Now where was I? First resolution is to get TKGA Masters Handknitting level I in the mail by year end, then continue to prioritize my knitting projects (you know, rather than starting projects and never finishing any?) Second resolution is to take more care with my health, in particular my mental well-being. My third resolution is to put my money house in order.
I’m pretty sure that a dose of financial planning plus sustainable changes in my spending habits will not only help me achieve my long-term goals, but will contribute to my well-being in the short-term thereby contributing towards resolution #2 (double-dipping the benefits doubles my motivation!)
So what are my long-term goals? I’d like to have enough resources to live in the home of my choosing and to not worry unduly about basics like eating and healthcare (I’m sure I have plenty of company). Simple enough, except that if the track record for my family is anything to go by, my retirement fund will have to last me a loooong time – I anticipate checking out at 96 years old. So I will try to continue generating an income after I retire from my corporate career: I want to spend more time on my love of knitting, design and travel, and I want my supplemental retirement income to be generated from self-employed income. The tricky part with this is, I may need funds upfront to invest in my business. I guess my savings plan will need to consist of a source of income for my daily basics plus a fund to establish my business.
For short-term financial sensibleness I did the usual listing of income and expenses, checked my insurance policies, and looked glumly over my 401K & Roth IRA and examined my credit card statements. This has been an expensive year with multiple deductibles to pay for (hail storm in the Spring); a substantial contribution towards repairing the road we share with neighbours; son’s college tuition; and lowered income (tenant couldn’t pay the rent, husband’s reduced hours). We do not have a fixed income, and we certainly do not have fixed outgoings! I created a budget of sorts, but just to check that we don’t actually have to spend more than we earn, just to cover the essentials. I decided to stop buying anything I do not need until credit card balance is zero and there’s enough in the bank to cover the amount I’m likely to put on the credit card by the time I get the next statement.
Well, the good news is that in just six weeks of being on a spending diet, I got the credit card paid off. Now I want to get our emergency cushion up, but I decided that from this point forward, I get a spending allowance for something I do not need right now to survive. This month, I gave myself $150. I blew half that on yarn (thanks to Slackford Studios for having a sale on one of my favourite treats) and the other half went towards reorganizing the kitchen.
I’ll be back with the results of the kitchen reorg and knitting progress soon, in the meantime, can’t close out without any pics at all, took this yesterday; perfect radishes and tasty arugula from my Fall garden: