Last weekend saw Valentine’s Day, which to me has other significance.
Four years ago on 14 February 2011, I was declared voluntarily bankrupt by the Australian Government.
So how was my fourth year living with a cash-only personal economy, and learning again about how to do money?
Like Year Three, it was okay.
Overall, I never really lacked for anything – but towards the end of some weeks, unfortunately, I found myself living down to the wire again (and again). I still have to learn and do more about not living from pay to pay.
A recent unexpected opportunity, however, will give me the chance to start overcoming that. More on that later.
Fortunately, there was only one major financial headache during Year Four.
In July 2014 I put in my income-tax return online and as early as possible, which meant that I should have gotten my tax return two weeks later (which has usually happened in the past)…but this time, it took three months. Why? The person I rang at the Australian Tax Office vaguely alluded to my discharged bankruptcy, but that was it.
The reason why that delayed return became a headache was that I had mostly earmarked it for the August 2014 Canberra trip I talked about in this post. A week before I was due to go on that trip, my return hadn’t arrived and I came close to cancelling – but fortunately, a relative kindly lent me the money that enabled me to go.
Down in Canberra, though, I encountered another problem – which I overcame, but at first it made me furious.
When I checked into my hotel and informed them that I would be paying cash because I didn’t have a credit card, I was told that I would suddenly have to provide a $100 safety deposit.
Despite my pointing out to them that no mention had been made of this when I’d made my booking, they wouldn’t budge – so I gritted my teeth, paid the deposit, went up to my room and swore violently for some time.
After accommodation, I initially had $400 for my four days in Canberra – but now, after that deposit, I had $300. It was far from the end of the world, but it was infuriating.
I was careful and saw myself through the rest of my stay with no issues, but several more times during those four days I cursed myself and the hotel – myself for going bankrupt and no longer having credit cards as a safeguard, and the hotel for having that bullshit policy.
As I mentioned in my last post, recently I was made redundant from the job I have had since late 2000.
Although this was a disappointing development, it wasn’t unexpected – but it also presents some opportunities.
One of these opportunities is the payout I will be receiving. Not only does it mean that I will have a financial cushion until I find my next job – which I hope won’t be too far away – but it also provides the chance for setting up savings, and in the future even investing.
That is very intriguing, indeed.
My journey to financial peace of mind continues to be a long and slow one, but still I am getting there – and now with something extra.
Until next time, stay well and take care 🙂