Monday, 29 June 2015

It could happen to me at any time

Hello Dear Reader,

I am not a fatalist, nor do I think I've been dealt a hand but I do think I make my own future even though it is within parameters. I can not change political whim, I can not directly affect a rising or falling economy and I can not predict the future. I could be a fatalist, spend every penny I have and take the philosophy that I could be run over by a bus but in truth, I'm most likely to dwindle my old age in a degenerative haze not knowing what I had for breakfast. There are worst ways to go!

I am likely, just like most of my family members to be fit and active well into my retirement years with many more ahead of me to enjoy the freedom of not being part of the rat race. I may even be a bit morbid to some of you that we're thinking that far ahead but having older (they are far from showing any signs of ageing!) parents who still enjoy very active lives, makes me realise that we've got some great years ahead of us and it's worth making the financial sacrifices now to prepare for the times ahead.

So, I may not have a basement with six months food, I may not have several months water supply, have hunting and fishing skills but we are in are own way prepared, as best we can, for our future. We are not dreamers but people who practically prepare for the future. We don't spend all of our income and make sure we live off as little as possible and in fact, save more than we spend each month. We live well beneath our means, our hobbies and habits are modest and we make sure when we spend, that we do so mindfully. 

I often think of where I could have spent money. We could have upgraded the kitchen and bathroom, re carpeted and had new furniture but it would have been an over spend on a very modest house in a very modest area. In short, we'd never re-coup it and it would be wasted. I could have bought that APQS quilting machine that I've longed after but it would never pay for itself and it would be an utter indulgence that I can live without. When ever I have a 'fancy' or 'whim' to spend money I always take time to think of where it's a want or a need. I always ask myself how much I want it and somehow I always manage to stop myself and see sense. 

We're both 50 next year (I will be so in December and DB next December) and we could have planned some indulgent 'treat' but have instead planned another cheapie (all relative) to some where self catering and affordable. We'll be careful all year to pay for it and still save for other eventualities alongside that. We won't wear unwashed clothes, have no heating, or eat lentils (though nothing wrong with them) and will budget carefully throughout the year. We'll carry on as the 'normal' we created when we worked out way out of debt.

In the almost twenty years that DB have been together, DB has been made redundant, had a forced 10% pay cut, faced another round of redundancies and we've just made it. He's a front line public sector worker and really appreciates the way he's kept his job when the austerity cuts meant that so many lost theirs. We have experienced first hand that an income can be lost at any time and that keeps us living well beneath our means, saving more than we spend and living as modestly as we can.

I don't suggest anyone else lives the way I do and everyone's situation is unique to them. I write, as I do today, as a reflection on how hard we have to work to keep finances in check and we had to cope with change and continue to do so. It doesn't matter that we're debt free, it doesn't matter that our overheads are low and it doesn't matter that we have saved an emergency fund; we still have to remain financially focused as what happened before could happen to us at any time.

To some, all of this money management might seem just too much hard work but we know that change can happen at any time and we need to be able to survive it if it does.

So Dear Reader, just plain boring or the reality of life in an every changing world?

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxx