Saturday, May 20, 2017

Living Now and Planning for Later


My shoot for the moon budget goals launched in 2017 are slowly but surely being fulfilled. We knocked the biggie out by putting the max into our Roth, while DH and I also contribute the max to our work 401K. I also have a pension that 5.5% of my salary goes to with an equivalent agency match. We might be under insured for life, I probably am, but with only one more to get through college, if the worse happens, her needs will be taken care of. If one of us becomes unemployed, we could skinny together enough cash to live off of, and come up with her tuition, though things would be incredibly tight. We don't have other debt. While a heftier cushion would make me more confident, I think the future is covered.

So what about the present? I've been thinking a lot about the here and now, more so in the last few months than any other time. Death and critical illness of friends that are younger than me does that to a person. Still, we're not the Rockefeller's. While we want to travel, be entertained with friends, celebrate joyous occasions in a non miserly fashion, money only goes so far. I'm finding myself looking at every purchase through the lens of life value, not just monetary value. I think this will mean things I didn't hesitate to spend money on in the past, will be left in the store. Likewise, I hope it means I say "yes" to things that genuinely will bring me and those I love and like enjoyment.I think it will be money spent on experiences, not stuff.

Today as I clean, I'll be gathering up any loose change, money left in pants pockets, whatever is found and putting in my tea biscuit canister. The little stash is growing and last check it had at least $16 dollars in it. That's enough for a stop at a fruit stand and the boulangerie in Paris, feeding all five of us a delicious French breakfast next summer. Last night instead of ordering or even picking up a Papa Murphy's pizza, I cobbled together a supper of odds and ends including the last of a box of fish, some red beans and rice, a few sweet potatoes cut in fries, and a bag of mixed veg-got to have my veg, for under $6.00.

A quiet Friday night home with my family with a humble meal is fine, as is a splurge when it means something. A woman I went to high school with has had two bouts of cancer, and is currently dealing with a blood and autoimmune disorder. For the last few weeks, she has felt good. I went to school with people who for the most part, genuinely liked everyone and got along. Following our 25th reunion, it was decided we needed more impromptu, everyone's invited, get togethers. She decided this weekend it was time to pull one together. I absolutely will not miss this one tonight. I want to buy her a drink, give her a big hug, and be thankful she's at the party. I know there is nothing amazing about doing these things, but too often when I was saving for something, or knew of some big expense, I cut myself off from these type of social interactions. I know too well there isn't always a next time to join in. 

I'm not changing my  savings target; I've got big plans for those resources. Still, I'm not going to be a social hermit. When my time comes, I want folks to remember me as someone who was part of the fun. Someone who gave of her time, talent, and money generously. I want them to know I had a good life and spent it with people that brought me joy. Oh, and from my well being goal list? I got that picture of the lilacs yesterday, perhaps just in time.


14 comments:

  1. We are doing the same, decided our birthdays/mothers day/fathers day money this year would be spent on a fishing charter for 5 hours in July for myself, Hubby, Mom and hopefully one of the kids. This has been on all three of our bucket list for a while and it's time to make it happen! Less things, more experiences!

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    1. That sounds so terrific. We worked on Mother's day at the cabin, but that too was memories.

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  2. I love the attitude & approach. We (try) to have the same outlook, although are not always entirely successful. We spend more than a typical budget on things we really care about (travel, time with family, gifts, & a house in a neighborhood we want to live in), but also try to trim back the budget in other categories. It's not perfect, but it works. I missed that you were planning a trip to France - how fabulous!

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    1. I'm blessed with a husband and kids that seem to feel the same which helps keep the acquisitions of stuff lean. We're in the planning stage of the trip but I want to make it happen.

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  3. Your words resonate a lot with me. I feel like I am existing, but not living. I don't want people to remember me as the person who never went anywhere or did anything

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    1. I'm still working towards that reality. Start with saying yes and joining in little things. I'm also finding hobbies for myself that aren't expensive but add to my bucket of experiences. I was getting in my work home work cycle again. No more.

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  4. You definitely have to smell the roses while they bloom! Though it is necessary to save, life needs to be lived.

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    1. And the lilacs! I feel lilacs are kind of a metaphor for life right now.

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  5. A sensible philosophy, indeed. good for you!

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    1. Thank you and keep writing your blog of humor,wisdom, and insight for me to get little nuggets of not from.

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  6. I'm with you - save hard on the things you don't care about but spend when it means something. Create memories. I am working hard to pay my mortgage off since I bought my ex out of the house when he left. After that I can retire. BUT when the opportunity presents I spend. My kids and travel are my priorities. I'm nowhere near Paris but let me know when you are over here. Paris is beautiful. Take an open-top bus (hop on/hop off) so get an idea of what you want to see. Notre Dame cathedral spectacular. I could just see Quasimodo hiding in the belfry! A

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    1. My youngest and I did just a day trip from London to Paris and it was barely a taste! Those bus yours are good for getting the layout-with a map.

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  7. SAM, you inspire me! Your approach is commendable. In short, I need to do better!

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    1. I'm not there yet but trying. I'm inspired by your home making talent to build a home I cherish so I can grab every moment with family and friends.

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