Recently I shared a dilemma with the readers of my blog. While I'm comfortable with my monthly allocations and budget, I was concerned regarding savings/emergencies. Not having this money was affecting my comfort level, and I was looking at some fairly "out there" choices to solve this problem. I felt that I need a large "pot" if you will to begin with, and I would add to that pot monthly thereafter. I was uncomfortable with the idea of starting from a couple dollars.
Since I wrote that, a couple things have happened.. First, I decided that using my car for my emergency fund was simply pound foolish. I would be equally uncomfortable traveling in an older car, and I have no intention of giving up travel under any circumstances. Second, I have leveraged a way to have a tiny emergency fund to which I can add. It's not nearly as big as the money I would have banked by selling my car, but it's a good start.
Most importantly, I realized that overall I am comfortable with my finances, and my current lifestyle. I'm happy where I am. I do feel the need to increase savings, and realize I probably should have begun a savings plan much earlier. I also realize that I need to be more vigilant about budget leaks-the little things if you will. The magazines, the cokes, all of this spending could be redirected to savings without givin up phones, travel or house.
On the other hand, I've decided I don't need to make a major lifestyle change for financial reasons. I got many suggestions from readers, some of them right for me, some beyond my comfort level, and some that will be put in the "mental computer" for quite awhile. Im glad they wrote because even if those ideas aren't right for me now, they may be later. More importantly, other folks reading can see that there are solutions for almost any situation and person.
Some of you suggested mystery shopping as an easy income booster, and I think it sounds like a lovely idea. I would love to be paid to eat or shop. Betsy suggested that I advertise. Im not sure if she meant for me to advertise elsewhere for my business or for me to take advertisers here, but both are worthy of consideration. Sharon suggested an online job, and I am already working through Odesk, and have begun trying to write elsewhere. I got lots of other suggestions for small changes in terms of income or expenses. I'm always looking for frugal suggestiosn I may not have thought of. One person who commented lives near me and has suggested we talk-always happy to meet another blogger!
Unfortunately suggestions of getting a real job or adding more income streams -well these were ideas I had to let go of. I'm a low energy person who has arthritis that some day borders on fibro (or feels like it). If you tell me I need to work through the pain, I might hurt someone! Going to school full time and two tiny income streams are all I can handle right now. If I want to spend the day on the chouch with a book and my wine, I dont want to have to answer to another soul for that.
When It comes to suggestions to downsize, well, I look to do that in the future. For one thing, thats simply not something that happens overnight. Its something I look at doing a few years down the road, perhaps maybe. I bought this house because it is a no basement, open acess home that I can handle. Meanwhile I streamline possessions and expenses to my comfort level.
Many of you have suggested taking in a roommate. That has been put into my mental computer to be addressed and thought about over a long period of time. Right now, my comfort level and security do not allow for it. I'm unwilling to worry about how much noise I make, what I wear when I get up in the morning, or if I can sew at two am if the mood strikes. However, I can see that it may be a solution down the road, and need to look at how I would adjust and what accomodations should be made (ill say here that I suspect most retirees who get roommates do it as much for the companionship as anything else-I LOVE living alone).
As I move back to blogging about living richly in retirement, I'll keep everyone updated on my new experiences and explorations as well as my experiences as I start to save and invest-in retirement. Meanwhile, it's time to blogg about my three upcoming road trips, my finished quilts, cooking for one-in blulk and other parts of my living richly in retirement lifestyle.