In Honor of Fire Dragon Chinese New Year said to bring improvements in finances and new ventures
After anyone who knows me is done laughing at this blog title, I would like to suggest that even though I have been nearly as allergic to money in my life as I am to dogs, I do have a plan. That’s odd for someone who hates planning.
~ Be debt free. I am 2 months away from paying off 5 years of consolidated credit from the period my life descended into what can only nicely be described as “the vortex,” that prepared me nicely for the world economic collapse a short while later, creating a perfect storm of emptying my 401K, using credit cards to buy medicine, health care, car maintenance, and even food. The reason this was only 5 years of debt and I avoided homelessness was thanks to generous community and family during and after my daughter’s health crisis and the year I was unable to work. I will write another blog about the word Home another day, because it’s a really nice story. This was round 2 of the lesson I thought I had learned 15 years earlier. Maybe some people need more than one attempt to get the credit card insanity behind them. Got it now, thank you. No rinse and repeat.
~ Work as much as I can possibly tolerate and still maintain my ability to walk, talk, and feed self, though some days this is questionable when someone needs to speak with me and I try to form a verbal sentence only to discover all nouns and verbs have disappeared. Like the tortoise and the hare story, eventually, all my years of 2-job work has to pay off.
~ Change health insurance. As soon as my employer’s health insurance open enrollment rolls around in March, I will be moving my daughter’s coverage to a program that will save me $200/month.
~ Emergency savings. I will put half the money that was going to debt consolidation toward an emergency fund, half toward kiddo’s orthodontia and then payments I have been putting off for my own health care, car maintenance, and finally a new computer to be able to work more efficiently. Okay, maybe that’s too big a list. Gotta think smaller. New computer can wait.
~ Live frugally, put off but hold onto dreams. I will continue to live frugally, going out to eat no more than once a month if that, living well on my own concoctions of fresh local produce and spices, and home movies. Here’s a nice quote to capture the essence of deferred gratification and choosing instead to know joy where one is: A great obstacle to happiness is expecting too much happiness. – Bernard de Fontanelle, French writer
~ Rejuvenate. I will take my first week-long vacation in 6 years with my daughter and rejuvenate so I can work some more!
~ Stay healthy. I will try to stay healthy, floss my teeth (no joke – I had the lovely cost last year of 5 fillings), and pursue anything I can that betters myself without requiring money. Pursue anything, even if walking at midnight, to combat the health effects of sedentary jobs.
Moral of the Story: Something as small as a 3-1/2-inch piece of plastic you use because you think there’s no alternative or a strand of floss can have a huge impact on your financial freedom, so please take care of the little things so they take care of you.