No matter how hard I work I do not seem to be getting ahead.  This does not only relate to small domestic chores and projects, but I am beginning to detect a certain futility in my attempts at getting out of the rut in general. Getting ahead in life and recovering from the setback posed by divorce.

At one point when I was married we owned the place where we lived and we saved our income for something more,  now I am just working to pay the bills. I am luckier than most people, for one I am debt-free, I pay off my credit card every single month, and do not have to procrastinate in payment of rent or school fees.  I can say very proudly that I am doing that without having to rely on the token child support I get from my ex, because that money goes straight into my son’s bank account,  a 30-day account which I am planning to grow into a significant long-term investment for his education.  Given all this, I should be proud of myself and of the astute management of my finances, but sometimes I get mad and resentful against my son’s father, because I know that I let him off the hook easily and he owes me much more that just this measly monthly payment.

I am in a rut because my job and the bank interests are paying off the bills, but there is no growth in sight. The salary will not increase in the foreseeable future as our management blatantly told us – we should actually be glad for having our job and tighten our belts (so that the giant multi-national could recover from making less of a killing than they made last year).  And even if I only spend the interest and preserve the nominal value of my capital, the falling Rand and the inflation is surely shrinking its actual value. I am observing that year-on-year as the price of staples, rent, school fees increase.  The salary which has not been increased will surely shrink in 2010 when deductions for medical aid go up by their usual 10%.

Also, since I am using the interest on my capital to pay my living expenses, I cannot actually afford to put it all as a payment for an apartment.  I have only two obvious solutions: either I buy a really cheap place using half my capital or work full-time for a decent market related salary. There is also the solution of the desperate : Throw in the towel,  pack up everything and go someplace where there is help.

There is no help here, that is for sure. I have arrived to a point where I could not care less about my ex.. I really don’t. But sometimes his lack of sympathy and his attitude of  ” deal with your problems I have enough of mine” makes me want to kick his teeth in.  I always feel that if I had the resources and finances that he has at his disposal I would have at least a plan or a schedule for getting out of the rut.  Instead I am reduced to just waiting for an opportunity to knock me on the head, and this is something that does not happen very often.

In fact I might have missed such a rare opportunity because I allowed myself to be affected by his lack of vision. An apartment was sold in the same block where he has his furnished unit, and it went for exactly half its market price.. exactly half the money I have in the bank. I saw the notice of sale and was tempted to go check it out, but instead I asked my intelligent ex about it. He did not sound too keen, and I let it go. The next time he spoke to me he was berating himself about a lost opportunity, and telling me about the price it went for.

I have calmed down some since my initial intense frustration. Sales in Execution are tricky, and a purchaser has to register before bidding and there are certain procedures. So, there was little or no chance that I could have bought the place on my first foray there, but still. Knowing that these things exist, a window of opportunity for people with a little bit of market savvy. And here is little me trying to get hold of such an opportunity -however passively. While my ex with all his oversees assets sits here, content to work as “project manager” for a solar heating outfit, and paying child support to two households, such a loser.  And to think that I was fooled by the airs he put on for almost ten years.

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