Sunday, 27 April 2014

Catch Up Time

Woah - long time no blog!!! Time just goes by so fast, I didn't realise how long it had been since I last blogged (although I wasn't under the illusion that I'd blogged recently).

So - let's catch up on what's been going on since I last blogged.

My simplifying is still going, baby steps all the way. The dining room was done (although it needs a quick tidy in there again now), I sorted through most of the boys toys and their clothes, and I have sorted through my clothes. The boxes which had been set upstairs unopened since we moved here have now almost all been emptied and stuff thrown out, or put somewhere more sensible, and I now have empty boxes to get rid of, but am keeping them to fill with stuff for the brocki or ready for moving.

Yes, at the moment we are looking at moving house (staying in the village where we are). We have decided that as we intend to stay in Switzerland for at least another 10-15 years it makes sense to buy somewhere rather than rent for the whole time. The cost of a mortgage is significantly lower than the cost of renting, and not only would we be saving money on accommodation costs, but some of the monthly costs would be coming back to us eventually when we sell through the increase in our equity, so realistically it makes total sense.

The way mortgages are done over here scares me a bit (it seems that the plan is never to actually pay the mortgage off in full due to needing the mortgage interest to offset against your annual tax return - and that is a massive amount of debt to have hanging over your head, which really doesn't sit well with me). It appears that as soon as you have 35% equity in the property (20% deposit is the minimum over here - ouch), you no longer have to make capital repayments, and are moved to interest only for the rest of the mortgage as standard procedure (although you can continue to make capital repayments if you choose to do so).

The thought of paying a mortgage for the rest of my life is quite a scary thought, but when I looked on line I realised that over here it's actually quite a relief, when you consider that the vast majority of people over here rent property for their entire lives at a considerably higher rate.

One good thing about moving (if we are lucky enough to get the apartment we are seeing tomorrow, we have missed out on two places already, and I have no idea how long we'd have to wait before another one comes up) is that it is a perfect opportunity to go through everything that we own to see if we need/want it. I can't wait!!!

There are a couple of other things that will be great if we get this apartment: firstly we will be able to decorate however we want, and secondly, the new place will be a bit smaller than our current place and should therefore be easier to keep on top of :-)

I had started exercising again, but that has fallen by the wayside (again) and I haven't been eating particularly well - oops!!! One thing to get back on top of for definite (the eating better, even if I don't kick off the exercise again just yet).

I've been reading a book for work called The 4 Disciplines of Execution, which is actually very interesting. It's mainly geared at businesses, but can be implemented in your personal life too. Basically it say you should only set a maximum of two "wildly important goals" (or WIGs), because anything more than that is not going to be achieved to a high standard without falling by the wayside or other urgent usual tasks (day job or the "whirlwind") suffering. It's tough to implement, but the achievement of the WIGs should eventually assist in making the whirlwind more manageable.  There is a whole process to follow and without doing it all properly it isn't likely to succeed, but I think I can find a way to follow the processes for my goals, so all I need to do is decide on my main goals and focus on following the processes (including designing an easy to read scoreboard - obviously I won't get distracted on that part of the process - ha ha ha!!!).

In other news - I was 40 yesterday, and do you know what? It feels great!!!

I was thinking this morning about my birthday. Originally we'd been hoping to get back to Vegas for a long weekend while the boys were away, or maybe even to New York, but with the whole issue of us trying to get a deposit together for an apartment we decided that we really couldn't afford to do it. If we'd been in the UK then no doubt there would have been some sort of party/pub crawl and we'd have had a great time. So what did we do? We pretty much did what we do most Saturdays, the only real difference was that whilst at the shopping centre I got to choose my birthday presents (a lovely grown-up watch from my man, and a lovely silver Pandora bracelet with a couple of heart charms from my boys) and that we had birthday cake.

Do you know what? It's exactly what I wanted, and I couldn't have asked for anything more. Therefore I have to conclude that my life is pretty great :-)

Have a great week,