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.