Thursday, July 12, 2007

Money news: Good and Bad

Sojourner's Highlight: Expect the ensuing panic, but accept the inevitability of spending

I shouldn't let money be my only concern, as even if I do end up a little bit poor, the experiences of preparing myself for Japan and actually living in a new place will definitely be worth it.

The last few months, I've been living what is, for me, a fairly expensive lifestyle, probably living beyond my means, really. I'm not going to lie: I've enjoyed it. Going out lots, doing fun stuff like camping and whatnot, on top of spending muchos for the Juan de Fuca Trail and with more yet to be spent for Japan.

I've tried to let a karmic philosophy endow this spending with virtue and ease my worries. Money is like positive energy that I send out into the world, when I spend on myself or on others. If I don't cling possessively to it, the energy/money will circulate and, in times of need, return. On top of that, my father always taught me that you need to seek the lifestyle you want to live, and then find a way to work towards (affording) that lifestyle. This instead of simply letting your current bank account totals dictate the lifestyle you will adopt. Everything has been working out really well for me the last few months, and consequently I have a lot of trust in the world/fate at this moment.

For example, my friend and I wanted to head to the U.S.A. to camp for a night, but she didn't have her passport or other suitable documents. We decided to stay in country, and camp in Hope. However, in the morning, in the five minutes I was at her house to pick her up, about 30 seconds before we drove away, a mailman walked up to the car and said he had a package to deliver. It was her passport! We had a nice night down in Point Roberts, Washington, USA.

With coincidences like this, I hope, I believe, that my finances will all work out OK.

With that said, there is good news, and there is bad news.

BAD NEWS: I finally made a decision about cameras, or, rather, I DIDN'T make a decision. I wanted a Digitial SLR for quality and a compact DigiCam for convenience and rather than choose... I simply bought both. The result was a $1400 bill at Future Shop that got me all the accessories I need to head to the J-Spot tomorrow and start merrily clicking away. Even though I spent Waaayyyy too much, at least I'm doing J-Spot prep, right?

I was very happy playing around with my Nikon D40x yesterday evening (by the way, I'm not getting money for product placement, I swear). I also toyed around with my Pentax Optio M30 - who new such a tiny camera could be 7 megapixels! Truthfully, a tiny camera with 7mps would take very high quality pictures, and I really don't need the 10mp Nikon SLR... but 'need' is such a complex term.

And, of course, I woke up this morning freaking out because I spent a quarter of my puny savings on appareils photo (Ha - the direct translation of 'Digital camera' is actually 'appareil numerique': Caitie, you better read this posting!) That Nikon camera means less doing other activities, though hopefully nothing so dire as less eating. Does photography really take up a quarter of my life, to deserve a quarter of all my energies employed toward saving money? Probably not. Hmmm. 15 day return policy, but I already love the camera.

GOOD NEWS: I finally found out my rent. With a partial subsidy, the rent works out to around 30,000 yen, or say $270 canadian. I'm not 100% sure whether that includes utilities or not. The appartment sounds nice, and I'm quite happy with that rent. Oh, and it's actually big enough for two people (I think), so if you're coming to Sapporo, and you're not a weirdo, and especially if you know how to cook well, come stay with me!

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