A Promotion

Over the past couple years I have been working really hard towards a promotion at my day job. Working towards this has meant that I have had to almost effectively work two jobs and that has chewed up my time, my energy and over time beaten down my mental state. This past week I finally got the good news that it has happened.

On the good side is that all my effort has paid off and over the next few weeks I’ll be fully transitioning to the new position. My mental state has already started to improve and lets be honest the pay hike that came with it is definitely a good part of that. The other nice thing is that I won’t need to split my time between two fairly different roles.

Now that I’ve got this promotion I am going to have to do a few things and the first and foremost of these is to figure out how to adjust top my new pay. I’ve gotten raises and pay hikes in the past and its all too easy to start spending more.

What I want to with my new found money is to pay down my debt and to increase my savings. I have been putting about 5% of my income into savings, which while its not as high as it should be, I want to make sure that this percentage is maintained and actually increased.

The other thing that I will focus on is the debt that I’ve got and I am actually debating what to pay down first. I know that one of the best options is to pay down the highest interest rate consumer debit first then to snowball it onto other debts. I was also debating on accelerating the payments on out car to improve cash flow that much more. Right now I haven’t made a final decision but I am definitely going to do a full assessment and I’ll share my thoughts when this is done.

Either way I am ecstatic that I have persevered and that I have finally gotten this promotion!

Slowing Down

The cruise control was set about 10km (about 6 miles/h) over the limit and I was being passed by people madly rushing too wherever they were going as if the world depended on it. You’d think they were all heart surgeons on their way to perform life saving surgery. But alas there isn’t that many surgeons in a rush where I live. So this just meant that there were simply a lot of people just rushing.

Today I conducted a bit of an experiment on the drive back from the cottage; that experiment was to slow down. I realized recently that I too had been rushing around like a mad man. Not only getting to where I was going but through life in general. So the experiment was to slow down, set the cruise control at a reasonable speed and just get to where I was going.

What was the result of this little experiment?

  • I still got to where I was going, maybe a touch slower.
  • I was able to pay more attention to the road and the surroundings.
  • I witnessed a beautiful sunset.
  • I saved a bunch of gas (my car has one of those fancy doo-dads that tells me its efficiency).
  • I had time to think.

In my thinking and quiet time I realized that I had been like one of those people rushing places. I hadn’t taken the time to enjoy life and my 60 hour work week came back to me in a sudden rush. My life was passing me by and I was the one at the drivers seat pushing myself beyond the limit and for what? An existence where I was just getting by and time was passing me by.

A question came to mind and that was how was this rushing affecting the rest of my life? What about my finances? my health? most importantly my daughter and wife? I don’t know the answer to all of those questions just yet but I know that in many parts of my life I am and have been in a rut, my finances are under control but not in great shape and it feels like I have nothing but work and sleep in my life. It became clear that it was time to slow down and start taking stock of things before my health was impacted (or before it was impacted too much).

There was no reason to speed along the highway of life and be one of those maniacs in a minivan driving 40km (25 miles) over the limit where a more reasonable speed would have gotten me there just as easily. At end of the day I don’t want to miss my daughter growing up or loose my health for what? What is the worst that could happen if I slow down?

The Insidiousness of Getting By

​Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about my finances and this blog. I had always intened to use this as a sounding board and to track my progress but the thing is that part of my problem is the insiduousness of the fact that week in and week out we just make due, making slow progress if any. This unfortunately translates to a lack of effort in many ways.

​When its not bad enough to make changes because all the obligations are met it becomes hard to make real progress forward. The stagnation that comes from just getting by is tough because at the end of the day there is no driving need to makel progress in a positive direction. For example last year I was able to for the first time save some money. I managed to get a whole months worth of bills saved up. This is mildly frightening because l turn 35 this year and have some debt but very little savings to show for it. Being able to make ends meet is great but if you find yourself in this situation while carrying debt you end up with the status quo and no push to fix any of the issues..

When you just get by you might be able to pay everything which makes it seem like everything is good but it isnt. I like to use myself as an example becase i know mysef and my situation. So what does getting by mean to me? It means that even years after starting this blog and wanting to get out of debt I’m still there. We have done a lot and had we not purchased an extra property that we would be in much better financial shape from a debt perspective. We have been able to pay everything while still keeping outlifestyle at a certain level This meant that we didn’t have any incentive to do more, there was no pressure because we were getting by.

​Getting by removes the need for action and without action forward progress will be slow at best.

​I think a lot of people get stuck in this situation where you are simply making ends meet maybe setting aside a little but at the end of the day they don’t have any savings and the possibility of loosing a job becomes a scary proposition. Retirement comes looming before they know it and then they have to keep working.

​The benefits of making due: you’re not falling further behind – most of the time.

​My wife and I have been stuck in this unfortunate situation for too long – we keep doing the same things over and over because there is no pressure to do anything different. The only way out is action and breaking the bad habits of the status quo. Thankfully I have this blog as a gentle reminder to keep trying and as a driver towards action.

Action is the key.