1 month, 6 days
So I have taken a hefty pay cut to come overseas as a volunteer for a year. However, that is not what I am complaining about, because I expected it and that is the tradeoff for an awesome year living overseas and working in gender and development. What I am complaining about is this:
Before I left Australia:
- I had a car loan, and interest rates were skyrocketing.
- I had a car, and petrol was so expensive the government decided to have a FuelWatch program to appease the masses.
- I had very little savings, so the skyrocketing interest rates did nothing for me.
- I couldn't travel, and the Australian dollar had a very high exchange rate (well above 90USC and not dropping below 75).
Now the financial shit has hit the fan, and I live in East Timor:
- I sold my car, and petrol is cheap again (hell this is not good for the environment either).
- I paid off my car loan, and interest rates have been cutty cut cut cut cut.
- I have a decent amount of savings, but because interest rates have been cut, it's earning jack all interest, even in a 'high interest' account.
- I am living in a country which uses US currency, I get paid in Australian dollars, and on a good day the dollar is worth 68US c. On bad days we worry it will drop to 50 US c.
AAAAARGGGGHHHH!!! My only hope is that the property market will fall through the floor, and then I can pick up some deals on my return to Australia. Housing is waaaayyy overpriced in Australia.
On the bright side, somebody told us the other day that they think that we have picked a good time to do the volunteer-overseas thing. We agonised over coming here in light of the finance stuff (this is months ago before it hit the news - Matt and I have been reading the signs for a while), so it was nice to hear that opinion.