You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step..!

Today I would like to talk about saving. What thought does that bring to you? The moment I thought of it, things that came to my mind is – saving time, saving a life, saving energy, saving the planet, saving money… well and the list goes on. Yes, we must try to what we can!

My childhood went in a very sheltered manner with parents being in central government, most of the facility was free to us. Housing, utilities, and many more but we never took it for granted. We were taught to take care of things as if you own it and at the same time you should leave it when it’s ready to in a condition that others can use it as well. We never wasted water though cleanliness was top priority, we saved energy by switching off lights when we don’t need them and similar things. However, I have seen people who were paying for every bit are the ones who never switch off lights even when their work is done or will keep the tap running etc. 

“When the sun is bright, so no to tube light.” 😉

Anyway I have a good nature of saving things and that means by energy, life or plants that I can and money. I used to get pocket money from my both parents as they both used to work. Each one will give ten bucks and I used to save them in my diary.

“Either fill pitchers or live by the river.” ~ Vineet Raj Kapoor

One day my Dad saw that, as he used to give me crisp and new notes because at work he used to give salary to the workers and those days it was not via electronic deposit into the accounts. The new bills he would share with me and also when there was a new bill for a two rupee or a five rupee which should be a recent addition then Dad would save it for me and I used to preserve them as souvenir.

When Dad saw the crisp bills falling from my diary he said, what is this? Looks like you need a bank account and since then he opened a student bank account in my name. Now, he puts money in my account as well as he used to give it to me as a pocket money. So saving is there by nature very early at that age.

This came in handy when I was in Canada working as an Outbound Sales Representative, (one of my struggle time in Canada), in Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC). An hourly payment of three dollars to fifteen was a big jump but still there was huge tax in Toronto. I made sure to put fifty bucks from my each pay-cheque to my savings account, because otherwise I felt I would spend in for my rent, grocery, bus pass, and other necessary items.

“Do not save what is left after spending; instead spend what is left after saving.” ~ Warren Buffett

Soon that time came, when one day I saw the landlord sent a notice saying from September onwards the rent will increase. So here I was paying in three figures and soon it will be in four figures and the very thought of it gives me a heartache as I felt this hard earned money is going straight into dustbin or I am paying someone else’s mortgage, what’s the benefit for me other than just living in that rented apartment?

That day I was restless as mind was distracted and thoughts were to look for a home. Mind is such a player, the moment the thought resided, I started looking at houses – when I travel by bus to work or anywhere, I am looking at houses. In my mind I will say yeah, something like this or no I don’t want this kind of fence and so I decided I will buy a house.

I discussed this with one of my friend,  a credit specialist. My thought was appreciated but I didn’t get any encouragement as I was told, you don’t have enough credit and you will not get a mortgage so don’t even think of it now. Somehow, I was obstinate. This triggered like a fire in my mind and I started listening to folks who bought house and in doing so one of the guy who was in the call center working at the back-office operations, shared his excellent experience of buying a house and the realtor made it so smooth for him that he couldn’t stop praising enough of them and so he handed over me their business card.

“No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.” ~ Lupita Nyong’o

I decided to give a call to the realtor, it was a husband and wife- where Wife picked up the call and I told her about my interest in buying a house. At this time, I don’t have much idea but I said I am interested and I gave my preference as I should be safe even when I am walking to my home at midnight. It seemed like she understood and she asked me for my email where she will send me the potential lists.

I received the listing of houses and I would look at it and say yeah, okay or may be and finally she said this weekend we can go looking for houses. I was excited. By now, in my mind I am ready and if I don’t qualify then that’s their failure not mine. Because I have a full time job with steady income and since I have come into the country which is eight months I have not defaulted on any bills. The lady was a senior lady and her husband too. Both were very delicate but very polite and well dressed. While talking to them I came to know the lady is born in Germany and husband is Italian but they have been in the country for many years.

“Dare to dream, then decide to do.” ~ Annette White

I became comfortable with them and we looked around three-four houses and I didn’t like any of them, may be because they were apartments, condominiums or semi-detached houses. Anyhow, the next time lady had a good list and I loved the house she took me to. Amazing detached house with two bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, living area and exactly same structure downstair in the basement. Laundry washer- dryer in the basement and to be frank the house seemed to be so cool – a corner house with front, side and backyard lawn space – literally reminded me of a dream house in the middle of green-green grass!!!

I said yes let’s move with this and I shared all my financial details. They said lets check and they have their contacts in different banks where everyone calculated and did everything and guess what my Bank (CIBC) won’t give me mortgage 😁as there is no guarantee ! Anyway, they tried in all other banks and since this was my first home that I was planning to purchase I got into the first time home-buyers plan. But for that I need to put down five percent towards my mortgage and you know what came in handy that time? The fifty bucks that I was putting in my savings from every pay-cheque and my Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) (similar to 401K), which I was putting in before tax – it saved me. 

“You must gain control over your money, or the lack of it will forever control you.” ~ Dave Ramsey

I became a home-owner and people couldn’t believe it. My friend who was working in CIBC did said that I will not get and he was right, I didn’t at CIBC but I did get it from Royal Bank.

This I am sharing because I was not making a lot but whatever I had out of that I was saving here and there and that didn’t go waste.

“Mind your coin; you may never know when.” ~ Ernest A Yeboah

So please save whatever you get out of that keep a dime, a quarter or a buck and you will see how it helps in the long run.

~ Dawn

Note: Now you can listen to the audio version of my blogs in Hindi on the UshaDawn Hindi Podcast on Google, Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Check it out and new episodes uploaded every day 3 AM Pacific Standard Time


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