In the past eight and a half years, I have moved to a new living space four times. Considering I own well over two thousand books (and counting,) this consists of a Herculean task. My former roommate Chris calls my library “The Wrath that is Scotty Ray’s Books.” He has the sore back to prove it. I’ve been no stranger to packing and unpacking boxes and boxes of books, and for that matter, keeping boxes of books stacked in corners of the apartments for lack of shelving space.
I posted a few days ago that two of my dearest friends lost a parent, each. Richard, whom I’ve known since I was twelve, lived with his father, primarily because his father needed a caretaker. (I was in a similar arrangement 10 years ago with my dad.) It was also a mutually beneficial arrangement, for Richard’s income wasn’t and isn’t optimal, so having a “no rent” arrangement allowed him (and I can say us, ten years ago, with my dad,) to survive. Alas, that is no longer the situation for my friend.
The night before his dad passed, Richard breached the subject first. And I would be lying if I said the idea hadn’t crossed my mind. Over the past year, it was clear that Rich’s dad’s health was deteriorating. We were all hoping for the best, praying for healing. But after certain decisions were made, it was a matter of time. Days, perhaps hours. Upon coming to terms with that, Richard asked if I would move in to the house. It would once again be a mutually beneficial arrangement. He would get support with paying utilities, I would have no rent to pay, no longer have to have a storage unit to pay rent on, and I could reduce my phone’s internet usage, drastically saving about $700.00+ per month. Of course, I’m sure my electricity and other utilities would go up, and the addition of cable would also eat in a bit to those savings, but in the end there will still be a hefty savings.
All in all, it was very serendipitous. Now, please understand, I love Richard Sr., Rich’s dad, very much. He was in some ways a surrogate father to me. I would gladly trade the situation for him to still be here with us, healed and pain free. In no way am I trying to be an opportunist, because Rich did breach the subject first and extend the invitation. This mutually beneficial arrangement will help us both out financially.
About one month ago, I “resolved” that 2017 was going to be the year that I get my finances in order. I’m going to use the freed up finances to build an emergency fund, pay off some outstanding debt, save for and purchase a car, save some more, learn to invest, and save some more. It’s not so much about pursuing and accumulating riches as it is building wealth. Riches come and go. Usually, they go. Wealth is beyond money. It’s about resources. It would now seem that I am on a reasonable path to pursue that kind of peace that comes from getting your house in order. Five years ago, I did not have the self discipline to resolve this issue. I’m thankful that over the past few months, I’ve been nurturing self discipline over several habits. I can now reach inwardly to summon that same kind of self discipline to not impulsively overspend, in order to build something of lasting value. It does indeed take financial resources to invest in opportunities to further build wealth. I truly see this as a way to honor Mr. Pate and his example by pursuing this opportunity.