to find a different company to insure my house. We may have already found a company to insure my house, but it is quite a bit more expensive. The other issue is that some of the wiring in my house is Aluminum, so the new company says there is a chance that when the underwriter reviews my application there is a possibility that they may decide they are not willing to insure it(therefore I may not be able to get my house insured). Another reason that I did not sleep very well last night.
Thank you for listening to my silly rambling.
My house mate is in the midst of looking for a different job. Truth is I don't blame him, the company he is working for is extremely under paying him. The companies he has interviews with currently are willing to pay him almost 2 times what he is currently making to do the same type of work as he currently does.
So how does this affect me? Well he is going to be moving out. The house is currently rented by him, I have been paying around half of the monthly expenses. I will be able to take over renting the house when he moves out, if I chose to do so. When he moves out my expenses will go up something incredible. This increase will set back my debt payback schedule by a large amount, not sure I am willing to let this happen. I will be delaying my debt payback by a month more each month that I do not share the housing expense.
Find a new person to share the house with. I am incredibly shy about this idea, it is really hard to find a good person to share with. Not saying not possible, I just hate the search process. I am not a shy person, I am scared about trying to sell my own stuff though, including trying to find someone to share my living space.
The other option is to go homeless. This option would have the benefit of increasing the amount that I could be putting towards paying off my house back home.
It is almost summer. Put all my possessions into a storage unit, Minimal cost. I could sleep on the ground during the rain free nights, sleep in my car when it rains. Colder nights(well I have lots of blankets). Troubles with idea: Have to find a fake home for when parents come(so that they don't realize I don't have a home, I will ask one of the people at church if they would play this role), this is only a few times a year. Yes, winter could be a major problem, it gets fairly cold here(still lots of blankets, and could maybe sneak my way into sleeping under my desk at work at night).
Yes, the second idea is really me being funny. Though I am seriously thinking about the idea, as I hate the idea of letting go of the budget plan I have to get rid of debt. You see the debt I have is killing me slowly. I only slept a few hours last night, because I realized I might be delayed by as much as 3 years or more on paying off my house, if I am unable to find a way to keep my expenses at the what I currently have. There is no way that I want to be away from my home for longer than I possibly need to be.
Yes, the debt is a mortgage on a house that I do not live in. Why not sell it? If I sold that house I would be debt free. If I was not having to pay for that house, I would be quitting this job and going home to be with family. See the only reason that I stay here is to pay off the debt I still owe on that house. I would be able to buy a decent house in a small town back home for the amount I have already invested in my house. Sounds nice, but really love that home and want to eventually have it paid off so that I have a nice place to live.
Short term I am sacrificing comfort, so in the future I am in a position of being able to completely relax.
No I am not physically sick.
What I am is desiring to be where my family is.
Due to the lack of jobs in my field where my family lives, I was forced to move far away from everyone I love last July. I have an excellent paying job that is allowing me to rapidly payoff my mortgage(my only debt). The question I ask myself each and every day is how long should I continue to live here. I know that the best thing I can do financially if stick this out a long as possible. My heart desires to go home constantly all the same.
I do love my job, I love what I do. Yes, this is me trying to convince myself to continue.
I am getting closer and closer to deciding to take my chances and just go home, because I miss my family something terrible. So I am trying to determine at what point will I feel secure enough to just move home.
This would definitely mean a huge drop in income, even if I got a job in my field. Yes, I am getting paid that well where here. Not because I am paid more here then a company possibly would pay me back home, rather exchange rates work in my favor, my home is in a different country.
I am considering offering my services at about 1/2 to 3/4 what I am worth, to a company back home. This would still be much more than minimum wage(which is what I was making at the job that I had previous to this one, due to lack of employment prospects in my field). This would be enough to more than cover monthly expenses, I really do not have very large monthly bills. Technically I am not allowed to do this since I am in a professional field(not ethically allowed by the professional organization to offer my services for less then my skills are worth). I was able to survive on minimum wage, due to the fact that a couple fellows are renting rooms from me. So technically I could consider doing the same type of job I was doing before this job came my way.
I started planning in my head towards a goal of moving back home in December. The parental figures would not even discuss this idea, why would you give up an job that pays so well. Yes, I am old enough to make my own decisions, but I respect my parents, and value their input on my decisions. Not that I really desire to move home in December, just that it was far enough away time wise to be able to come up with a reasonable plan of action. The truth is I don’t want to be having to live far away from everyone and everything I love for an undefined period of time, as this already feels oppressive. Planning towards the possibility is more a way to give myself mental relief from feeling trapped here.
Quite honestly this just me trying to determine what I really want, by writing out my thoughts.
Thank you for listening to me vent.
I am set up to make good progress financially this month.
-I will be getting a good size tax return. I know a number of people say try not to do this, but I kinda like it. Plus due to new job I really had no idea what deductions would be made. I plan to put 100% of this towards paying off debt(Mortgage). -This a doing good item.
-I just got a raise at work(Annual job review). They really like the work I have been doing. I normally do not look to see what I was paid when I get my first pay check of the month, this time I did, once I was told I had gotten a raise. The raise was a decent amount. The reason I don't look at my pay check right away is my expenses are all at the end of the month or very beginning and so this is the point where I balance my check book. -This a doing good item.
Actually formal job review yet to come, but I was given the heads up by one of my bosses that they had given me this raise, and that it was because they were impressed by the good job I have been doing. In fact I guess they kinda view me as the department head of sorts(from what he was saying), this is weird because there is someone else that has been there for 25 years(me less than 1 year) that my other coworker and I definitely defer to on most things. -Positively this is a doing good item.
Officially there is no department head. The reason I am viewed as being department head is that I tend to take charge and make sure things are flowing smoothly as possible, I definitely am known to keep on top of making sure things are getting done.-Doing Good
There is still a bunch I need to learn. I have forgotten a couple times lately to do a small task or two related to some projects, fortunately not things that caused big problems.(Still this is one of the things that I feel bad about.)
-I have just put another small amount of money down on my Mortgage. One extra payments worth, which reduced it by 3 weeks. I paid off 12 extra weeks worth of my Mortgage this month. -Doing Good Item.
Due to taking a trip to visit friends, 6 months worth of car insurance, renters insurance, and buying things I wanted for myself- I have spent way more money than usual this month, more than double what I normally spend on discretionary spending. Oh well, most of this stuff was needed. Maybe not trip to see friends(sure was nice to relax though).I bought close to $50 dollars worth of things for myself, no real excuse for this, still none of it was a total waste of money(or so I tell myself, lol) -The feeling bad item.
I was working a minimum wage job for first half of last year. Then started a well paying professional level job in July. So in the last half of the year I made approximately 3 times the amount that I made in the first half. Boy oh boy That would be the reason I really made excellent progress on getting some of my mortgage paid off in the last 8 months.
This factoid comes from fact that I just received the income statement I needed from first company to file taxes. I already know that I am going to be getting a significant amount back,which will be going towards paying off mortgage. I am so impatient to get this money into my bank account, so that I can reduce that Mortgage, somewhat significantly.
Some of the information below is part of a forum post I made, once I started writing I decided I wanted to make it a blog post. I also am adding more information here to expand on Budget part of this post.
I use 3 checks a month. One to pay Rent, one to transfer money from one account to another(Due to technical reasons this can not be done electronically), the last cheque is used to pay my tithe.
The really funny thing is that I have very limited access to cash(My bank account is in a bank that I do not have physical bank or ATM access-without fees), so I use my credit card for just about everything.
Funny thing is the suggestion from "Dave Ramsey" to use cash, it hurts more, therefore spend less. This would not really work with my brain, or it might. Once the money is no longer in my bank account I sort of view it as spent, therefore I tend to spend it until it is gone. Using credit card is my way of seeing exactly what I spend in the month, long term tracking as well. It hurts way more to have to give up $400(this is my average monthly spending) all at one time, rather then in small pieces.
$400 dollar average spending does not include Utilities, Utilities come directly out of my checking account. I budget approximately $100 for food and $100 for gas for my car. In other words I am over spending by $200 per month, but I really have no intentions of cutting back.(Oh just realized there is $100 for my cell phone that is also included in my $400, so really only spending $100 extra somewhere). Took a look at actual spending for the month. Spent $225 at walmart(about $75 to $100 on buying a few videos and some supplies to start quilting-a log cabin quilt), $75 on gas. Still I did spend exactly $400 this month.
Yes I could likely cut back cell phone plan, just don't feel like cutting the convenience of what I have. There is a certain amount of freedom of not worrying about minutes spent on phone, Data is set at a reasonable level(admit this is needed only when do not have wifi always avaliable). Have unlimited long distance, not much local calls made.
My Utilities cost me $250 per month. I can not change this number, #1 it is for home base(house currently being rented by guys). $100 for electricity, $100 for Gas, $50 for water-Sewage-Garbage. Weird enough Gas and Electricity average out to $100 each per month, not on equalized payments.
Rent for me is $400 per month.
A certain amount is donated to a Bible Camp that I help financially support.
I then put half of what is not spent from paycheck towards prepaying my Mortgage. The other half of what is leftover goes towards savings. Yes, there will be certain months where I vary the percent sent to mortgage versus savings.
I have no intention of telling you the amount I give to camp, or what I am saving per month.
I am still thinking on idea of when to move back to home base(the house I own). The current plan is to see what I am thinking about moving back at the end of this year. December just might find me deciding to move back.
Thing is I was talking to one of the family members of the extended family that I have a large part in. Even after being gone for 8 months I still miss them pretty much everyday. The family unit really could use me moving back to help out. The kiddos definitely could use the emotional support, I was hoping this would not be the case.
After talking to them I really am wondering if I should work hard to figure out a way to get back there sooner rather then later. Sure the money at this job is awesome, and I am making a big dent into getting my house paid for. Is it worth it? Do I really need to be doing so? Family is way more valuable than any amount of money, so if it is ever clear that they really need me to be back there, I would instantly start making plans to get back there. No I would not walk into work one day and say "well I have decided to leave, today is my last day". I would more than likely say "Four weeks from now I am moving back home". The family does not need me to be immediately there, what they do need is my longer term presence.
I am currently paying off approximately 3 months worth of my mortgage for every month I work here. So I would like to make it so that by the end of this year and get my mortgage down to 15years left, currently at 18 years left. Then depending on the amount of money that I have set aside in my savings account, I just might be pulling the plug. As I say though, if the needs of the family get to be a great enough need, I just might be pulling the plug even earlier.
I currently live 30 hour drive from where my family and friends live. Lets call this Home Base.
My house that I own(Still have a mortgage, so I guess the bank owns), is Home Base. In other words 30 hours from where I currently live. So why is this? I was given a job here. This job pays pretty well, and I love the work I am doing. I do hate being away from my friendship group back at Home Base though, so at some point I will be moving back to Home Base.
I currently have 2 fellows renting the house(Home Base). They actually rent rooms, not the house, so I can move back anytime I want. This covers the cost of the mortgage payments. I pay Utilities, Property taxes, and Insurance from my paycheck.
I am renting a room where I currently work, for a very small amount. Living expenses are minimal.
Under current conditions I am paying off approximately 12 weeks of my mortgage per month(4 weeks from normal payments, 8 weeks from the extra payments that I am putting towards the principle). I also am putting away enough to live for 1 more month with no paycheck each month, so that if at some point I lose my job, or I decide to move back to Home Base, I will be okay.
I am considering getting work back at home base. I might be force to accept minimum wage, which would just barely cover expenses. Which tells you how much I miss Home Base. There is also a penalty of $3000 dollars I would have to pay to my current employer, as this is the amount of money that they gave me for moving expenses, has to be paid back if I do not stay more than 3 years working here. Steep financial penalty to the idea of moving back to home base.
Current plan is to work for at least 6 more months here, probably going to make this more like till end of December. Will be thinking on this one over the next few months. Who knows I might decide to keep working here, only because it is allowing me to pay off such a large chunk of my mortgage.