The Global Financial Crisis, and how it's affected me

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Ever since I first heard the words "Global Financial Crisis", it's been creeping inexorably closer to me. At first, I couldn't see any effects at all. Then, a friend lost his job, then another friend. Then I started to see changes in companies around me, and then in the company I work for. Little things, mostly, that all added up to an encroaching feeling of impending panic.

So naturally, I am in the process of buying a house. This one in fact:

It's sort of strange. I have been worried about my cash investment recently, in light of the drop in interest rates. I checked my bank account the other day and got a very nasty shock, so after some phone calls and running numbers with my financial advisor, I faced a not-so-difficult decision: use some of my cash to pay off my debts (and hey, a debt-free existence is A Good Thing), or go into more debt. Naturally, I chose to go into more debt (because who wouldn't?!). The basic idea is to create a scenario that will see me through the recession. Property is down at the moment, and transferring cash assets into property assets can make them a lot more secure. Especially when you consider that I'm getting next to no return on the cash right now, with no chance of that turning around in the next few years at least.

And so, my reasonably hefty bank account has taken an even heftier hit, and within the next few months will be firmly in the red. But, I have a house. This is the first time I've owned a house in my own name (rather than jointly with someone else), and for some reason that makes it feel like a Big Deal. I guess that this is what being a grown up is all about.

What this does mean is that we're moving back into suburbia. Not too happy about leaving the convent behind (and I'm sure the landlord will be even less impressed about it - I don't think renters are that thick on the ground right now), but it means less expenses, greater financial security, and with any luck a safe high-ground to ride out the recession. Ships ahoy!


Update 31 May 2009:

Well, that house was a bit of a fizzer, in the end. But we move on regardless, and have now put in an offer on this one:

Fingers crossed!


Susan said...


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