Building a better world - Cam's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
Cam
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue May 25, 2021 8:21 am

Re: Building a better world - Cam's Journal

Post by Cam »

I'm not sure where I'm headed. (Happy 200th post! :lol: )

It was only a few years ago now that my master plan was to purchase a plot land, with or without a house on it. It would be purchased with cash or a very small down payment. I would then improve upon the existing house or build new. I would do it without going into debt. I'd eventually have some animals and a big garden. Some rain barrels, a small shop for repair and metalworking. I'd build my skills there, preferably with a partner who I'd run the homestead with, and maybe have kids with too.

If I had to identify the core reason for wanting to live like this, it would be safety and security. I don't see the world getting better in the coming decades. I know intellectually that reaching for safety and security is kind of a waste of time. However I also do love working with my hands, and being outdoors, and gardening and helping to build whatever comes after this world falls apart. So I don't just want to homestead out of fear - I know I only lived on a homestead for 4 months in 2021, but it was enough to let me know that I didn't just enjoy the fantasy of it. I do enjoy physical labour, and having an endless list of projects to do and problems to solve.

I'm struggling with some core issues though. One is the price of land near me. Just south of my hometown, parcels of land are impossible to buy without a mortgage. Getting a mortgage with a contract job is a challenge. However, if I look about 4 hours North, I immediately spot properties that I could buy, right now. For example, a 39 acre plot in Matheson, Ontario is going for $85,000. Municipally maintained road, all rights (tree, mineral and surface), seems suitable for growing. The challenge for me is being close with my family....but maybe this is just me needing to grow up a bit? My brother lives 6 hours away and he's doing fine. Kids change the picture though. If I have kids, I know my parents would want to be involved in their upbringing. I have no qualms with that, and in fact I think the additional support would be good for me, my partner and the kids. Living in the suburbs in my hometown is an absolute no go for me. I am much more joyful in a quieter, rural setting.

I don't even know if I want children though, either. I have a whole lot of "I don't know"s right now. Am I just over thinking? Maybe, but I don't want to keep shooting for something only to find out it wasn't even what I really needed/wanted in the first place.

I know I haven't really touched on other aspects of my life in this post. I'm still doing basketball every week, and board games or video games with my other friend group. Living with my girlfriend is still going well. My job is starting to slow down, as I am finally done getting sponsors for the big fundraiser. I think I'm worried because when I zoom out and look at the big picture, I have some bigger decisions to make that I haven't made yet. I don't want to screw them up either.

delay
Posts: 314
Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2022 9:21 am
Location: Netherlands, EU

Re: Building a better world - Cam's Journal

Post by delay »

Cam wrote:
Sun Jun 30, 2024 11:37 am
I'm not sure where I'm headed. (Happy 200th post! :lol: )
...
The challenge for me is being close with my family....
...
I don't even know if I want children though, either.
...
I think I'm worried because when I zoom out and look at the big picture, I have some bigger decisions to make that I haven't made yet. I don't want to screw them up either.
Thanks for your journal update! If you are unsure about these things, why not try them? There are people with small farms that need someone to take care of their home for a few months, there's family with kids you can offer to babysit, you can move away from your family for six months and see how you like it. The key to trying is to start small (basically, the opposite of purchasing real estate.) If it turns out you prefer having children on a white-collar job while living close to your family, having tried other options will only strengthen your contentment.

Cam
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue May 25, 2021 8:21 am

Re: Building a better world - Cam's Journal

Post by Cam »

Thank you for the response delay I appreciate it. After my contract is up in August 2025, I can explore these options in more detail. I am already trying out living with my girlfriend, and it has been going well. Lots of adaptation but I am doing just fine out "on my own". However my family home is still just a five minute drive away if I ever do want to do some work in the garage or just want to visit.

What I am planning now is a strategy to leverage the current position I'm in, into something else. I know the people where I work like me a lot, and if they have money for it they will keep me around. However funding for nonprofits is always up in the air, so I am planning on skilling up for another position.

For reference, my current position deals with: invoicing, payroll, running/helping with fundraisers, analyzing fundraisers, writing grant applications, managing donors, and exploring new avenues for funding. There is more too, but that covers most of the position. The goal for this contract is to have policies and procedures created for each of these processes, so someone who is untrained can complete them quickly and easily after I'm gone.

An idea I had was just contracting myself out to help set up charities with donor management systems (DMS). A lot of my position involves managing donor data, mostly through fumbling around with excel sheets and mail merge on Microsoft Word. I am going to get our non-profit set up with a DMS after talking with the director about it. They streamline a lot of the processes required to keep donors giving to the charity such as thanking them specifically ("Dear Jerry" instead of "Dear donor") and quickly. A charity that thanks donors right after they donate is much more likely to receive more donations than one that either takes a long time to thank donors or doesn't thank them at all. Good DM systems also help run events, and sell tickets too.

That's just a thought, and for something part-time. However for full time employment I am still thinking. The trades are always an option. I know the welding shop I left in 2022 would take me back. However that is a serious pay cut. My idea is to leverage the skills I'm picking up in this job to get some sort of financial job. Financial analysis? Payroll administration? Or something else entirely...open to input here!

delay
Posts: 314
Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2022 9:21 am
Location: Netherlands, EU

Re: Building a better world - Cam's Journal

Post by delay »

Cam wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2024 11:50 am
My idea is to leverage the skills I'm picking up in this job to get some sort of financial job. Financial analysis? Payroll administration? Or something else entirely...open to input here!
Excel is widely used in finance and logistics. If you learn advanced Excel, like VLOOKUP, and stop before you open VBA (Visual Basic for Applications), you remain in the skill range of mental sanity while being very useful. Organisations are often ashamed about using Excel for finance, so it's sort of secret, and they will advertise the job as an Oracle expert. Combine some Excel with some industry knowledge and good social skills, and you can do very well financially.

There seems to be an inverse correlation between meaning and pay. Finance employees live in large houses, but often indicate being unhappy.

Cam
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue May 25, 2021 8:21 am

Re: Building a better world - Cam's Journal

Post by Cam »

Thank you for the helpful response delay. That was exactly what I was searching for...I have been roaming around the web today and have found numerous resources for picking these skills up.

I printed off a document detailing skills to pick up that are essential for jobs in financial analysis, and they are all subjects I can look up online. Maybe that can be one of my major goals this year: to become an intermediate Excel user.

I think some basics in financial analysis would be extremely useful too. Knowing how to move numbers around is fine and dandy, but it makes me a lot more useful if I understand exactly what I am moving around and why. That gets two birds with one stone too - I have a job-ready skill and it'll make me into a more informed investor.

ertyu
Posts: 3071
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: Building a better world - Cam's Journal

Post by ertyu »

My 2c: check out what professional certifications are available in your chosen line of work and study for those. Often the cost is pennies on a degree.

Cam
Posts: 200
Joined: Tue May 25, 2021 8:21 am

Re: Building a better world - Cam's Journal

Post by Cam »

Yes that is exactly along the lines of what I'm thinking. Leverage my current job and its skills into something with much higher pay, through strategic "skilling up". I think finance stuff could be my version of the "salt mines" work jacob mentioned earlier in my journal. High pay, but not exactly fulfilling or easy. But if I'm not just buying a new Audi with the cash, I won't need to do it for too long. My NW is going to hit 89K this month already! It is very neat to me that I could quit my job now (I won't, it's great) and be totally fine for a good long while.

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