As I am waiting to close and move into my first home, a series of unfortunate events also has loomed: the Fort McMurray fires, and the prolonged low oil price environment and hence lacklustre job market.
The fires could not come at a worse time, hitting those already burdened by the prolonged slump in oil prices.
Since I wrote last, I’ve made dozens of phone calls and job applications in search for an electrician apprentice job, all with no avail. News of non-essential staff at our camps being sent home is one of the latest headlines down the grapevine, though we are essential staff so we still are working. My finances keep getting hit with unexpected miscellaneous expenses, increasing monthly expenses and straining the budget. Saving $1500/month was an optimistic goal; now seems like around $1000 is more realistic. My car is giving me issues again, despite having only 102,000km or so on the odometer.
At first glance I am doing well- that is correct, but moving forward is the most difficult. A $1000/month savings rate is insufficient to advance at the required place to go forward with my plans. Despite the downturn, housing continues to be expensive- though not nearly as bad as that found in Vancouver or Toronto areas. Living on my own and finally leaving roommate life implies increased expenses. Replacing my vehicle with a newer, more powerful one also implies increased expenses. My bodybuilding is also straining my monthly budget by another $260-310/month. Though my income and assets are abnormally high for a 22 year old, my net worth is of concern- that is, if something were to happen to me and I had to liquidate all my assets, I would have not very much.
Perhaps the most difficult part will be acquiring the electrical job, and will give me the most stress, given my limited experience. The market is saturated not only with those out of work, but the lineup of people all wanting to get into it as well. Whether I find one by the end of 2016 will be the key determining factor in how successful my plans are in the next few years, as if I am unsuccessful, then I would require a dramatic overhaul of my strategies moving forward to prevent being entangled in the trucking industry forever and its income ceiling (e.g. finding another trade, going back to school, rapidly increasing my earnings to grow my investments, etc.).
And again, in the bigger picture, the primary concern is the elite academics at the likes of UBC, U of T, etc., the Asians from wealthy families, and the trust fund babies. Their inflexibilities, lack of ambitions outside their narrow interests, and physical weaknesses will keep them out of the trades and oil patch, so from a competitive standpoint they currently pose no threat to my future now. However, if future economic conditions and their attitudes and values shift, then they can very likely destroy many of the economic advancement opportunities remaining here- not to mention investment opportunities on a broader scale due to their abundance of resources. I left university about 3 years ago- so during these 3 years they have been steadily advancing. Therefore, every day I spend in Alberta counts, as the battle has still been ongoing in the social ladder. For this reason, every morning when I go to the gym, I continuously remind myself to keep my fitness and mind healthy and strong, and to grow more powerful everyday- not only just in the body, but in the mind too. Good health is one of the greatest weapons of battle a man can have. Every morning I ask myself:
How do I compare against the competition? What do they have over me, and what do I over them? How can I ensure that they do not catch up to me, and that I maintain consistent, superior advancement?
Out-think the competition, out-lift the competition, out-work the competition, out-heart the competition- for having every advantage over the competition will be of paramount importance to remain above them.
I’ve been interested in some new vehicles, but acquiring one of them without straining my current monthly budget (loosely around $850/month vehicle allowance) would require the following downpayments:
BMW 435i Cabriolet x-drive: $5,500
BMW M4 Coupe: $14,500
BMW M5 Sedan: $16,500
BMW M4 Cabriolet: $22,000
The first one is actually slower than my current car, so aside from gaining year-round useable all-wheel drive, there is little practical purpose aside from getting something brand new and nicer to look at, reducing my maintenance costs to 0 and saving headaches, as maintenance is included for free for 80,000km or the first 4 years. Obviously, putting that cash down would put off my plans for some time, unless my fortunes reverse and I find significant secondary income and/or my investments reap heavy gains.
Maintaining the same $1,500/month savings rate, if the latest I want my second condo by is next July, I would need to make each of the following annual gains, compounding my savings monthly, to acquire each corresponding vehicle in time:
M4 Cabriolet: 38% gain
M5 Sedan: 16% gain
M4 Coupe: 7% gain
435i Cabriolet: 7%; 7-8 months instead of 12.
The last 3 options are considerably more realistic than the first, outside taking a lot of risk. However, in any of those scenarios savings remaining would be extremely low, leaving myself in a rather risky financial situation, especially if the economy doesn’t improve by next year.
If I were to stick with my original idea of getting into a Porsche 911, then I would need to somehow come up with $9,000 more cash by the same time to put down to maintain the same budget.
Finances aside, one of the main things I learned in the last few years in pursuit of my life goals was a busy life’s strain on love. Fortunately I am still at the age where most girls are idiots, so dating is of the least of my concerns, and time-wasters only a minor nuisance in the grand scheme of things. However, growing older and more lonely I fear that my discipline will corrode, and gradually fall into the pitfalls of the common man. So far I have been taking care of myself and not allowing negative influences to weaken my motivations, but one wrong slip and my future may be destroyed.