Apparently, if you do something every day for 30 days, then you have made it a habit. I’ve successfully become a habitual frugal, so now I need to keep going with my long walk to financial freedom. I have no choice but to work for the rest of my life as my pension estimate is 3K a year so far!!!! I also have no hope of paying off the mortgage on the house I live in, so I need to make plans to move as soon as the financial market improves.
One of the joys of being older,is that I’ve seen it all before and this is my second recession. I was young and in a dodgy job market in the 80’s and I learnt then to do ANYTHING to earn money and that motivation to pay the bills has always stayed with me. I know we’re probably in for another five years of hardship and then a period of slow growth.
For some people, the future may not be visible or even imaginable. I’m holding onto my future and my resolution is to continue to be proactive to make it happen. Here’s the plan to continue to nurture my ‘green shoots that will eventually grow into a simpler life with financial freedom.
1. Maintain the house and garden to the best standard I can. The house will continue to depreciate and whoever buys it in 2012, will drive a hard bargain. I can not afford to go into negative equity, or to leave with out a deposit, so I need to do what I can, to make it lovely. I need to fill up the borders in the garden to make the garden look as lush and beautiful as I possibly can. If I plant small, cheap flowering shrubs this year, then they will be bigger and in flower by 2012. I need to fill the backs of the borders with tall, bright green bamboo, so it looks verdant and tropical.
2. Use what I have. I have plenty of paint, white gloss, filler etc so I need to maintain what I have. I must sand down door frames, doors and keep everything shiny and new looking. It’s amazing how far a £20 pot of magnolia paint will do. I need to do this over the coming year so I am ready for 2012 when it happens and not be in a mad rush when I get there.
3. Keep things clean. It’s amazing how longer things last if you look after them, sometimes that simply means giving what you have a good scrub. Fascias often need a scrub and don’t need painting or replacing. Drive ways and patios also can look brand new with some hot soapy water and a scrubbing brush on a long handle. I also need to build this into my maintenance regime.
4. Work on the lawn. I don’t usually and it’s really a collection of green weeds more than a lawn. It will also be good exercise. I need to scarify, stab it with a garden fork, brush compost into it and rake it so the weeds don’t build up again. I need to remove the moss on a regular basis and make sure it greens up by 2012 and putting it off won’t work…….it’s a long old job without chemicals so I better make a start in the spring.
This may all sound like a lot of hard work when I have no intention of staying. The deeper the recession, the harder any job is. It’s going to be harder to pay off my debts with increasing prices. I am going to have to shop even less, use less water, less energy, use the car less, give up any thoughts of going out any where at all and really, really knuckle down for a year or else my downsizing dreams will remain nothing more than a dream. My dream is to buy the smallest property I can find, and to pay off the mortgage in five years, even if I go without heat and light to do it. When I’ve done that…..I will be 53 and then and only then can I consider working part time and actually living the real life that I’ve longed for, for so long!
It’s going to be another hard year, in fact, harder than this year but I am going to look back at the end of 2011 and see that it was worth it.