Thursday, April 21, 2011

Starting Young

Even at 18 I was ambitious. Having given up a scholarship to do a degree in Interior Design, I was living in Australia with my boyfriend, working casual hours, living with his parents and dreaming of better days. It was at 18 that I wrote this out (maybe after reading this, Courtney will understand why he can't stop me dreaming about what we will do post-Europe before we've even conquered that) -

 In 2005, I moved home from Australia, with boy in tow. I lived at home with Mum, broke up with boy, and somewhere towards the end I got back together with boy. I saved bugger all, bought a TV, Home Theatre System and a solid wood TV Cabinet, my first grown up purchases. I did buy a car, one which lasted me a good 5 years. I bought a laptop. I got my P's (Provisional license in Australia - the stage before a Full or Open license) and I got contacts. When I moved home I got a job with a utility company and worked my way up the Call Centre ranks. I met Monty there. I rekindled my friendship with Wozz after a couple of years apart. I visited Melbourne, Australia for the first time. 

Even at the time of writing the list, I knew my income goals, which were in addition to the savings, were ridiculous. I also knew if I didn't push myself I'd stay at Pizza Hut forever. I did OK though, in terms of income for my age.

In 2006, when I was 20, I moved out of home with boy, got two beautiful puppies, and my first Personal Loan. I used the loan to pay for beautiful new furniture (which the puppies promptly destroyed) and pay the excess on an insurance bill for a minor car accident. As well as paying my loan installments, I saved $3,500 towards a house before having to spend it cleaning up boy's messes, after which I broke up with boy for the second and final time. I completed the Polytech course I had hoped to complete in 2005, with an overall mark of A+. Despite having skipped out on the scholarship for Interior Design, I at least now had a (lesser) qualification in the subject. I didn't pay a dime on my student loan above what I had to. I did buy a bedroom suite.

In 2007 I saved nothing towards a house however I did travel through the USA, seeing New York, Philadelphia, DC, Memphis, Nashville, Las Vegas and LA. I saved for much of it and topped up my personal loan for the rest. I applied for several Uni papers extramurally, added them to my student loan and then used my student allowance to become far too hungover to pass my exams (if I turned up at all). I paid the minimum off my student loan through my position at the utility company and somehow avoided being fired for turning up hungover and exhausted for long enough to meet a new boy and get my act together. With my new found mental clarity (not to mention that of my liver) I moved on from said utility company and found myself at new utility company, that which I still work for today. Oh, and I already owned a lounge suite.

In 2008 I had just finished my course to become a Nail Technician. I had come to the conclusion that getting a personal loan probably hadn't been the best idea and that if I wanted to get rid of it I needed More Money. Nails was something I could do from home, that had a decent profit margin and that could set me up for a decent part time income one day when I had kids. I saved nothing towards a house. I saved nothing towards an OE. I gave up paying for Uni papers I never finished. I paid nothing but the minimum off on my student loan, which was disappointingly huge despite the meek returns. I got my first tattoo. Soul Buddy and I got back together after being apart for a couple of years. I got single again. Oh and I already owned a dining suite. 

I started 2009 by changing jobs within the same company, moving into Training where I remain to this day. I saved nothing towards a house. I saved nothing towards an OE (Overseas Experience, for those not familiar with the term). I paid the minimum off my student loan. I cemented some seriously amazing friendships (Lealea and Squish, I'm looking at you). I got more tattoos. I suffered my first non-boy heartbreak when one of my two puppies was hit by a car while we were away for the weekend (she was at home with a pet sitter). I visited Brisbane again for Soundwave 2009 in a trip combined with my first trips to Perth and Sydney in Australia. I met Courtney for the first time. A boy moved in with me.

In 2010 I did not buy a house. I did buy a kitten. I did not travel to London, Spain, France, Greece or Italy, although it's nice to know I'm doing it only one year after I wanted to. I had already been to LA and New York. I went to Soundwave 2010 in Brisbane. I got engaged. Boy paid my student loan off so that we could save for a house. I went to Rarotonga for the first time. I realised boy was not the right one. I got un-engaged. I visited the South Island for the first time. I met Slash. 

I paid back boy for the student loan and got my total debts down to their lowest point since their inception. They had climbed and climbed over the years but now I had no student loan, owed no individuals (ie. Mum or boy) and had zero hire purchases. For the first time in a long time I had all my debt in one place and I kicked it's ass. By the end of 2010 I had paid off $20,000 in 2 years. I moved out of my house - the same one I moved into when I moved out of home 4 years earlier. 

On moving day my flatmate said 'What's going on with you and Court's? You keep looking at each other'. As far as I was concerned, nothing was. 

In 2010 I got my first restraining order, a police-requested one against a different flatmate, who had drunkenly trashed the house we were moving out of the first night we slept away from it. Hopefully it will be my last. I also had my laptop stolen from our housewarming and sold to a gang down south. By process of elimination the culprits (friends of the first flatmate) were determined and then traced, returning the laptop after buying it back off the gang. Who on earth does stuff like this happen to other than me? No one I've met, that's for sure.

In 2010, a month after moving, Courts and I realised what flatmate had seen all along, and the rest is history. 

In 2011 I still don't have a house. I already have a puppy, although he's about to turn 5. I meet my income goal. In 2011 I will visit 11 countries - I've done Soundwave 2011 in Australia and will see Ireland, England, France, Spain, Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Italy and Greece. 

I don't have a student loan but I do have a personal loan. In 2011, I will pay it off, even if the bank doesn't think I can. 

In 2011 I will buy a new car, once which I am proud to drive. Courtney and I will buy a new bike and upgrade his computer. 

In 2011 I will attempt to write a book. 

I will grow my nails business. 

Iwill go to Soundwave 2012. 

I will enquire about getting my Caregiver qualifications so that until I can be a foster parent, I can at least be involved in the organisations that help them. 

I might look after a Guide Dog puppy to give Toby company. I might not. 

I might try and get into a band again. 

I might train to do eyelash extensions as well as nails. 

I will go back to Pilates. Maybe I'll learn to teach it. 

A 9-5 office will not be the thing that sums up my life, unless it has the benefits to quantify it.

In 2012 I will buy a house, which I will sell for profit. In 2012 I will start my degree. Courtney will complete his degree. I will not get a student loan. Courtney and I will go on a cruise. We will decide on our next overseas adventure. 

You can't see the last line of 2011 but it says 'In 2021 I will be 35 and I will be a millionaire'. You can laugh. I didn't think it was going to land in my lap, but even at 18 I knew if I didn't add it to my goals, it wouldn't happen. In 2021 I will be in a stable relationship. I will have worked with charities I care about. I will foster. I will have a child. I will have seen South America, India and Africa. I will own a home and an investment property. I will have my degree. Other than my mortgage I will be debt free. 

In 2021 I will have redetermined these goals a thousand times, but I will have achieved most of them. 

Forget the 'I'd like to's and the 'I wish's... In 2021, what will you have done?