I’ve been one of the lucky people who has been able to work at home with no income interruption. But, the pandemic made me reflect on where I am now and where I really want to be in terms of finances and lifestyle.
Being home 24/7 has been an eye-opener for me in a number of ways. I have realized how much “stuff” I have and how little I need. I am determined to work down my pile of clothes and craft supplies. I will not bring a new item into my house unless an item leaves.
I am a person who carries no debt other than a small mortgage. Oh, I use my credit card. However, nothing goes on it unless I can pay it off in the same month. I refuse to pay a credit card interest.
I want to retire sooner, rather than later. In preparation for that, I sat down and made a list of things my house will need in the next 2 – 5 years and how much I expect the cost to be. A roof, several new windows, a deck. Plus, some emergency money. It is a shockingly large number.
Currently, my savings are meager. I have a house full of dogs who could blast through that savings account with one small surgery bill.
Here’s where the true taking stock comes in. I went through my credit card statements to see how much money I spent on “fluff”. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t good!
I pulled out a budget sheet and recorded an accurate accounting of my monthly expenses. I do this quite regularly but I know my spending slides a bit in between. Truth! I made some adjustments.
After a close examination, my retirement goal might be somewhat optimistic. But, if I really stick to the budget, I can pay a bit extra on my mortgage while systematically increasing my savings. Every baby step closer to my goal is a win!
All this is my convoluted way of saying, sit down and really examine your spending. Don’t lie to yourself about where you spend your money. Do a realistic budget. Set goals. If you are carrying debt, seriously look at ways you can pay it down faster to save yourself a small fortune in interest.
As a Financial and Credit Counsellor, I’m here to help people examine their own finances and work toward goals. Give us a call at 1 800-379-5556….. we are here to help.