For some reason I have been unable to log into Everydollar for the last week, which means I am unable to track my expenses for February so far. I think I will do ok without recording as long as I stick to cash and stop spending when I run out - no going into my buffer to get more money, and no borrowing from other envelopes. I do have my change jar if I get desperate.
Viewing the 'Thinking about Money' Category
In: found 50 cents
Out: Marmite $5.50
Today for breakfast I had oatmeal with sultanas and cinnamon; lunch coconut pancakes with lemon juice and sugar; dinner pasta, potatoes, broccoli and chickpeas.
Someone gave me 4 bags of weaving singles. I knew it would take me ages to get round to using them, so I donated them to the annual craft sale.
I am not buying books and today I found in the Lilliput Library a book called Money Success and You by John Kehoe. It turned out to be one of those motivational books that tell you about other rich people. I don't need to be a multimillionaire and I don't want to be famous; I'm just looking for a basic how to on investing.
Winter is having a last little kick so I stayed home and binge watched Dave Ramsey on Youtube. I recommend the debt free screams for anyone who's trying to pay off loans. They made me all tingly and I've been debt free for 15 years. I'm not so impressed by the ones who pay off a huge amount on a big income, but every so often you get a single mom on a low income who's paid off her house.
One thing bugs me, when Dave tells people they should fix their mortgage interest rate, where are you going to find a lender stupid enough to fix for 15 years at these low rates? In this country you can only get 3 years fixed, at a higher rate, and there are heavy penalties for paying it off early.
A fine sunny day, so I line dried the laundry. Then I went for a walk and on the way bought myself a packet of chips. What I gain on the swings I lose on the roundabouts. I shall have to tighten the purse strings to save for Christmas. I am actually thinking I will be buying gifts in India and giving them when I get back.
So far my $20 challenge has been going well. If things keep going well I can see myself continuing this until my EF reaches the goal. I'm still planning to go to India in December, so will be taking a 4 week break, but the money for it will come from my travel fund.
I think I'm mildly addicted to spending. If I go 2 or 3 days without going to the shops I feel antsy and want to go see what there is and buy - something. Usually food but anything just to satisfy the urge. I think it's the power of handing over the money and getting whatever I want in exchange. Most of my purchases are small in dollar terms, but if there's a lot of them they add up. I'm considering having only one spending day a week, where I do all my shopping for groceries and anything else that's needed and pay the bills. The rest of the time stay out of stores. This will force me to make a list, which is the best way I know to save money.
"Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and the necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control."
United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 40.
New Zealand is a signatory to this declaration.
Only one purchase today, a big bunch of kale at New World for $2.80. saved $1.20.
I'm disappointed with Financially Free. It has a little bit about saving and budgeting but mostly about prosperity thinking and acting rich to be rich. A jobless person who's about to get their lights cut off might get the impression they just need to tell themselves "I deserve to be rich", go off on holiday and the money will miraculously materialise. I recommend Stop Acting Rich by Tom Stanley as an antidote.
I was browsing a website and a little ad popped up saying "every Kiwi deserves a reliable garage door." Well I'd agree a reliable garage door is a good thing to have, but "deserve" one? How 'bout we work on some other things first, like people in poor countries deserving clean drinking water and every child deserving a safe, loving home.
One of the quotes at the top of the page - by Tom Robbins, I think - read, "There's a Buddhistic calm that comes from having... money in the bank."
It's true, I'm happy and not worrying now I have ten grand in my emergency fund. Of course the money won't prevent stuff happening, but knowing I've taken practical steps to deal with Murphy helps me feel relaxed and capable of dealing with whatever comes along.
I am dealing with the insurance company abou the new place. House - no problem, but when it came to contents I realized I have got rid of so much stuff I am now overinsured. Most of my clothes and furniture is second hand, so the company would not give me much for it, and there is quite a bit I would not bother to replace anyway. Not yet a minimalist with only 100 things, but definitely simplifying my life by reducing my possessions.
So I'm working out a list of things I would replace in the event of a disaster and the cost of doing so, buying quite a bit at thrift stores and will insure for that. My plan is to eventually save up that amount in a special fund and self insure.
I think insurance companies play on the fear factor a lot of the time to get us to take out big policies. Yes catatrophes happen, but not that often, or they wouldn't be making a profit. I want to insure myself against reasonable risk, but not get paranoid about losing my possessions.
The only money that went out today was my church offering. I am adopting the Dave Ramsey mantra "Live like no one else, so later you can live like no one else"
I have been slack about saving over the last few months. I have dad's money tucked away and part of my wages automatically going to retirement, so that's going to be allright. I have been earning more money and it seemed like I didn't have to worry about every cent spent any more so I eased the purse strings and took my eyes off the dream of Financial Independence.
But thinking it over I realise I really do have a realistic opportunity of being FI, and sooner rather than later if I really tighten up on spending now. There is a lot of difference between having to be thrifty when there is no alternative, and choosing to save money in pursuit of a goal. When I had little money I would often rebel and spend on some treat because "I don't have any other indulgences". Now I am going without because I can have it back later on. As Dave Ramsey says, Live like no one else, so later you can live like no one else.
There was an item on the news this morning about borrowing by local councils. One observer reckons it's far too high. Councils used to use sinking funds for capital projects, now they borrow against these funds. A spokesman came on to defend the council saying they used very sophisticated methods to control the debt and some councils had lazy balance sheets - they actually needed more debt.
I'm just a simple soul (it was all those "sophisticated" borrowers that got us into this financial jam). I see only that if you borrow money, you have to pay it back. With interest, so that means you pay more, or rather the taxpayers do. My rates have gone up a lot since the sophisticates took over the council.
Yes I know, you'll save money in the long run because the return on assets is greater than the cost of borrowing. I'll believe next time i see a council project come in under budget. Somehow the cost always requires more borrowing than anticipated and up go the rates again. If these financial clever clogs want to play financial geniuses, they can do it with their own money, not public funds.
I'm grumpy, can you tell I just got my property tax bill?
is sometimes inconvenient, but saves me a lot of money. I get all my exercise from walking so don't have to pay expensive gym membership - can't understand people who drive to the gym and run on a treadmill. Besides, running stuffs your knees. Need to lift weights? Try carrying a 10 kg (22 lb) sack of rice a mile home from the shop - okay, that's beyond me now, but I did when I was young.
Not having a car saves me time. I've been late any number of times when someone offered me a lift because the car wouldn't start or we couldn't find a park.
when I walk somewhere I always know how long it is going to take me and I allow for that. If it's raining I catch the bus, whic is cheaper.
Now you're thinking, yeah but I have a full time job. I don't have time to walk everywhere. Here's the thing; because I don't spend money owning a car I don't have to work as many hours. I can meet all my needs with 30 hours a week - and that leaves me time to walk.
And walking, I spot all those coins dropped by rushing motorists at the parking meters. Found .70 cents today.
Today I cancelled Caller ID. I don't use it much anyway, as several of my friends have private numbers, so I often don't answer and just let people leave a message. Anyway, I worked out that at nz$2.50 a month, at current after tax interest on my new FI a/c, I will have to save $1,000 to be able to afford it in retirement. Am now looking round and calculating how much I need to save for various other unneccessary expenses. About nz$6,000 to afford coffee and tea... another way of looking at the latte factor.