Friday, 30 October 2020

Risk or Hoard?

So, I have been saving like I always do, yet I am still more concerned about the future than I have been in a while.

I am trying to be pragmatic and keep going with my plan, but there is always that sense of doubt with regards to what the future holds.

None of us can know what the future holds, but we can do our best to prepare for it.

The trouble is . . . how does one do that exactly?

The best I can think of is to diversify my investments and hope for the best. 

Which is pretty much what I have done and I am continuing to do.

Though, with the state of the world, there is the temptation to stuff cash under my mattress as it were.

Yet, cash under the mattress does not earn interest or dividends, does it?

So you can either get out there and take a risk, or hide out and hoard your cash.

As pragmatic as one can be, investing is always a risk, even in good times it is a risk. I will take as cautious a risk as I can . . . so I can build for my future.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Thursday, 29 October 2020

The Unprepared March On

So there was a survey done recently with regards to people who are on some form of COVID financial relief. 

Apparently 39% of respondents had no idea what they were going to do once the COVID financial relief stopped coming.

No idea how they were going to pay their bills, let alone deal with their mounting debt.

The only “bright” spot is that the Bank of Canada has, as recently as this week, stated that they will keep their key interest rate near zero for the next couple of years at least.

So . . . sorta good news for the indebted.

COVID financial relief has been a great help to people but the one thing I can all but guarantee everyone is that it is not going to continue forever, nor will it shift and morph into some sort of Guaranteed Annual Income.

Politicians and business leaders just cringe at the thought as the belief is that if people get free money they won’t do anything or work . . . and in so doing, western civilization crumbles.

They will work, as they all need to pay their mounting debts.

My point in today’s ramble is this . . . do something now to pay off your debt. Do something now to plan for what will happen when all of the government assistance stops coming.

Just because you have your eyes closed as you walk doesn’t mean that you won’t hit that brick wall you’re walking towards.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Properly Prepare

So, uncertain times are getting ever more uncertain. Things are moving towards the worse, not the better, at least for the time being.

The question is, what can be done about it?

What can be done is simply to prepare for the downturn that is coming. 

Further restrictions are coming and with it the economic fallout that nobody wants but everyone knows is the side effect of those necessary social restrictions.

All we can do is to conserve as much resources as we can (food, cash, etc) and just get through it.

We can’t stop this downturn that is coming but we can all do our part in following the social restrictions and prepare ourselves for the bad economic times ahead.

Here’s hoping that all of those preparations will be for nothing, but at least you have to be prepared, just in case.

Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst, and do it now.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Focus On The Future

My best advice when looking at the uncertain times that we are in and the ever worse times that loom ahead, is to focus on the future.

Prepare, as best you can, for the uncertain and dark times that are upon us, but look past them to the future beyond.

Every storm passes and every recession and depression does not last forever. Sooner or later those dark and seemingly unending disastrous times pass, and good times return.

So while you prepare for the worst (that is yet to come) hope for the best, that lays beyond it and work towards that.

Keep an image of the bright and wondrous future that awaits us all, you specifically, as we keep trudging on through the dark times that lay ahead in the near future.

This too shall pass.

The darkness shall give way to the light.

And we shall bask in the light on that day.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive and keep moving forward! 

Monday, 26 October 2020

Fall Has Returned

So here we are in the end of the year when I watch the weather reports diligently. I look every day at the weather forecasts for the next week or two.

While it has been a blast of winter for the previous week or so, it is on the cusp of turning back to the warmer (above freezing) temperatures for the next week or so.

As with the other areas of my life I want to know what is coming down the pipe . . . as much or as accurate as predictions of the future can be.

All we can do is look at what is happening and make our best guess as to what is most likely to come.

We can be wrong and often are most times, but the trick is to be ready for the worst outcome yet hope for the best.

This is true when it comes to weather as well as other areas of your life.

For while bad things come, just as bad weather comes, bad things also pass, just like bad weather.

The sun will not always shine, nor will the rain (or snow) always fall, for life is a mix of the good and bad, for you need both to have the flavour or spice of life.

Too much of one or the other is also not wise or good for you.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!

Friday, 23 October 2020

The Homestead Fund Update

Okay, so it is that time again, when I update how my progress is going on my “Grand Savings Plan!” (to build my "Homestead Fund") 

Okay, so let’s see how I did . . .    

For review, here is how things looked from last payday . . .

That is 47.0% (of my Savings Target).

And this is how things look like, after the dust settled on this payday’s budget . . . 

That’s right things jumped up to 47.8% of my savings target. 

That means I put away 0.8% of my total Savings Target this payday.

So things went okay, and my investments pretty much went sideways. One went up and the other went down. 

This payday, when you combine their values my investments only went down only a smidge. 

So, I’ll take that and keep reminding myself that this means that my investments are in a buying position. (Buy low, sell high, remember.)

The main thing is that I am 1) still employed and 2) still able to put cash into savings. 

Again I am trying to put cash into my savings (investments) as much as possible so that I can get to “insane” as fast as possible. 

Just for reference “insane” refers to the fact that it would be technically possible to start The Homestead but insane to do so now with that little cash.

One step at a time and one payday at a time.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive and keep moving forward!

Thursday, 22 October 2020

Total Debt Freedom Day (Third Anniversary)

So, today is the third anniversary of the day that I paid the last and largest of my debts off: the Wanda Loan.

I always pause on this day to look back and reflect on that day and the journey that brought me here.

The other two days of reflection are December 5th (the day that I started the whole Urban Nomad Journey) and July 12th (the day that I moved into Wanda full-time).

This day is about looking back on that day of finally becoming Totally Debt Free, and reflecting on that achievement. 

Not so as to brag or be arrogant but to remind myself of that feeling on that day and to show to others that you can not only get Totally Debt Free, but also stay that way . . . and build wealth besides.

I still remember the stresses of wondering if my paycheque was going to be large enough to pay all of my bills.

I still remember the added stress of knowing that I had no savings and my credit cards were all maxed out. 

The kicker was that when I started this journey, I was in the bottom of my overdraft as in the real overdraft, the one the bank issues you.

All that changed but it did not change overnight it took a few years, just under 4 years of hard work and sacrifice to pull it off.

But I did it, and so can you.

The secret is to seriously downgrade your lifestyle so as to seriously upgrade your cash flow. 

How do you do that?

Simple. You imagine that your income has just been cut in half. 

Now, balance your budget, think for a moment what you would do if you had to live on half of what you live on now.

If you can answer that question, if you can come up with some crazy (yet legal, ethical and moral) scheme to live on a fraction of what you can live on now . . . 

Just do that and use the now freed up cash in your monthly budget to pay off your debts. I don’t say pay down, because that means you still intend to have them.

Keep credit, just not debt. Keep the credit card, just don’t keep the outstanding balance on it. (Pay it off and keep it paid off).

I could go on, but there are a few thoughts on how to do what I have done, (become Totally Debt Free) without necessarily living in an RV/Van while parking on the streets.

As always: Keep your head up, your attitude positive, and keep moving forward!