I'm 33 years old and I'm going to be homeless.
How? You might ask...
I am employed full-time, as is my partner. We both are relatively successful at our careers. What led to this??
To properly tell the story I need to start by saying my babysitter is going on holidays for three weeks, and I had to interview a temporary replacement. The lady I met with is from Africa. I'm not sure where, we didn't get into that conversation, but as we were talking I mentioned that I would soon be moving. Just moving to another rental house, I said, as we are renters and the landlord is selling.
Her immediate response was, Don't you have family in town? Move in with them! Her complete and utter disbelief that we would choose to spend money rather than be close to our family was astonishing. Why on earth wouldn't we? Don't they have room? Wouldn't we love the opportunity to be closer?
I laughed. And if you know my partner, you'll laugh as well. He is as well-suited to sharing lodgings as a bear or bull.
And then later on, as we were touring a potential rental property, that seed of an idea started gaining ground. I explained, that just isn't done - it isn't the same here in Canada.
Just like that wicked movie, Inception. It grew and festered.
Our primary issue with purchasing is the down payment. And bear with me, I am about to mention a totally politically incorrect topic. We don't save. We purchase. We impulse-buy. We're terrible role models.
We both grew up without financial advice being part of our house and home education. This happens a lot from what I can see with others in my age range and the result is usually the same as us. No idea what to do with that paycheque, no long term plan.
You can stop reading here if you find financial discussions inappropriate.
I'm messing with you, but only slightly. Even broaching the topic with an acquaintance causes me to slightly flush with embarassment. These kind of conversations don't happen. We talk about raising our children, laugh about in-laws and out-laws, and have intense and in-depth conversations about marriage and relationships, and that is all socially acceptable.
Why the heck do we feel so ill at ease when talking about finances? I'm OK with opening up because I know my long term plan is more important than a socially awkward conversation. And more people should, because since '08 a lot has changed on the financial landscape that should change our expectations and social norms.
Anyways, after all this mulling and discussing, weighing out our pros and cons, calculating our "exit strategy" and time frame, we will be moving in with family.
We will be downsizing, storage'ing and garage sale'ing. We will be handling the questions from friends "You're doing what?! Voluntarily?!" We will be answering the "How are you going to handle it?" with a very specific response:
We are choosing a short term pain for a long term gain, but I have to respect that we are being given rent-free lodgings by a person willing to share their life, space and sacrifice a certain amount of privacy to help us. I have to acknowledge that it is a big change for her as well, as we are a family of five with energetic children, not just a quiet couple.
We have goal, a strategy to get there, and a time frame. So I am looking forward to homelessness at 33.