Tuesday, April 23, 2013

One more year

The countdown till I give up the day job continues. And having a birthday brings it all so much closer.

Having decided I want my cake and eat it too I suspect I am going through a tiny bit more anguish over this. I could save faster if I worked full-time. I could save more if I didn't skive off for a 3 month ski trip to New Zealand in July.

But shit, life's for living isn't it? Surely I have to stay sane and enjoy the journey whilst reaching the ultimate goal? And to be truthful, working more means more for the tax man and not significant amounts more for me. I think I'm in a good middle ground as far as take home income goes and I'm managing to save a significant portion of it to pay off my sizeable debt.

I've changed my mind on selling the money tree, deciding instead to cut my losses on my most poorly performing property, sell it and offset the loss against my tax. Nothing like making the tax man pay for my poor property investment decisions.

It will reduce my debt a bit, but not enough yet to give up the day job.

So meanwhile, I've turned into Ms Scrooge. Which I have an incredible talent for!

Actually, it's easy to not spend money when you don't value bright shiny new things. When you are totally fine driving a car that is 18 years old, and build retaining walls in your garden using old car tyres, making render using the sand from your own back yard. 

When you buy your dry goods in bulk online, where $3.50 postage is all you pay to get them delivered to your doorstep, where you eat the fruit and veg from your own garden supplemented from the weekly farmers market. When you drink your own espresso coffee at home and rarely eat out any more. When you have quite a bit of wine in your cellar from years belonging to a wine club, and you only delve in there once a week anyway.

When you can't actually remember the last time you bought a new item of clothing, because you have quite enough clothes as it is.

In fact, I've been spending less money than a pensioner gets. Yep! I've been living below the poverty line!

Not really, because I'm rent free. And I already own a wine cellar full of wine and an espresso machine. And my car is paid off. And I have a buffer for when the big bills come in, so that it isn't a stress for me to pay them. So I'm not really living below the poverty line, but it's a darn interesting insight into how hard it is to get by on just a pension.

And if my weekends weren't spent pottering in my garden, or going windsurfing (with gear I already own) I wouldn't have much of a life at all. Or perhaps I should say: if I didn't mind spending most of my free time in my own company....

Lucky me!

So, having just celebrated my 49th birthday (by rendering the tyre wall some more!) I'm now under pressure to keep those savings piling in. 

It doesn't help that I just discovered you can go heliskiing on the Tasman Glacier in New Zealand!

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