December 3, 2016 0 Comments Thoughts and Feelings Working in Alberta

Seasonal Work and School Stress

Construction work has now ended, and here I am studying my 2nd year electrician school and watching my savings dwindle. I continue to work during the busy times of the oilfield and road construction, bank and invest as much money as possible during those times of high cashflow, and then work on my studies during times of low or negative cashflow- where my money is working for me, as I build my human capital. During slow times, schooling aside, I read and analyze stocks, and constantly reflect financially on my near-term objectives. I also increase the frequency and intensity of my workouts to make my body and mind more powerful. It may seem questionable at first, but as previously mentioned in past blog posts of mine, a stronger body and mind is more competitive than a weak one, as it is useable at every corner of life. The overall idea is to maximize time utility- and to add to my education without adding debt.

I often break out from stress, and have troubles falling asleep. My body gives out on some days, when I’m too exhausted to study, and I just get spots on my face and neck. I’m rushed to complete my studies as fast as possible, to minimize financial losses. Even with receiving the maximum EI amount, it is not even enough for half of my monthly expenditures.  Timing of school completion has to be in line with work timing too, as I want to be complete school when work is looking for truckers/electricians, so I do not end up sitting doing nothing. I also do not want to be stuck still studying when companies are looking for bodies. Because contractor and seasonal work is so inconsistent, it is extremely difficult to time-match with reasonable accuracy.

Then I’m to continue my apprenticeship, by somehow finding a contractor willing to give me electrical hours, when I have little experience to begin with, and companies around here typically like to hire kids smoking weed in mom’s basement as apprentices through the Buddy System. Trucking and investing is in the background as good measure, so I can still increase net worth and keep myself going when I can’t find anything in the electrical field. $87,000 has been my approximate income so far this year. Without school in the way, >$100,000 certainly would had been possible, but my education is required to increase earning power in the future. Every day I do not work this year also hampers my 2016 income to use for mortgage purposes next year, as qualification income is calculated from the average of 2015 and 2016. So, anything I earn next year, will not be accounted for until the year later. My 2015 income was lacklustre, so anything I earn during the rest of this year, will have its effectiveness halved. For instance, if I earn $10000 more, in lenders’ eyes, I only made $5000 more overall.

Based on my schedule, I was to have a Porsche, property, and education by Age 23- 2nd property about one year after my first (June 2016). Five months later, I have only increased net worth by about $2200 because of heavy unexpected losses this fall (e.g. government fines)- still very behind schedule. In terms of cash, I require about $15,500 more, and have 7 months of time, excluding this month, since I anticipate I will spend much of it finishing my 2nd year schooling.

In the broader picture, I was adamant on getting into a Ferrari by Age 30, but you also read about 30-year-old millionaires. If someone else could reach $1M by age 30, and I may not even get to just one Ferrari by then, perhaps I am not using the best approach. But for now, I will focus on 2 properties and the Porsche next summer. Regardless of what happens, the learning experience will be meaningful. My ventures so far have took me all the way south of Calgary, and all the way north 150km from the Northwest Territories. Alberta has left a sour taste of disappointment and false promise in my mouth. The “make some good money, and go back home in glory” former dream never happened. Nevertheless, my person has changed dramatically in the pat 3.5 years I’ve been here. “Builds character”, as someone used to say to me.