Long term finances

             

Hello Dear Reader,

I’m a plodder, a slow burner, a long timer, a waiter, a watcher and I’m proud of it! I’m a dull saver who puts off purchasing something for years and years. I keep looking at my bathroom and kitchen and know it could do with replacing and know that both will do in the meantime. I go through my wardrobe and check clothes I’ve worn and worn and could replace but know they’ll do fine. 

You see, I play the long slow game. I know I can’t have all the free time and freedom that some people crave as my life right now is all about work and my career. You can have income or time but you can’t have both. Whilst you’re busy working, a big financial mistake is to pay for convenience: dry cleaning instead of gently laundering delicate clothes by hand, buying ready made food or take always instead of having home cooked food in the freezer, buying new clothes instead of bringing clothes out of storage and making a few alterations or making decisions based on convenience. 

The long slow game requires patience and means I have to be content with my lot for a long time. I have weeks and years of amusing myself, of being at home, of not spending any money, looking at the same household items and on the surface, to the untrained eye living a very simple life. The long term is all about being as financially secure as possible in an uncertain world. 

When I calculate savings, I know it’s going to take years to get to a level of security: without a mortgage, with a pension fund, with an investment property and to stop investing in any of those is fiscally irresponsible when I’m perfectly capable of earning and saving. Unchecked spending, falling off the financial band wagon or being impetuous will sabotage the long game. That’s why I’m a plodder. I stick at it resolutely and keep going. 

So whether you’re trying to pay off debt, save money, build an emergency savings fund, save for a car or house deposit just keep at it. Select a lower gear, slow down and take it easy as this is going to take time……a very long time. Be patient, don’t expect anything but instrinsic rewards of knowing you’re doing the right thing in the long run. 

Just keep going.

Now over to you. Are you a proud plodder who will get there in the end?

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx

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23 thoughts on “Long term finances

  1. I think waiting and saving for something, increases the expectation. You really look forward to buying something and it is a bit like when you were a child waiting for Christmas. Sometimes, though if you wait – you realise you didn’t really want it after all.

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  2. We save money because we are out of debt. One good thing about that is we have money for big budget items in the bank when the need arises. For many years we needed to do something about our bathroom, either pull out the tub and build a shower or refinish the tub. Last fall, I injured my knee and it became necessary to have a walk in shower. We had it done and it was a major job and expense, but I am so happy with it. The good thing is we paid cash to the plumber and the tile man and have saved again what we spent on the remodel. Sometimes you wait years for something and it’s good to have the cash for it.

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  3. Currently looking to buy a house, and we’re not going to borrow as much money as the banks would lend us, as that way madness (and high mortgage repayment costs) lie. It’s all part of the long game: smaller house, smaller mortgage, fewer years needed to pay it off !

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    • It’s crazy money that banks offer – used to be 4x joint salary or thereabouts. There must be a lot of people in negative equity as a result.
      Another wise long term plan is to stay in the first house you buy – enjoy it and be happy. We’ve not moved for 28 years and have reaped the rewards.

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      • The advice to stay put in your first house if possible is good. We have been in ours for 24 yrs and gradually done necessary work as we have saved cash to do it. I love looking after it, being in it and how I love plodding. I am a slow worker but aim to be thorough . I save for my future and to help by daughters out if they need it. I like the fact things stay the same at home. My kitchen will probably outlive me. It pays to be patient and to plod. It is good for your health and wellbeing!

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  4. For a few months I worked too many hours, with suffering from chronic migraines I made myself very I’ll. I also spent more money on convenience food than I normally would, though for a family of six it was still low. I did manage to build my savings up and pay cash for some new things we needed. Now I have changed my hours and have a job that pays better…I have worked out that I spend more when I work more and save more when I am well enough to cook and look after my family. Luckily I am happiest pottering about at home and reading in my free time. Thank you Frugal Queen for making me not feel such a weirdo for wanting a quiet, simple life 🙂

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  5. Very similar to that of Rebecca. I worked silly hours in a job I hated, trying to keep up and be something I wasn’t. I too ended up being very ill, so much that I was not able to work or function much at all in my every day life for quite a long time. It took a long while and quite intensive counselling to get me back on my feet. I still have off days now, find it hard to handle what to many can often seem small tasks or pressures. Financial pressures – no thank you! I have just been in my garden picking courgettes, digging potatoes and planning what to do with the glistening ruby redcurrants. The doors and windows are open, the washing is dry. That is plenty for me. Simple but smart xxx

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  6. It is worth it. Hubby was laid off before we thought we were ready, the recession and downturn in jobs left us on unemployment for him and diminishing hours for me. Our home loan was the same amount as the value to sell. But we had saved and he had contributed extra to his pension. We retired, had enough in the 401k to pay for the house in a cheaper state and I went back to work part time to pay for fun stuff and vacations. We have no debt, use no credit cards and plan our projects into the next several years. Social security kicked in for hubby this year and it’s like getting a raise, we are used to not having it so about 2/3 goes into savings and investments. It took some getting used to but we are surprised at how little we spend and how much we have for visiting the grandkids and genealogy tours! Don’t give up, ours came earlier than we had planned but because we had planned we were able to adjust and go on.

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  7. My goal is to pay off our mortgage as quickly as possible; this often seems insurmountable. Last year we paid off 10% at the end of the year as one lump sum; the yearly goal of 10% is motivating for the first few months after payment but it doesn’t keep me going. Posts like this help keep me on track for the rest of the time and realise the house is perfect as is and my clothes are just fine.

    My husband recently increased his hours at work and this initially encouraged more spending. I have reigned this back in. I’m glad I did as only this week one of his employers has reduced his hours by a day a week! I’m sure my husband will pick up work elsewhere but it’s back to the drawing board to reduce our spending further.

    As an aside, we are going on a long-haul flight to visit friends in Australia (our friends are paying for our flights – amazing!) I wonder if you might have any money saving tips for travelling with children. The only things I’ve thought of are taking a pack-up to the airport to eat before the flight, packing reusable water bottles for day trips when we are in Australia, and taking books and iPads to entertain the boys whilst travelling. Any other tips would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Nx

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    • If you are going to be doing daytrips and things in Australia, take lunchboxes. We saved heaps by buying sandwich stuff at the supermarket and making our own sandwiches, then packing them up. Also bought muesli bars and other snacks from the supermarket, so much cheaper than buying lunch every day. We prefer to use our money for activities. We took a little chopping board and knife with us and sometimes made our sandwiches in random places on our way to somewhere, stopped at scenic lookouts to eat.
      Booking some activities is much cheaper online than buying in person. If you use a credit card, everyone will add 1.5% to the bill , this may just be in Queensland though.

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  8. This is the way it used to be for many of us born just after the war. Just the normal way of going about things, if you couldn’t afford it you didn’t have it. Credit cards make it too easy to have what one sees on the television and in the press as normal i.e. flatscreen TV’s, the newest phone, new kitchens, overseas holidays etc. Admittedly i was very lucky being brought up in N.Devon with all the lovely countryside and coastline, as long as we could afford the bus fare we were very well entertained by nature. I think it’s a great shame that “having it all now” has become the accepted norm and that saving for one’s future, saving and waiting have become alien to the vast majority.

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  9. My husband and I are working towards our early retirement( 2 years and 6 months – not that I’m counting!) and are spending out some significant money on our house now so that we don’t have to find the money when we’re retired and living on a reduced income. Last summer we had our roof replaced which was a big expense but we didn’t need a loan to do it and it’s a great feeling of security knowing the roof will outlast us now. We’ve lived in this house for 27 years. If you read the financial pages of the newspapers they are saying that the developed economies of the world are still in far too much debt and another crash could be coming. I am trying to squirrel away as much as possible now in case bad times are coming in the economy. Thanks for all the helpful info and encouragement Froogs.

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  10. In response to Linda’s comment – I decided to donate my (2nd hand) TV years back to one of the local charity shops.

    I realise this isn’t for everyone, but for me it’s been nothing but a winner.

    I save money big time – no TV licence necessary. (I don’t use iPlayer)

    No new TV to buy (once the old one has conked out, naturally. Frugallers would never buy an upgrade for the sake of it)

    More free time to do things like music and reading & maybe earning some extra cash

    No TV means one less source of adverts!

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  11. My daughter (age 29) bought her first house in 2013. She has a very good job in Cardiff but has bought a small 2 bed terraced house in Pontypridd. L didn’t want to have a huge mortgage and she’s worked out that if she keeps overpaying on her mortgage as she is now, it’ll be paid off in 8 years. L has also recently become a minimalist as far as shopping and consuming goes. L is hoping to work only 4 days per week when her mortgage is paid off so that she can pursue her interests more fully.
    My son, A, couldn’t understand why L didn’t buy herself a ‘nicer’ car, but L is much more comfortable having an ordinary car instead of a ‘too-precious’ car, as she puts it. 🙂 Since A was suddenly out of work last year (albeit only for a month) he has re-evaluated his priorities. He too, is happier with spending less.
    My younger son is house hunting after divorce but will not borrow the maximum he could.
    I don’t want to a appear smug but I feel so blessed and grateful that my children have their heads screwed on properly. 🙂

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  12. Well done for having the tenacity to stick to your principles as swimming against the tide of convention isn’t easy. I’ve always lived below my means and this has paid dividends . We repaid our mortgage before we were 50, have no debts or credit cards and a decent amount of savings in the bank. This has enabled us both to reduce our working hours and pursue interests that give us a sense of fulfillment. I know some people just don’t get it that we live in a terraced house and don’t have new everything every five minutes but I’d rather have the life we have than be in debt or constantly working overtime to pay for a new car or kitchen. I think if you choose to live this way it’s important to find like minded friends otherwise you can feel quite isolated. I certainly do at work as most people don’t think like I do but I try to see them as work colleagues and not friends.

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  13. Wonderful post. One or two my friends are in a much higher income bracket that me and I do sometimes feel envious of their beautiful kitchens BUT I would rather stick to my 30 hour a week job and have time to read and potter and sit in my garden rather than over-extending myself to fund a kitchen.

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  14. For me it’s a balancing act. Too many people I know have worked hard, saved and then passed away far too early.

    We’ve paid our mortgage off and save for the future but I also spend in the today on experiences with my family because who knows what’s in the future.

    Love your blog.

    Neil.

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    • True, I would say though that many frugalistas find pleasure in those things in life that just happen to be very cheap to do, too. My OH is the hedonist of us, who likes spontaneous socializing, raising a glass or two, and finding new hobbies… and those are the things that impede on *my* ideas of how to future-proof us. But could be worse.

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  15. Hubby and I used to live well beyond our means. It was stupid and wasteful, and if I’m honest, largely driven by envy as friends with bigger salaries enjoyed the finer things in life. We clocked up debt little by little for much of our twenties (it horrifies me looking back now!), but when my big brother died as a result of spiralling debts and depression, it was a massive wake-up call for the pair of us. We put ourselves on a strict financial diet and in two years cleared every penny of our credit card and loan debt which totalled a year’s combined income. We’ve never looked back. We save for everything now and only use our credit card to gain the free insurance on bigger purchases – then pay it off in full straight away. We’ve overpaid on our mortgage for several years and are now only 13 months away from being mortgage free.
    The tragedy is, had my brother revealed the extent of his debt and the worry it was causing him, help would have been available. His situation could have been solved, but despair overtook him. I was determined to bring something positive from his death, and that’s our life now. We’re in our early 40s and almost completely free of all debt. Just a little bit left on our mortgage and we’re ‘home’ free! We’ve realised our high-earning friends are in more debt than we ever were and they’re now envious of us (no need to be – just tighten the purse strings and put your own financial plan into action!).
    But here’s the very best positive. We were unable to have children biologically and the debt we’d accumulated would have prevented us adopting. Last year, as a fiscally reformed and financially secure couple, we adopted two beautiful children who are now our entire world. We’re able to provide for them without the worry of covering bills, and we’re saving for their futures as well as our own. We’re determined they’ll understand that money is hard-earned, but easily spent. We’ll be honest with them about the mistakes we made, but be a good example for what can be achieved. We enjoy a wonderful family life and have plenty of treats, but we consider which treats are affordable and worthwhile – no splurging on a whim.
    The short-term high from spending is nothing in comparison to the comfort and happiness of knowing you can afford your outgoings and have extra in the bank for emergencies and the future. And there’s no such thing as buyer’s remorse for a saver! That’s a feeling I’m very glad not to experience any more.

    It’s sites like yours that made our path to financial freedom easier to tread. Thank you! XX

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