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Archive for August, 2009

So my Apartment was broken into.....

August 19th, 2009 at 11:58 pm

Want to have a fair-size vent here....

So my apartment was broken into today...

I left to play soccer at 11:55 am...

Arrived back at 13:15 pm...

Noticed nothing different initially... just noticed my pillows were at the foot of my bed instead of the usual head of the bed... I thought "Emmm... that's weird... maybe the wind blew them or something..."

Forgot about that.... went into Kitchen had lunch, logged on here [ :-) ] , surfed net and then came the time to go to work...

Went into spare bedroom where I keep my money, keys etc.... Noticed that 250 euro was missing, that the drawers and wardrobes had been gone through and that some boxes had been moved around... then I thought about the pillows in my own room... and thought "Oh, I've been burgled"...

So was really pissed off at the invasion of privacy, the cheekiness of the burglars and the fact that 250 euro of my money was stolen...

Now I know that I shouldn't have had that much money in the apartment but I had paid for my mother's and brother's holiday using my debit card. The total was 520. My mother gave me her half. I was waiting for my brother to give me his half so I could lodge all the money together - save queueing twice... and I thought... "ah sure, it will be grand there for a day or two..."

The door wasn't damaged so the intruder may have had a key... A window in the kitchen was open but I live on the 3rd floor... you'd need a big conspicuous ladder to get in... so could have been another resident in my block...

The landlord changed the locks this evening. The police are coming tomorrow to check for finger prints - they said there was a second burglary in my vicinity....

Nothing else was touched - computer etc... just the cash...

so inititially my reaction was I'm gonna move from this place at the end of the month. I could rent a room in a shared house for half the money I pay here... I'd be saving 250 a month in rent...

Then I thought... but that's letting them win.... I remember reading a book about a buddhist female monk and in it was a paragraph about people taking material things from you.... so if people take material things from you... that is one thing.... but if you let them take your peace of mind away AS WELL as a result of the material thing robbery... then they have robbed you twice... and your peace of mind is so much more important than material possessions....

So I won't let them take my peace of mind. The locks are changed, the police were informed and I've learned my lesson about leaving cash around... c'est fini...

I had been thinking about paying extra towards my debt (from overtime) over the next few months (I will be debt-free by New Year's Eve regardles of whether I do this) and today I thought is this burglary the Universe telling me to stop pre-allocating every penny... loosen up a bit financially... go with the flow more... like punishing Scrooge by taking some money from him ?

I've decided:

1. To stay where I am - but I will be asking for a 20% reduction in my rent effective 1st January 2010. If I don't get this, then I will leave at the end of my lease.

2. To start enjoying this beautiful apartment to the max... maybe buy a few bits of small furniture I've wanted (second-hand), maybe personalise with pictures/accessories, maybe get a proper-size TV, make it feel more homely, get some plants for the balcony, maybe a beer-fridge !, and maybe start inviting more people around... maybe even throw a party !!

Emmm... I know the most frugal thing would be to leave and rent a room in a shared house... but I love having my own space.... and I am confident I will get a 20% rent reduction at the end of the year... I won't be here forever... it just suits me at the moment... so I better get on with enjoying it ! get bang for my buck I guess !

Oh... and I was in the Bank last week and the Bank Official suggested Renter's Insurance to me... (I don't have insurance) and I said no... I actually said I live in a safe block and I have no valuables apart from my computer .... Anyways the Renters insurance is 10 euro a month.... over 2 years that is 240 euro.... so as long as I'm not robbed in the next 2 years, then I won't have lost anything- if you know what I mean -give 240 to an insurance company or 250 to a burglar...

Then you go Dear Burglar... I hope you put it to good use... I really do !

Current "career" wake-up call

August 12th, 2009 at 12:59 pm

So I work for an American multinational that has a presence in Ireland.

I'll be there 2 years next month. I work a "junior" job and get paid the average industrial wage.

Yesterday I got my pension statement. This tells me how much a pension I will get when I retire at age 65.

The sobering reality is that I work there for another 35 years until I'm 65 I will receive one of the following 2 options :

1. A pension of 5,600 per annum.

or

2. A lump sum of 15,000 and a pension of 3,900 per annum.

Wow.... that really is a pittance ! I mean after (at age 65) 37 years of service, I would receive a pension of 5,600 per annum.... um... I really feel appreciated - not !!

Now there is the possibility of increasing the pension through paying into an additional policy... which I am doing for the associated tax relief... However under legislation the maximum pension I can receive is based on 40 years service....(I basically "buy" 3 extra years from 37 yrs to 40 yrs)

So if my additional policy is really well funded the company will reduce their pension payment to me to keep the overall pension based on 40 years...

What a disincentive to save for retirement using pensions !!

So... this has reinforced my determination to be gone from this job by the time I'm 35. There are also other aspects to the job that don't sit well with me : the rigidity, the politics, the fact that brown-nosing is almost a requirement, the lack of freedom, the monotony, the lack of appreciation/respect sometimes...

Self-employment really is so much more lucrative financially - with no limit on the amount of pension you can provide for yourself...

Thanks All !!

August 11th, 2009 at 10:55 am

Just want to say thanks to all who advised me on my predicament...

I'm gonna put it on ice for the short-term... and I've decided I'm gonna taste what it's like to be debt-free before I rush into anything.... I might even get addicted to been free as a bird financially !!!

Should I re-jig my goals ?

August 5th, 2009 at 12:04 am

Current goals:

1. Debt-free by end of 2010. Current debt = 8300 approx.

2. Opportunity Fund to 10,000 by end of 2010. Current OF is 3800.

I'm working on these goals simultaneously.

I'm been feeling a bit unmotivated financially recently and I think it may be because my goals are far away (end of 2010)..

Proposed goals:

1. Debt-free by end of 2009. I'll basically put my OF and savings to pay off the loan in December 2009. Also the interest rate on the loan is higher than any savings rate I could get.

2. 200 a month to Opportunity Fund indefinitely starting in Jan 2010. Considering I earn gross about 32-35k a year, I think having an OF of 10,000 by end of 2010, though possible, would limit my enjoyment of my life in 2010 unnecessarily... besides being debt-free would automatically set my free to an extent...even if I lost my job, being debt free would mean living on social welfare would be bearable...

Next year I plan to:

1. Develop the film-making side of my life from scratch...

2. Help my father out of his financial issues...

3. move into a local government house (I'll be renting it from the local government so will have good tenant rights and I can stay as long as I want - for life even ! - almost as good as owning)

These 3 activities will require cash-flow...so that's why maybe I shouldn't have every penny going to an OF...

What do you think ?