I Guess I Mean What I Said

(Post 61 of 233. Thanks again to those who participated in the Fundrazr!)

Wow, I cannot believe how long it has been since my last post! Well, normally I could, but not when I have so many sponsored posts to write! When I said I was realigning, I sure wasn’t kidding. I’ve had one day off since the middle of May. Whew!

I’m really serious about moving from this house into my very own house and I’ve started to set up the foundation for savings success. I went to my bank here, HSBC, to set up a savings account. The executive asked me my plans for said savings account and then said that a traditional savings account is not the best solution for me, but rather, I should put money into an investment fund. I balked, saying that I want daily access to my money, not to put it away long-term. She explained that they have a daily (diario) fund that is 3.87% versus 1.5% interest and that the only real difference is that I lose being able to do transfers from the investment account to the chequing account 24/7 — transfers done Mon-Fri in the mornings are immediate, but otherwise, I get the money on the next business day. I can work with that for the higher interest!

On the Canada side of things, I’ve been taking advantage of lower expenses to really slam my debt. I’ve been on a serious debt repayment plan for a year now. I expected to be at about 20% paid off by now and am at more than 30%! Today, I was finally eligible to move my credit card debt to a new card with a much lower interest rate!

I’ve gotten some answers about what my path to homeownership could look like. The most likely option is going to be a mortgage, which would require me to have 45% of the cost of the house upfront in cash, 35% for the downpayment and 10% for all the closing fees. So if I set myself the target of having my own home within 18 months, that puts me at a maximum house price of $1 million pesos (45,000USD/61,000CAD). That’s very tight for what I want, really reducing my choices, but still realistic.

Another option I’m not discounting if I find the right one is a new build in a development north of the periferico — some of the developers are starting to freak out and offer really good deals, like only a 10% deposit and then they finance the rest. But considering I’ve only so far seen one house in one development at any price range that even remotely looks like something I’d want to live in, the odds of going this route are slim. I really more envision myself buying a small tired house on a bigger lot in an established neighbourhood and then improving the house to my standards than buying new. I’ll have a better idea of where I’m heading in the months ahead when I start to build up my savings and have a better idea of when I’ll reach my goals.

Now, here are some highlights of the past month. My gardener was here doing the annual cactus trim. A friend came up from centro and took these two trimmings with him to try to plant in his own garden. It worked — he got a bunch of new growth! I’m so happy they did not go to waste.

A friend is moving house and made me great deal on a power washer that is a lot of fun to play with and has really improved the yard:

Turns out one of my neighbours makes all kinds of sausages, including English-style bangers! My onion gravy turned out at least as good as that at the fancy pub in London I ate at four years ago.

Bonita has engaged full guard dog mode now that people aren’t coming by regularly. Here she is watching the neighbour on his roof. She would run out and yell at him to stay on his side of the wall!

After my gardener left a mess in the laundry room the last time he was here, I finally decided to order him some storage! This cheap and lightweight shelving unit was only about 300 pesos with delivery and perfect for the space!

The house came with a really old microwave oven that sometimes would start up on its own (eep). I decided to buy myself a new one. I’ve never actually shopped for a microwave oven. I didn’t have one my first five years on my own, the first two were gifts from friends upgrading, and the third was the one that came with Miranda! Shopping for one ended up not being as overwhelming as I expected once I focused on the task. The model I picked was on sale everywhere that week (Costco had the worst price, BestBuy the best), was just a few hundred pesos more than a basic model, and offers such features as a broiler and a keep warm function. I’m delighted with it.

The butter melting function is very useful!

But check out the “Latino menu.” LOL! It’s all chicken nuggets and French fries, not a tortilla or rice and beans in sight, as I would have expected!

I’m still doing my green smoothie in my Vitamix every morning. After he brought me two such orders in a few weeks, my driver broke down and asked me what the hell I do with all this spinach and celery! Let me tell you, it goes fast!

I placed a huge order from the bulk nut place — almonds, cashews, pecans, chia seeds, and peanuts.

Then tried my hand at making peanut butter in my Vitamix. It worked like magic. I could not believe that 500G of peanuts liquified like this!

My friend Jan and I decided to start occasionally visiting again as we have very little contact with other people and are going stir crazy. I invited him over for dinner one night, making his favourite of curry (he’s Brit!). I had him sit in the dining room while I cooked in the kitchen and then we sat at opposite ends of the table. It felt really good to have a semblance of normalcy again. Then, the other day, I decided to take him up on his offer of popping over for a late lunch/early dinner. Bonita always comes with me when we go to Jan’s and she was so happy to go out! As soon as we turned onto his street, she knew where she was going and picked up the pace. When she arrived, she promptly jumped onto the sofa and made herself at home! She adores Jan — he’s the only other person she will go to on her own for attention.

The only other news is that Yucatán is back to being dry for the foreseeable future and we also have a curfew. We’re really on the brink of losing control of this thing (ie. over-saturating the healthcare system) and the governor acted quickly, reminding the populace that economic reopening does not mean social reopening and putting in measures to keep us at home. We’re in good hands. Hope you can say the same wherever you are!